RICHMOND is mourning the death of 1969 premiership player Michael Bowden after he lost his battle with motor neurone disease.

Bowden, who was 73, played 59 senior games for the Tigers between 1967 and 1971, and gathered 19 disposals, including a game-high nine handballs, in the 1969 Grand Final.

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That same season he played 20 games and led the competition with 194 handballs – 40 more than any other footballer – being an integral part of Richmond's success.

Bowden, a ruck-rover, was highly regarded for his work ethic, team-first attitude and ability to burrow into packs to win the hard ball.

He also captained the Tigers to the 1971 reserves flag in what was his final game for the club.

Mike Bowden in action for the Tigers. Picture:

Bowden devoted his life to improving conditions for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in the Northern Territory.

He is survived by wife Judy, daughter Majella, and sons Sean, Rhett, Kane, Joel, Patrick and Charlie, who were raised in Alice Springs before reuniting in Darwin in recent years.

Sean (six matches), Joel (265, including two Jack Dyer medals) and Patrick (25 for Richmond and 50 for the Western Bulldogs) followed in their father's footsteps in wearing the yellow and black.

12:57 Mins
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