Ray Richards

Ray Richards arrived in Australia in 1963 and played in Brisbane and for Queensland before moving to Sydney in 1969. A brief spell with Croatia gave way to Marconi in the same year and he stayed with them till 1978, which included three seasons as player/coach. He played a handful of games with APIA Leichhardt in 1979. The move to Sydney had brought representative games for NSW but it was Richards’ international career which sparkled. Beginning in 1967 but blossoming from 1970 under coach Rasic, Richards played 60 times for Australia. He played his last game for Australia in 1975. A swashbuckling, no-frills player, he was the national team’s midfield destroyer. His strength in the tackle was prodigious, his heart and passion providing the beat and adrenalin that all teams need to be great. His moustache or beard was as famous as his long throw-ins. His send-offs were memorable, be it after the haymaker punch in Mexico when he walked without waiting for the referee or for his multiple yellow cards against Chile in the 1974 World Cup.