Kevin Bartlett (Australian rules footballer)

Kevin Charles Bartlett AM (born 6 March 1947) is a former Australian rules footballer and coach who played in the Victorian Football League between 1965 and 1983 for the Richmond Football Club. He has played the third highest number of games in VFL/AFL history. He won five premierships with Richmond, and won their best and fairest medal five times. In 2008, he was listed by journalist Mike Sheahan as the ninth greatest player of all time in the AFL-commissioned book, The Australian Game of Football.[1]

Kevin Bartlett
A bronze statue of Bartlett displayed in Yarra Park by the MCG
Personal information
Full name Kevin Charles Bartlett
Nickname(s) KB, Hungry
Date of birth (1947-03-06) 6 March 1947
Place of birth Carlton, Victoria
Original team(s) Richmond 4ths
Height 175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 71 kg (157 lb)
Position(s) Rover / Half forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1965–1983 Richmond 403 (778)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
Victoria 20 (32)
International team honours
1968 Australia
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1988–1991 Richmond 88 (27–61–0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1983.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 1991.
Career highlights



Sources: AFL Tables,

Following his retirement as a player, Bartlett developed a successful career as a sports commentator and broadcaster on both television and radio. He was a member of the AFL's rules committee for many years until he retired on 4 March 2014.[2] as well as the selection panel for the All-Australian Team and AFL Rising Star awards. On 1 September 1987 he was appointed coach of Richmond, but his sacking after four unsuccessful seasons led to Bartlett not returning to the club for the following 16 years.

Playing career

Bartlett was a rover and goalkicker who was known as 'Hungry' due to his preference for kicking rather than hand-balling, particularly near the goals. He is known for great evasiveness and stamina, he could win a game off his own boot. A winner of five premierships with Richmond, he also won the Norm Smith Medal in 1980 after kicking seven goals in the Grand Final. With 403 games, only Michael Tuck of Hawthorn & Brent Harvey of North Melbourne have played more VFL/AFL games. Bartlett was renowned for his skill and concentration on the game and was instrumental in many Tiger wins.

The "Kevin Bartlett Medal" is awarded each season to the player who finishes fifth in the Richmond Football Club's best and fairest count, with places one to four being the Jack Dyer, Jack Titus, Maurie Fleming, and Fred Swift Medals respectively.

Bartlett grew up barracking for the Footscray Football Club, and watched their first premiership in 1954. As a teenager, he walked from his home in Lennox St, Richmond to the Punt Road Oval, where he was greeted by the Richmond Fourths' coach Bill Boromeo. It was this chance meeting that set in the motion for Bartlett to eventually play at Richmond. He began his career with the under 17's side where he won the goalkicking and the best and fairest in 1962. In 1963, he won the best and fairest in the under 19's and Richmond made the under 19's final series. Bartlett however was injured seconds into the first final against Geelong, which resulted him being taken to the Prince Henry Hospital where it was revealed that a cyst was embedded in his hip. It was while waiting for the ambulance to collect him in the MCG change rooms, that he first met Jack Dyer. Dyer had appeared at the match on advice of Richmond under 19's coach Ray Jordon – and visited Bartlett in the rooms to tell him he will be okay. The following year for Bartlett (1964) involved rehabilitation, as he still experienced pain around his hip area.[3]

Playing statistics

 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Led the league for the season only
Led the league after finals only
Led the league after season and finals
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
1965 Richmond 291413151832120417N/A0.
1966 Richmond 29141917222923123N/A1.
1967 Richmond 292038354153244742N/A1.91.820.81.622.42.1N/A
1968 Richmond 292038534813251348N/A1.92.724.11.625.72.4N/A
1969 Richmond 292230435474759479N/A1.
1970 Richmond 292234325693059979N/A1.51.525.91.427.23.6N/A
1971 Richmond 292453465124155359N/A2.21.921.31.723.02.5N/A
1972 Richmond 292134354412146248N/A1.61.721.
1973 Richmond 292331406343867244N/A1.31.727.61.729.21.9N/A
1974 Richmond 292247506074064748N/A2.12.327.61.829.42.2N/A
1975 Richmond 292342504657053537N/A1.
1976 Richmond 292227315126357572N/A1.21.423.32.926.13.3N/A
1977 Richmond 2923553358580665111N/A2.41.425.43.528.94.8N/A
1978 Richmond 292244394747054483N/A2.01.921.
1979 Richmond 292236434477952666N/A1.
1980 Richmond 292584674155947461N/A3.42.716.62.419.02.4N/A
1981 Richmond 292258483134736061N/A2.
1982 Richmond 292358562664831453N/A2.52.411.
1983 Richmond 291937442053123655N/A1.92.310.81.612.42.9N/A
Career 403 778 777 8293 858 9151 1086 N/A 1.9 1.9 20.6 2.1 22.8 2.7 N/A

Honours and achievements

Brownlow Medal votes
Season Votes
1967 4
1968 10
1969 14
1970 10
1971 1
1972 4
1973 8
1974 22
1975 4
1976 2
1977 45
1978 19
1979 5
1980 9
1981 3
Total 160
Green / Bold = Won

Coaching career

Bartlett was the Tigers' coach from 1988 to 1991. Controversy surrounding his dismissal as coach left him estranged from the football club for many years. However, on 30 March 2007 he attended his first official club function since 1991.

Administrative career

Kevin Bartlett was a key member and public face of the AFL "Laws of the Game" or Rules Committee until 4 March 2014.[2][5] He was a selector of the Australian Football Hall of Fame from its inauguration in 1996 until his resignation in 2009,[6] and is a selector of the yearly All-Australian team.[7]

Media career

Bartlett joined Channel 7 in Melbourne immediately after his playing retirement, appearing regularly on World of Sport and hosting the Junior Supporters Club. In 1984, Bartlett was crowned King of Moomba.[8] He also wrote for the Sun News Pictorial. His media commitments were put on hold during his four-year stint as Richmond coach. He has great all-round interest in most sports, and is one of the few ex-Australian football players who has carved out a career commentating on all manner of sports. Since 2004, he has been a radio host on Melbourne's dedicated sports radio station, SEN – first with Hungry for Sport, a morning show playing on his nickname of "Hungry", and then with KB and the Doc in the afternoon with John "Dr Turf" Rothfield beginning in 2018. He also commentates Saturday and Sunday matches for SEN. He previously had hosted the breakfast program on Sport 927 until 2003. He commentated on cable-TV for Fox Footy and was the host of the popular nostalgia show Grumpy Old Men on Fox Footy until the channel's closure at the end of the 2006 season. He also did a Richmond-centric official alternate commentary for FOX's broadcast of Richmond vs. North Melbourne in June 2014 called "Press Red for Kev" in response to the "Press Red for Ed" Collingwood-centric alternate commentaries led by Eddie McGuire.[9]

On 13 September 2008, he appeared in a Toyota Memorable Moments advertisement. The advertisement includes Bartlett recreating his seven goals from the 1980 VFL Grand Final, as well as his famous 'comb-over' hair style, which comedian Dave Lawson recreates by shaving his own hair on camera. Geelong's Matthew Scarlett impersonated the haircut, at his 'Mad Monday' celebrations after the 2008 Grand Final. [10]

Bartlett and fellow Richmond legend Matthew Richardson were also featured on an official 2018 recording of We're From Tigerland.[11]


Bartlett's refusal to return to any Richmond Football Club function, or an official club arrangement lasted from the end of 1991– until 2007. In 2007, he attended a Tommy Hafey Club Function – in support of his lifelong friend Tom Hafey and on 22 November 2007, walked into the Punt Road ground (Richmond's home ground) to launch the centenary publication 'Richmond F.C: A Century of League Football', which was written by his son Rhett. It was the first time KB had stepped foot into Punt Road, since his sacking at the end of 1991.


Bartlett was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1981, and was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame and Richmond Hall of Fame in 1996 and 2002, respectively; he was promoted to "legend" status in the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2000 and to "immortal" status in the Richmond Hall of Fame in 2004. He was also named as part of Richmond's team of the century. He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2006.[12] On 22 March 2017, a statue of Bartlett was unveiled outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground.[13]

Personal life

Bartlett and his wife Denise, who was a talented runner as a youth, have three daughters – Sharna, Cara and Breanna – and one son, Rhett. All three of the Bartlett daughters starred in track and field during their school days.[14] Bartlett's son Rhett is a writer, broadcaster, and historian of the Richmond Football Club, having released books about both his father and the club's history,[15][16] as well as curating the "Tigerland Archive" website.[17]


  1. "Mike Sheahan's top 50 players". Australian Football League. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  2. Guthrie, Ben (4 March 2014). "Worsfold joins Laws of the Game committee". AFL. AFL. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  3. ,Bartlett, Rhett: Richmond F.C : A Century of League Football- 2008.
  4. Kevin Bartlett's player profile at AFL Tables
  5. Denham, Greg (8 June 2012). "AFL's Leigh Matthews, Kevin Bartlett want interchange overhaul". The Australian.
  6. Denham, Greg (7 July 2009). "Kevin Bartlett quits AFL Hall of Fame selection in protest". The Australian.
  7. Landsberger, Sam (19 September 2012). "Kevin Bartlett won't back down from West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui's All-Australian selection". Herald Sun.
  8. Craig Bellamy, Gordon Chisholm, Hilary Eriksen (17 Feb 2006) Moomba: A festival for the people.: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 August 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) PDF pp 17–22
  9. "It's Tiger Time!" – AFL 360 on "Press Red for Kev" YouTube (originally broadcast by FOX)
  11. Tigers tune-up for Club song Richmond Football Club
  12. "Kevin Bartlett AM". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  13. "Kevin Bartlett". Melbourne Cricket Ground. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  14. Sporting Life October 27, 2005 – KB's girl a star too Geoff McClure for The Age
  15. Collins, Ben (11 February 2018). "Legendary Grand Final story shot down as myth". Richmond FC Official Site. Australian Football League. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  16. Brown, Simon Leo (28 September 2017). "AFL grand final: The song behind Richmond Tigers theme Oh We're From Tigerland". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 30 May 2019. Speaking to writer and broadcaster Rhett Bartlett for the book Richmond FC...
  17. Bartlett, Rhett; Ruddell, Trevor. "Richmond Football Club history (1885 - Now)". Tigerland Archive. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  • 1971 Tiger Year Book – Richmond Football Club
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