Vic Richardson

Victor York Richardson OBE (7 September 1894  30 October 1969) was a leading Australian sportsman of the 1920s and 1930s, captaining the Australia cricket team and the South Australia Australian rules football team, representing Australia in baseball and South Australia in golf, winning the South Australian state tennis title and also being a leading local player in lacrosse, basketball and swimming.

Vic Richardson
Personal information
Full nameVictor York Richardson
Born(1894-09-07)7 September 1894
Parkside, South Australia, Australia
Died30 October 1969(1969-10-30) (aged 75)
Fullarton, South Australia, Australia
NicknameThe Guardsman, Yorker
Height1.83[1] m (6 ft 0 in)
BowlingRight-arm medium pace
RoleSpecialist batsman
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 119)19 December 1927 v England
Last Test3 March 1936 v South Africa
Domestic team information
1918–1938South Australia
Career statistics
Competition Tests First Class
Matches 19 184
Runs scored 706 10,727
Batting average 23.53 37.63
100s/50s 1/1 27/47
Top score 138 231
Balls bowled 0 811
Wickets 0 8
Bowling average n/a 68.12
5 wickets in innings 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 0
Best bowling n/a 3/22
Catches/stumpings 24/0 211/4
Source: , 15 January 2008

Richardson won the South Australian National Football League's highest individual honour, the Magarey Medal, while captain-coach of Sturt in 1920.

Early life

Richardson was born in Parkside, South Australia and grew up in the Unley area. He attended Kyre (later Scotch) College. Naturally athletic, he played many sports, including gymnastics, basketball, cricket, baseball, lacrosse, and Australian Rules football. He worked in the South Australian public service.[1]

Cricket career

Richardson is most famous for his contribution to cricket, representing Australia in 19 Test matches between 1924 and 1936, including five as captain in the 1935-36 tour of South Africa.

A talented right-handed batsman and rated the best fielder in the world,[2] Richardson made his first-class debut for South Australia in the 1918-19 season. In a career that lasted twenty years he played 184 matches for Australia and South Australia, scoring 10,724 runs, including 27 centuries and averaging 37.63. He took 211 catches (at an average of 1.15 catches per match) and even completed four stumpings as a stand-in wicketkeeper.

Richardson was Australian vice-captain for the 1932-33 English tour of Australia, known as the Bodyline series for England's tactics of bowling fast short-pitched deliveries at the batsmen's bodies. During the Adelaide Test, English manager Pelham Warner came to the Australian dressing seeking an apology from the player who called Harold Larwood a bastard. Richardson, who had answered the knock on the dressing room door turned to his teammates and asked; "Which one of you blokes mistook Larwood for that bastard [Douglas] Jardine?"[3]

Richardson played his final Test against South Africa at Durban on 28 February 1936, aged 41 years 178 days. Only ten Australians have played Test cricket at an older age.[4] He took five catches in the second innings, setting a Test record that has never been beaten and was not equalled until Yajurvindra Singh took five in 1976-77.[5][6]

Following his retirement from cricket, Richardson was appointed South Australian coach in September 1949, replacing Arthur Richardson.[7]

To honour his memory and the impact he made for his state, the South Australian Cricket Association dedicated the "Victor Richardson Gates" at the Adelaide Oval and the road leading to them in his honour.[8]

Australian rules football career

Richardson made his senior Australian rules football debut for Sturt Football Club in the South Australian National Football League in 1915 and in a career interrupted by World War I, played 114 games for Sturt, kicking 23 goals.

  • 114 games and 23 goals for Sturt 1915, 1919–1920, 1922–1924, 1926–1927
  • Captain of Sturt 1920, 1922–1924
  • Member of premiership teams for Sturt 1915, 1919 and 1926
  • 10 games for South Australia
  • State Captain 1923
  • Magarey Medal 1920
  • Best and Fairest for Sturt 1922, 1923
  • Coach of Sturt 1920, 1922, 1923, 1924

Other sports

Richardson was a gifted sportsman and excelled in other sports besides cricket and Australian rules football, including baseball (national and state representative), golf (state representative), tennis (state title winner), lacrosse, basketball and swimming.

Media career

After retiring from first-class cricket he went on to become a respected radio commentator, forging a partnership with renowned former English Test captain Arthur Gilligan.[9]

Political aspirations

In March 1949 Richardson announced that he would seek Liberal and Country League (LCL) pre-selection for the new federal Division of Kingston, situated in Adelaide's south.[10] At the time Richardson lived on Richmond Road, Westbourne Park, which was located in the electorate.[10]


On 29 January 1919 Victor Richardson married Vida Yvonne Knapman, daughter of hotelier Alf Knapman (1867–1918).[11] She died on 25 September 1940; they had one son and three daughters.[12]

He was a grandfather to three future Australian Test cricketers Ian Chappell, Greg Chappell (who both also captained Australia at Test level) and Trevor Chappell.

Awards and honours

Richardson was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on 10 June 1954 for his services to cricket, including his presidency of the Country Carnival Cricket Association.[13]


  1. Gibbs, RM, "Richardson, Victor York (1894–1969)", ADB, accessed 20 May 2017 from
  2. Sydney Morning Herald, "Vic Richardson dies at 75", 31 October 1969, p. 12.
  3. "The Ashes 2010: sledging part and parcel of England v Australia battles". The Telegraph. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  4. "Oldest players". Cricinfo. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  5. Wisden 2007, p. 365.
  6. "5th Test, Australia tour of South Africa at Durban, Feb 28-Mar 3 1936". Cricinfo. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  7. The Advertiser (Adelaide), "New State Coach", 9 September 1949, p. 15
  8. Richardson, inside back cover.
  9. "Richardson, Victor York (1894–1969)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  10. The News, "Vic Richardson to seek L.C.L. endorsement", 21 March 1949, p. 1.
  11. "Richardson—Knapman". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 1 March 1919. p. 11. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  12. "Personal". The Border Watch. Mount Gambier, SA: National Library of Australia. 26 September 1940. p. 1. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  13. "Richardson, Victor York". It's an Honour. 10 June 1954. Retrieved 23 December 2009.


  • Richardson, Victor (1968). The Vic Richardson Story. London: Angus & Robertson.
Preceded by
Bill Woodfull
Australian Test cricket captains
Succeeded by
Don Bradman
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