Down For The Count – Richmond by numbers

Down For The Count
A brief history of when Richmond fielded sides of 15 or fewer.


For a period of the last quarter in Richmond’s third pre-season match (against Port Adelaide), the Tigers fielded just 15 men.
And happily did so.  Injures during the game, and a need to nurse other players, forced Damien Hardwick’s decision. At one point, the club (embarrassingly for mine) asked the League to terminate the game early.

15 men on a field doesn’t sound great.  But for historians like myself, it was an opportunity to dig deep to find out how badly that compares with previous Richmond incarnations.

Below is a list of known games where ‘Richmond’ fielded 15 men or less.

13 players
July 27 1878 vs South Yarra Standard at Fawkner Park.
The 3rd incarnation of the Richmond Football Club (they lasted from 1878-1879).  Only 13 men showed up for Richmond that day, and as a result were defeated 7 goals to Nil.

14 players
May 12 1860 vs Melbourne  at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The 1st incarnation of the Richmond Football Club (they lasted from 1860-1861).
It is the first recorded match by a Richmond team.
The match is a draw, with both teams kicking 1 goal.
Richmond’s sole goalkicker was G M Nicholls.
Richmond wore a red riband over the left shoulder of their cricket whites.

15 players
June 30 1860  vs Melbourne at Richmond Paddock.
The 1st incarnation of the Richmond Football Club (they lasted from 1860-1861)
Both teams play with 15 men because that is all that turned up.
Melbourne win 2 goals to 1.
Richmond’s sole goalkicker was Tom Wills (credited as a pioneer of football in the state).

March 10 2016
vs Port Adelaide at Docklands.
The current incarnation of the Richmond Football Club (1885 – current).
Injuries to Shane Edwards, Reece Conca, Shaun Grigg, Jacob Townsend forced Hardwick’s decision to field 15 players.
Richmond lose by 48 points.

About Rhett Bartlett

Wrote the history of the Richmond Football Club. Literally.


  1. Were Richmond players naghty in 1860? Or just they have got only 13 or 14 players to form the club?

    If the first applies, Footy God seems not to give them good team since 1982? Then someone made a parody of the club song?

    Just I would like to know…

  2. Back in 1860, it was whoever turned up on the day.

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