Today Ted Richards announced he was retiring from the Sydney Swans at season’s end. Already many people have been praising his tremendous achievements as player at the Swans. There has also been deserved praise for the support that Ted gave to the younger Swans, that has seen them develop into bona fide AFL players. In 2016 the Swan’s defence has been the toughest in the league and Ted has been a major contributor both as a player and as mentor to the young players.
Footy people know these things but what they don’t know is that Ted’s support for young footy players in Sydney started well before he donned the Red and White. While still a young Essendon player Ted was allocated / volunteered as the Manly Bombers Club Patron. Since 2005 Ted has been filling this role with great enthusiasm, encouraging the young players, the coaches and club management.
Whenever Ted turned up at the club he always wore a huge smile and was willing to help in any capacity. This has included running drills with the teams, stealing a pair of Buddy’s boots for the club to auction off, as well donating a pair of his own, signed by the ‘back six’ from the Swans 2014 Grand Final Team. His most amazing donation occurred when the club was raising money to refurbish the club house. Ted convinced his mates, Jobe Watson and David Hille, to come up to Sydney and have dinner, at the Four Seasons Hotel, with the lucky bidders, truly a night to remember.
Ted has also been the main attraction at a number of U17 Jumper Nights. I am sure the boys all remember the night a current All Australian and Premiership player presented them with their jumpers and the smiles in the photographs are proof of that. Ted also donated a Swans Jumper signed by the 2012 Premiership Team; which is now framed and hangs in the clubhouse.
We will all miss Ted running around in the Red & White but we hope he will continue to drop down to Weldon where he will always be welcome to have a run!