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Friday, October 29, 2021 - 4:54 PM

Raymond "Ray"  Richards was a valued member of the Claremont Football Club as both a coach and player. He played 34 league games for Claremont between 1959 and 1961,  playing 19 games in 1959, 9 games in 1960 and 6 games in 1961. Ray took over from Sonny Maffina as coach in 1959 and coached both in 1959 and 1960.   When the coaching position was advertised for the 1959 season, 13 applications for the coaching position were received  and Ray Richards who came up from Deanmill and played 147  games for South Fremantle and a State player, was appointed to the position. He was also appointed captain with John Hilton his deputy.  Richards had been full back and filled in as a ruckman for South Fremantle but played as first ruck for Claremont. During the year Richards, Les Mumme and Kevin Clune were selected to play for W.A. in the State carnival.  Ray played in a back pocket for W.A.

During the 1959 year, Ray won the R.J. Kyle trophy at Claremont and he received 7 Sandover medal votes.  Claremont won 6 games that year which was an improvement on 2 games the previous year. In the first game against Subiaco it was reported that Ray had control in the ruck, however, the inexperienced Claremont side was unable to take advantage of this. On the 6th June 1959, Claremont had a win over the East Fremantle side which was one of the biggest upsets of the year.  Richards played so well he was carried from the field by jubilant supporters.  He had great support that day from the other rucks and rovers Les Mumme and Trevor Schofield.  Richards missed the game against Swan Districts as he was away with the state side.   Ray Richards played at centre-half-back for the last game of the year against Perth which they won and took Claemont off last place on the ladder. 

In 1960 Richards was again appointed captain coach with Kevin Clune his deputy. Unfortunately he sustained a knee injury during the season which meant he missed a number of games.  Clune took over as captain and Denis Marshall was Vice captain.  Claremont improved again and finished in sixth place only 5 games out of the four and Richards only playing 9 games due to his knee injury.

In 1961 Claremont appointed Peter Pianto from Victoria as coach and Richards stayed on as vice captain.  Ray had a number of offers to play at other clubs  but he decided to play with Claremont. Ray played only 8 games and his knee injury took its toll.  He played against Subiaco on the 3rd June and he and Terry Williams were reported for striking each other.  This coupled with his knee injury was the last game he played for Claremont and finished his league career.  

During those years while Ray was coach the Club brought a number of young players onto the list which was continued under Peter Pianto. This led to the strong side and premiership under Jim Conway in 1964.

He was a valued member of the Claremont family.