Full Name: Richard Condon
Date of Birth: 19 March 1876
Date of Death: 27 December 1946
Richmond Senior Games
|1908||17||16||Rd 1 - 9, 11-18|
|1909||15||10||Rd 1-12 , 14-16|
|1908||18||6 wins, 12 losses|
|1909||16||6 wins, 10 losses||dispensed with from Aug 24.|
|1908||2||0 wins, 2 losses||Rd 4, Rd 8|
|1909||5||2 wins, 3 losses||Rd 1- 5|
By the time he came to Richmond, Dick Condon was already recognised as one of the champions of the League's first decade, having captained Collingwood, and played in two premierships. He was however a volatile figure, often feuding with umpiring decisions that cost him numerous suspensions.
His career at Richmond was abrupt and controversial.
With Richmond admitted to the VFL on October 18 1907, the experienced Condon was an ideal selection as the club's first playing coach (he was the second oldest member of the team behind the captain Charlie Pannam). He was paid one pound and ten shillings.
He began in the practice games held in April of 1908 and only received his clearance from Collingwood to play and coach Richmond, on May 1 1908. Richmond's first senior game was the following day.
He holds the distinction of coaching Richmond in their first VFL match (which was also their first VFL victory), with an 11pt win over Melbourne.
After the 1908 season , an Australian Football Carnival was held to commemorate 50 years of Australian Football.
Teams included one from New Zealand, that Dick Condon coached. The New Zealanders trained at the Richmond Cricket Ground.
He reapplied for a permit as playing coach of Richmond in 1909, which was accepted by the League on April 28
For the 1909 he was also appointed captain of Richmond (while maintaining the coaching role), and as such became the club's first playing captain/coach.
But on June 3 he resigned as captain on the advice of the committee. Two months later on August 24 he was dispensed with as player and as coach. 'The reason advanced in this case was that the committee wished to secure the services of promising young juniors' The Age wrote.
The club appointed Charlie Taylor as caretaker coach for the remaining game of the season.
The Richmond Guardian went one step further saying that during the season 'Condon got the (coach's) salary, but Taylor did the (coach's) work'
After Richmond, Condon venture up to Sydney to coach East Sydney. In 1914 he penned a letter to The Referee newspaper about his observations on the game. The captain, when chosen by the players, should be a sound observer of his men and their temperament, have their confidence, and the brains to find the weakness of the enemy, he wrote.
Eddie Drohan, who had played with Condon at Collingwood, and umpired games when Condon was with Richmond, recalled:
'When umpiring, I saw Dick when he was with Richmond. It was like looking at at an old master from a different angle. He lost none of his cleverness and brilliance, no matter from what angle you looked at him.'
Eddie umpired the Rd 5 1909 vs StKilda, Rd 8 vs Essendon, and Rd 10 vs Melbourne match that Condon played in.
He is widely recognised as one of the co-inventors of the stab kick.
At his death in 1940, The Argus obituary noted he was 'described by officials as the best footballer ever produced at Collingwood'. No mention was made of his career with Richmond.
Former Collingwood and Fitzroy player, and umpire Eddie Drohan called him 'the best footballer of this century'
He is not an inductee in the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
Richmond's first VFL coach: 1908
Collingwood Captain: 1899, 1900
Collingwood Premiership player: 1902, 1903
Collingwood Life Member : 2012