Full Name: KEVIN BARTLETT
Date of Birth: 06/03/1947
Height: 175 cm ( 5-9 )
Weight: 71 kg ( 11-3 )
Debut: 01/05/1965 , Round 3 , St Kilda
Last Game: 27/08/1983 , Round 22 , Fitzroy
Total Games: 403
Total Goals: 778
Premiership 1967, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1980 , Best Player in Grand Final " Norm Smith Medal " 1980 , Best & Fairest 1967-68, 1973-74, 1977 , Leading Goalkicker 1974 Goals 47, 1975 Goals 42, 1977 Goals 55, Equal Leading Goalkicker 1983 Goals 37, Victorian Representative Team Games 20 Goals 32 , Captain Victorian Representative Team 1980. Richmond Senior Coach 1988-91.
Richmond Games record holder 403 games
Richmond Life Member 1972
Richmond Hall of Fame Member 2002 elevated to Immortal status 2003
Richmond Team of Twentieth Century
AFL Life Member
Australian Football Hall of Fame Member 1996 elevated to Legend status 2000
Sport Australia Hall of Fame inductee
Statue out the front of the MCG
Total Games: 9
Total Goals: 19
Kevin was a champion rover who was affectionately known as “Hungry”. He was possibly Richmond’s cheapest ever recruit as he simply knocked on the door at Punt Road and asked for a game, even though he was a Footscray supporter. At the time he was living in Lennox Street, Richmond. He started humbly by boundary umpiring for the Richmond Fourths before gaining selection during 1962. Kevin won the Fourths Best and Fairest in 1962 and the Thirds in 1963. He eventually worked his way through to make his senior debut in Round 3 of 1965 as a reserve against St Kilda. He could kick well with either foot and he possessed a very uncanny goal sense, particularly with snap shots. Kevin won several games for Richmond with freakish snaps, including the 1973 preliminary final against Collingwood, a Round 20 clash against Carlton in 1975 and the 1975 elimination final against Collingwood.
As a rover he had great anticipation and judgement which enabled him to consistently gather many possessions each game. A non-drinker and a non-smoker he remained relatively injury free during his career, playing 173 consecutive games between 1975 and 1982, and 150 between 1966 and 1972. Kevin was very fast over the first few metres which gave him a distinct advantage over opponents. In the early part of his football career he ran professionally, scoring several victories including the 1967 Portland Gift. Kevin had split second timing and was an expert at getting rid of the ball by bouncing it out in front of himself just as he was about to be tackled thus gaining a free kick for holding the man, As a result of complaints about this tactic the rule was eventually changed but this did not affect his game in the manner in which some experts thought it would.
After roving for most if his career, he successfully switched to the half-forward flank where he became more than a handful for opposing defences. He kicked 21 goals from that position during the 1980 Final series, the most goals by any Richmond player in one Finals series. This included 6 against Carlton, 8 against Geelong, his highest individual career tally and 7 in the Grand Final against Collingwood. He finished that season with 84 goals plus the “Norm SMITH Medal” for his Grand Final performance. During his career, he kicked 5 goals or more, 22 times. His highest individual goal tally in home and away rounds was 7 against Footscray in Round 21 of 1972.
He was a member of the 1967, 1968, 1973, 1974 and the 1980 Premiership sides as well as playing in the 1972 and 1982 Grand Final sides. He averaged 22 kicks per Grand Final, as well as being in the best players in six out of seven Grand Finals in which he played. He was captain in 1979 and vice-captain from 1972 until 1975 and in 1978. He gained the following placings in the Club Best and Fairest award:-first in 1967, 1968, 1973, 1974 and 1977; second in 1970 and 1978; and third in 1976. Only Jack DYER, with six wins is ahead of him. He also won the Club Goalkicking award in 1974, 1975, 1977 and 1983, equal and he was awarded Life Membership in 1972. He ran second in the “Brownlow Medal” in 1977, and third in 1974. He held the record for the most VFL games from 1982 until late 1990 when his games tally was overtaken by Hawthorn champion Michael TUCK. He represented Victoria 20 times and was State captain in 1980. He holds the club record for the most Finals games played at 27, as well a second place on the club’s all-time goalkicking list with 778. His 59 Finals’ goals is second only to Jack TITUS and of the 27 finals he played he was voted in Richmond’s best three on 17 occasions.
He coached the Richmond Seniors between 1988 and 1991, during a different period when the club was in debt of $1 million. Kevin placed great faith in the younger players at the time, as the club had no resources to recruit experience players.
During that time, the club launched the successful Save Our Skins campaign. He was sacked at the end of the 1991 season, a bitterness that lasted with him for 17 years.
He began working as a sports commentator on Radio station 3UZ in the mid 1980’s and he also commentated with Radio 3AW between 1992 and 1994 before crossing over to Magic 693, in 1995, to head their commentary team. He was a television commentator on Channel 2 and for Channel 7 for many years, as well as host of the popular Grumpy Old Men series on Fox Footy.
A sports fanatic, he also ran 3AW’s daily sports segment, as well as having a column with the Herald Sun, and became the host of Hungry For Sport on SEN 1116 from 2004 until present.
He has the “Kevin Bartlett Reserve” in Richmond named in his honour and he was awarded the General Order Of Australia for his services to Australia for his services to football in 1981.
Away from football, he is a qualified instrument maker. A devoted family man he had the honour of being named Father Of The Year in 1986. He is also a former King Of Moomba. In 1996 he was inducted in the AFL’s Hall of Fame. He was elevated to Legend status in 2000. He was made an Immortal of the Richmond Football Club in 2003, and inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in October 2006.
In 2017, a bronze statue was unveiled out the front of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, as a testament to his contribution to football and to that arena.
Prahran Try Boys Youth Club 1960.