Kevin Bartlett (Australian rules footballer)

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Kevin Bartlett
Kevin Bartlett.jpg
A bronze statue of Bartlett displayed in Yarra Park by the MCG
Personal information
Full name Kevin Charles Bartlett
Nickname(s) KB, Hungry
Date of birth (1947-03-06) 6 March 1947 (age 74)
Place of birth Carlton, Victoria
Original team(s) Richmond 4ths
Height 175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 71 kg (157 lb)
Position(s) Rover / Half forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1965–1983 Richmond 403 (778)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
Victoria 20 (32)
International team honours
1968 Australia
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1988–1991 Richmond 88 (27–61–0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1983.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 1991.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Kevin Charles Bartlett AM (born 6 March 1947) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for the Richmond Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Nicknamed "KB" or "Hungry" due to his appetite for kicking goals and apparent reluctance to handpass,[1] Bartlett is a Legend of the Australian Football Hall of Fame and is the first VFL/AFL player to have reached the 400-game milestone, a feat since achieved by four other players. He is a key member of a golden era in Richmond's history, playing in five premiership teams and winning five Jack Dyer Medals.

Short and slender in stature, Bartlett possessed tremendous stamina, determination and a seemingly sixth sense to evade opposition players intent on negating his influence.[2] He played much of his best football as Richmond's starting rover, but adapted superbly when moved to the half-forward flank towards the end of his career, as demonstrated in the 1980 VFL finals series.

When Bartlett returned to the Tigers in 1988 as senior coach, the club were in a shambles as a result of a bitter trade feud with Collingwood. Although his record as coach appears disappointing, he nonetheless achieved some surprise results with very limited resources. After being sacked at the end of 1991, he distanced himself from Richmond for nearly two decades.

Following his retirement as a player, Bartlett developed a successful career as a sports commentator and broadcaster on both television and radio, currently working as a match caller for 3AW. He was a member of the AFL's rules committee for many years until he retired on 4 March 2014.[3] as well as the selection panel for the All-Australian Team and AFL Rising Star awards.

In 2008, Bartlett was listed by journalist Mike Sheahan as the ninth-greatest player of all time in the AFL-commissioned book, The Australian Game of Football.[4]

Early Years and Playing career[edit]

Bartlett was born in the inner-northern Melbourne suburb of Carlton as the only son of Charles Bartlett,[5] and grew up in Richmond. He supported Footscray as a young boy and was a spectator at the 1954 Grand Final triumph.[6]

As a teenager, he walked from his home in Lennox St, Richmond to the Punt Road Oval, where he was greeted by the Richmond Fourths' coach Bill Boromeo. It was this chance meeting that set in the motion for Bartlett to eventually play at Richmond. He began his career with the under 17's side where he won the goalkicking and the best and fairest in 1962. In 1963, he won the best and fairest in the under 19's and Richmond made the under 19's final series. Bartlett however was injured seconds into the first final against Geelong, which resulted him being taken to the Prince Henry Hospital where it was revealed that a cyst was embedded in his hip. It was while waiting for the ambulance to collect him in the MCG change rooms, that he first met Jack Dyer. Dyer had appeared at the match on advice of Richmond under 19's coach Ray Jordon – and visited Bartlett in the rooms to tell him he will be okay. The following year for Bartlett (1964) involved rehabilitation, as he still experienced pain around his hip area.[7]

The "Kevin Bartlett Medal" is awarded each season to the player who finishes fifth in the Richmond Football Club's best and fairest count, with places one to four being the Jack Dyer, Jack Titus, Maurie Fleming, and Fred Swift Medals respectively.

Playing statistics[edit]

[8]
Legend
 G  Goals  K  Kicks  D  Disposals  T  Tackles
 B  Behinds  H  Handballs  M  Marks
Led the league for the season only
Led the league after finals only
Led the league after season and finals
Season Team No. Games Totals Averages (per game)
G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
1965 Richmond 29 14 13 15 183 21 204 17 N/A 0.9 1.1 13.1 1.5 14.6 1.2 N/A
1966 Richmond 29 14 19 17 222 9 231 23 N/A 1.4 1.2 15.9 0.6 16.5 1.6 N/A
1967 Richmond 29 20 38 35 415 32 447 42 N/A 1.9 1.8 20.8 1.6 22.4 2.1 N/A
1968 Richmond 29 20 38 53 481 32 513 48 N/A 1.9 2.7 24.1 1.6 25.7 2.4 N/A
1969 Richmond 29 22 30 43 547 47 594 79 N/A 1.4 2.0 24.9 2.1 27.0 3.6 N/A
1970 Richmond 29 22 34 32 569 30 599 79 N/A 1.5 1.5 25.9 1.4 27.2 3.6 N/A
1971 Richmond 29 24 53 46 512 41 553 59 N/A 2.2 1.9 21.3 1.7 23.0 2.5 N/A
1972 Richmond 29 21 34 35 441 21 462 48 N/A 1.6 1.7 21.0 1.0 22.0 2.3 N/A
1973 Richmond 29 23 31 40 634 38 672 44 N/A 1.3 1.7 27.6 1.7 29.2 1.9 N/A
1974 Richmond 29 22 47 50 607 40 647 48 N/A 2.1 2.3 27.6 1.8 29.4 2.2 N/A
1975 Richmond 29 23 42 50 465 70 535 37 N/A 1.8 2.2 21.1 3.2 24.3 1.7 N/A
1976 Richmond 29 22 27 31 512 63 575 72 N/A 1.2 1.4 23.3 2.9 26.1 3.3 N/A
1977 Richmond 29 23 55 33 585 80 665 111 N/A 2.4 1.4 25.4 3.5 28.9 4.8 N/A
1978 Richmond 29 22 44 39 474 70 544 83 N/A 2.0 1.9 21.5 3.2 24.7 3.8 N/A
1979 Richmond 29 22 36 43 447 79 526 66 N/A 1.6 2.0 20.3 3.6 23.9 3.0 N/A
1980 Richmond 29 25 84 67 415 59 474 61 N/A 3.4 2.7 16.6 2.4 19.0 2.4 N/A
1981 Richmond 29 22 58 48 313 47 360 61 N/A 2.6 2.2 14.2 2.1 16.4 2.8 N/A
1982 Richmond 29 23 58 56 266 48 314 53 N/A 2.5 2.4 11.6 2.1 13.7 2.3 N/A
1983 Richmond 29 19 37 44 205 31 236 55 N/A 1.9 2.3 10.8 1.6 12.4 2.9 N/A
Career 403 778 777 8293 858 9151 1086 N/A 1.9 1.9 20.6 2.1 22.8 2.7 N/A

Honours and achievements[edit]

Brownlow Medal votes
Season Votes
1965
1966
1967 4
1968 10
1969 14
1970 10
1971 1
1972 4
1973 8
1974 22
1975 4
1976 2
1977 45
1978 19
1979 5
1980 9
1981 3
1982
1983
Total 160
Key:
Green / Bold = Won

Coaching career[edit]

Bartlett was the Tigers' coach from 1988 to 1991. In the 1988 match against Hawthorn, after two Richmond players were felled, Bartlett was asked for a please explain by the VFL after comments he made.[9] Controversy surrounding his dismissal as coach left him estranged from the football club for many years. However, on 30 March 2007 he attended his first official club function since 1991.

Administrative career[edit]

Kevin Bartlett was a key member and public face of the AFL "Laws of the Game" or Rules Committee until 4 March 2014.[3][10] He was a selector of the Australian Football Hall of Fame from its inauguration in 1996 until his resignation in 2009,[11] and is a selector of the yearly All-Australian team.[12]

Media career[edit]

Bartlett joined Channel 7 in Melbourne immediately after his playing retirement, appearing regularly on World of Sport and hosting the Junior Supporters Club. In 1984, Bartlett was crowned King of Moomba.[13] He also wrote for the Sun News Pictorial. His media commitments were put on hold during his four-year stint as Richmond coach. He has great all-round interest in most sports, and is one of the few ex-Australian football players who has carved out a career commentating on all manner of sports. Since 2004, he has been a radio host on Melbourne's dedicated sports radio station, SEN – first with Hungry for Sport, a morning show playing on his nickname of "Hungry", and then with KB and the Doc in the afternoon with John "Dr Turf" Rothfield beginning in 2018. He also commentates Saturday and Sunday matches for SEN. He previously had hosted the breakfast program on Sport 927 until 2003. He commentated on cable-TV for Fox Footy and was the host of the popular nostalgia show Grumpy Old Men on Fox Footy until the channel's closure at the end of the 2006 season. He also did a Richmond-centric official alternate commentary for FOX's broadcast of Richmond vs. North Melbourne in June 2014 called "Press Red for Kev" in response to the "Press Red for Ed" Collingwood-centric alternate commentaries led by Eddie McGuire.[14]

On 13 September 2008, he appeared in a Toyota Memorable Moments advertisement. The advertisement includes Bartlett recreating his seven goals from the 1980 VFL Grand Final, as well as his famous 'comb-over' hair style, which comedian Dave Lawson recreates by shaving his own hair on camera. Geelong's Matthew Scarlett impersonated the haircut, at his 'Mad Monday' celebrations after the 2008 Grand Final.[15]

Bartlett and fellow Richmond legend Matthew Richardson were also featured on an official 2018 recording of We're From Tigerland.[16] In 2019, Bartlett departed SEN following a dispute with management. Following this he joined the 3AW football call team as a Sunday caller.

Return[edit]

Bartlett's refusal to return to any Richmond Football Club function, or an official club arrangement lasted from the end of 1991 until 2007. In 2007, he attended a Tommy Hafey Club Function – in support of his lifelong friend Tom Hafey and on 22 November 2007, walked into the Punt Road ground (Richmond's home ground) to launch the centenary publication Richmond F.C: A Century of League Football, which was written by his son Rhett. It was the first time KB had set foot into Punt Road since his sacking at the end of 1991.

Recognition[edit]

Bartlett was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1981,[17] and was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame and Richmond Hall of Fame in 1996 and 2002, respectively; he was promoted to "legend" status in the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2000 and to "immortal" status in the Richmond Hall of Fame in 2004. He was also named as part of Richmond's team of the century. He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2006.[18] On 22 March 2017, a statue of Bartlett was unveiled outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Bartlett married Denise Kilcullen, who was a talented runner as a youth, at St Paul's Anglican Church in Ascot Vale on 28 November 1970.[5] They have four children: three daughters – Sharna, Cara and Breanna – and one son, Rhett. All three of the Bartlett daughters starred in track and field during their school days.[20] Rhett is a writer, broadcaster, and historian of the Richmond Football Club, having released books about both his father and the club's history,[21][22] as well as curating the "Tigerland Archive" website.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Main (2006), p. 213
  2. ^ Main (2006), p. 213
  3. ^ a b Guthrie, Ben (4 March 2014). "Worsfold joins Laws of the Game committee". AFL. AFL. Archived from the original on 18 June 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Mike Sheahan's top 50 players". AFL.com.au. Australian Football League. 6 March 2008. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Trail of white roses and stephanotis". The Age (36, 050). 30 November 1970. p. 13.
  6. ^ Main (2006), p. 213
  7. ^ Bartlett, Rhett: Richmond F.C : A Century of League Football- 2008.
  8. ^ "Kevin Bartlett's player profile at AFL Tables". afltables.com. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Bartlett faces $2000 fine over remarks". The Canberra Times. 63 (19, 641). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 18 July 1989. p. 26. Retrieved 2 July 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ Denham, Greg (8 June 2012). "AFL's Leigh Matthews, Kevin Bartlett want interchange overhaul". The Australian. Archived from the original on 13 June 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  11. ^ Denham, Greg (7 July 2009). "Kevin Bartlett quits AFL Hall of Fame selection in protest". The Australian.
  12. ^ Landsberger, Sam (19 September 2012). "Kevin Bartlett won't back down from West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui's All-Australian selection". Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 9 July 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  13. ^ Craig Bellamy, Gordon Chisholm, Hilary Eriksen (17 Feb 2006) Moomba: A festival for the people.: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 August 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) PDF pp 17–22
  14. ^ "It's Tiger Time!" – AFL 360 on "Press Red for Kev" Archived 24 September 2020 at the Wayback Machine YouTube (originally broadcast by FOX)
  15. ^ "Blogger". Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
  16. ^ Tigers tune-up for Club song Archived 23 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine Richmond Football Club
  17. ^ "Kevin Charles Bartlett". It's An Honour. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  18. ^ "Kevin Bartlett". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 24 September 2020. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Kevin Bartlett". Melbourne Cricket Ground. Archived from the original on 22 March 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  20. ^ Sporting Life October 27, 2005 – KB's girl a star too Archived 3 October 2018 at the Wayback Machine Geoff McClure for The Age
  21. ^ Collins, Ben (11 February 2018). "Legendary Grand Final story shot down as myth". Richmond FC Official Site. Australian Football League. Archived from the original on 30 May 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  22. ^ Brown, Simon Leo (28 September 2017). "AFL grand final: The song behind Richmond Tigers theme Oh We're From Tigerland". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 30 May 2019. Speaking to writer and broadcaster Rhett Bartlett for the book Richmond FC...
  23. ^ Bartlett, Rhett; Ruddell, Trevor. "Richmond Football Club history (1885 - Now)". Tigerland Archive. Retrieved 30 May 2019.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 1971 Tiger Year Book – Richmond Football Club
  • Main, Jim (2006). When it matters most : the Norm Smith Medallist and best on ground in every Grand Final. Melbourne, Victoria: Bas Publishing. ISBN 1920910689.

External links[edit]