|Date of birth||14 January 1977|
|Original team(s)||Melbourne University Blues (VAFA)|
|Debut||Round 17, 25 July 1998, Hawthorn
vs. Port Adelaide, at Football Park
|Height||178 cm (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||87 kg (192 lb)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2007.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Richard "Richie" Vandenberg (born 14 January 1977) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for the Hawthorn Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He was the captain of the Hawks for the final three years of his career, 2005–2007.
Vandenberg is of Dutch descent. Growing up near Wentworth, New South Wales, a small town near Mildura just on the northern side of the Murray River in far western New South Wales, he played junior football for the local club. He moved to Melbourne to study at the University of Melbourne in 1995, playing with the University Blues where he attracted the attention of Hawthorn recruiters.
He was selected with pick 78 in the 1997 AFL Draft.
Vandenberg had his best seasons in 2000 and 2001. Vandenberg was a solidly built player with a reputation for aggressive play, fronting the AFL Tribunal on many occasions (his most recent being a four-week suspension in 2006). In 2004 he was involved in the 'Line in the Sand' incident, when former AFL star Dermott Brereton allegedly told the players to make a physical stand. As a result, he was suspended for six games.
He was made captain when Shane Crawford stepped down at the end of the 2004 season. New coach Alistair Clarkson chose Vandenberg because he was a man who was "very forthright, honest and has great integrity" qualities his teammates admired.
He struggled to recapture his best form, but in 2006 fitted into his new role more solidy. His 2007 season was marred by injuries. Vandenberg retired at the end of the 2007 season after leading the Hawks to their most successful campaign since 2001.
Post football career
Richie completed his Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University of Technology. He has a long association in the wine industry as a grower through his family enterprise. He is currently the CEO of a LCW Corp, a grape and wine producing company. In 2016 he was appointed to the Hawthorn board to fill the casual vacancy following Andrew Newbold's resignation.
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