Ritchie Thomas

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Ritchie Thomas
Personal information
Full name Richard John Harold Thomas
Date of birth (1915-07-13)13 July 1915
Place of birth Mount Lawley, Western Australia
Date of death 30 July 1988(1988-07-30) (aged 73)
Place of death Perth, Western Australia
Height / weight 178 cm / 83 kg
Position(s) Back pocket
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1933–48 East Perth 207 (2)
1941 Essendon 4 (0)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1939–46 Western Australia 4 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1948.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Richard John Harold "Ritchie" Thomas (13 July 1915 – 30 July 1988) was an Australian rules footballer who played with East Perth in the Western Australian National Football League and for Essendon in the Victorian Football League (VFL).[1]

Thomas was the son of William 'Digger' Thomas, the 1923 Sandover Medalist who also played with East Perth.[2]

He played his football across half back and was on a flank in East Perth's 1936 premiership side. The defender shared the "Best and Fairest" award at East Perth in 1939 and then won it outright in 1940.[3]

Thomas enlisted in the Australian Army in early 1941, and served with the 13 Field Company during World War II.[4] Having been sent to Victoria to attend a physical training course at an army school in Frankston, Thomas made four appearances for Essendon, all of which the club won, including a semi-final against Richmond.[5] He missed out on participating any deeper in the finals series as he had to return home.[6] Essendon went on to make the 1941 VFL Grand Final, but lost to Carlton. Thomas was subsequently stationed in Darwin, and was a member of a West Australian team that defeated a combined South Australia–Victoria side in 1942. After eighteen months in Darwin, Thomas was posted to New Britain (in present-day Papua New Guinea). Having spent three months there, he was sent to a military school Sydney to complete physical training. While in Sydney, Thomas took up football with the Eastern Suburbs Australian Football Club (later the UNSW-Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs), playing with a number of other interstate footballers on military service.[7]

He resumed playing with East Perth after the war and represented Western Australia in two interstate matches against South Australia in 1946. This brought his interstate tally to four, having played twice against Victoria before the war.


  1. ^ Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2007). The Encyclopedia Of AFL Footballers. BAS Publishing. ISBN 978-1-920910-78-5. 
  2. ^ Full Points Footy: Richard Thomas (East Perth & Essendon)
  3. ^ Essendon Official Website: Thomas, Richard J. H.
  4. ^ WW2 Nominal Roll: Thomas, Richard John Harold
  5. ^ AFL Tables: Richie Thomas
  6. ^ The Argus, "Thomas To Return To W A", 2 September 1941, p. 8
  7. ^ RITCHIE THOMAS'S TRAVELSThe Western Mail. Published 13 July 1945. Retrieved from Trove, 18 August 2012.