Tom Richards was a Norwood premiership player and a first-class cricketer with South Australia. Tom and his younger twin brothers, Norman and Herbert, all contributed to Norwood's success by a fraction of a point in 1887 in the first of a hat-trick of premierships.
Tom was born at Norwood on 5 July 1855, the second son of William Richards and his wife Elizabeth, née Hughes. Tom was nearly 31 when he joined his talented brother Norman, who was 10 years younger, in the Norwood senior team in 1886. Tom kicked a good goal as Norwood defeated Port Adelaide, 5.13 to 2.3, at Kensington Oval on 5 June 1886. Norman, a stalwart defender, and Tom were both named in the best players.
Tom appears to have retired from football after the 1887 season. As a cricketer he enjoyed modest success in four matches with SA between 1880 and 1884. A right-handed batsman and right-arm bowler, he scored 40 runs in eight innings, with a top score of 24, and took one wickets for 83 runs with a best performance of 1/28.
Tom's wife Susan, born at Kanmantoo in 1860, was a daughter of Mount Barker pioneer Captain William Harper and his wife Elizabeth. Tom and Susan were married at Stepney in 1880 and they had five children, Percival, Alice, Gilbert, Kenneth and Edgar. Two of the sons were killed in action at Villers-Bretonneux in 1918 as World War I was drawing to a close. Private Kenneth Richards, 20, died on 25 April and Sergeant Gilbert Richards, 26, on 24 June.
Tom was 68 when he died on 14 December 1923 at Cottonville, now part of Westbourne Park. His widow lived to 1955, a grand old lady of 95
P Robins April 2019
* We thank David Richards, great great nephew of Tom Richards, for his input.