Today's Birthday 15/3

Callum Godde
Today's Birthday, March 15: AFL player and pioneer broadcaster Lou Richards (1923-2017)

Today's Birthday, March 15: Australian rules footballer and pioneer broadcaster Lou Richards (1923-2017).

Even in death AFL icon Lou Richards knew how to put on a show, beginning his state funeral with a beautiful rendition of club theme song Good Old Collingwood Forever.

The Australian rules cult legend, a true combination of football and entertainment celebrity, died last year aged 94.

Luminaries of the footy industry, sports media and politics gathered at St Paul's Cathedral in May to farewell 'Louie the Lip', the colourful post-war Collingwood captain who steered the AFL's biggest club to the 1953 VFL Premiership.

Born Lewis Thomas Charles Richards in 1923, the youngster was raised on the tough streets of Depression-era Collingwood, a Melbourne suburb known for its working-class roots.

He cut his teeth playing with Collingwood Technical School before joining the Magpies as an 18-year-old in 1940.

During his 250-game VFL career, Richards was twice runner-up in the club's best and fairest award and leading goalkicker on three occasions.

The close relative of father-son club captains Charles and Alby Pannam, Lou was named skipper in 1951 to continue the Pannam/Richards dynasty.

The stocky 170cm rover, who also booted 423 goals, then led the Pies to the 1953 flag, with his brother Ron claiming best afield honours as the club ended their 17-year drought.

Post-retirement he forged a hugely successful, 50-year career as the game's first multi-media megastar.

Most of his TV career was spent at the Seven Network, appearing alongside Richmond legend Jack Dyer and Geelong star Bob Davis on iconic programs League Teams and World of Sport.

Richards was also a renowned match-day commentator who coined monikers for a generation of footballers, including Hawthorn's "Lethal" Leigh Matthews, Collingwood's "Macedonian Marvel" in Peter Daicos and "The Flying Doormat" for Carlton backman Bruce Doull.

In print, his name was synonymous with The Sun newspaper's Kiss of Death column where no prediction was too bold.

After the demise of World of Sport, Richards moved to rival Nine Network and lent his sharp tongue and impeccable comedic timing to The Footy Show.

In 1996, Richards was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame but died disappointed at not being upgraded to Legend status.