Tiger great Richo nearly an AFL Blue

As far as one-club men go, there aren’t many as rusted-on as Richmond great Matthew Richardson.

But the Tigers legend has revealed he entertained a mid-career switch to fierce AFL rivals Carlton.

Speaking on Melbourne radio station 3AW, the 13-time Richmond leading goalkicker said he arrived at a crossroads in his career after the 2003 season.

Both player and club were in a rut, leading Richardson to consider the unthinkable.

“There was one point in my career where I thought maybe I needed a change … I think the club was probably toying with the idea as well,” he said.

“I had two pretty average years in 2002 and 2003.

“At that point in time I actually spoke to Peter Schwab at the time when he was at Hawthorn.

“I went around to Denis Pagan’s house in Moonee Ponds and had a cup of tea with Denis and his wife made us some scones.”

At the Carlton coach’s residence, the three-time All Australian got a glimpse of Pagan’s plans for the full-forward.

“He did pull out a whiteboard and it had all the magnets on it, all the Carlton names,” he said.

“Every single magnet was pushed up outside the 50. And there was one name inside the 50. It was Richardson.

“He looked at me. And he looked at the magnet. And then he goes, ‘we’re going to give you some space, son’.”

Ultimately, the Richmond and Tasmanian team of the century member made a decision to stay.

“I went to see him because of the interest he showed and the respect I had for him as a coach,” he said.

“I was out of contract at the end of the season (but) it never really went anywhere.

“My heart was at Richmond.”

Richardson would go on for another six seasons at Punt Road, including his storied 2008 campaign playing as a wingman where he finished two votes short of a Brownlow Medal.

He would finish his career with 800 goals, remaining the MCG’s greatest goalkicker with 464 majors at the ground.

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