'That's an insult': Eddie McGuire lashes out over Collingwood 'snub'

Chris Young
Sports Reporter
Eddie McGuire has taken a swipe at the AFL over their 2017 decision against making Collingwood great Lou Richards a Hall of Fame Legend. Picture: Channel 9/Footy Classified

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has taken a swipe at the AFL and cheekily threatened to stop playing games at the MCG over club legend Lou Richards’ Hall of Fame ‘legend’ snub.

Richards, a Magpies great who captained the club, played 250 games and won a premiership before an iconic career in the media, has never gained ‘legend’ status and was instead given the AFL’s first Lifetime Achievement award.

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He was deemed ‘ineligible’ for Legend status by the Hall of Fame selection committee, which only considers achievements as a player or coach for the honour.

Asked on Footy Classified if Richards’ omission was a mistake, McGuire was unequivocal.

“Totally,” he replied. “Lou Richards is a legend.”

“They came up with a new category, Lou hated it. We put a statue out the front.

“As far as Collingwood is concerned, we were completely snubbed for the team of the century, which was an insult and we've not forgotten that and we haven't forgotten Lou Richards either.

“And I'll tell you what else, the MCG better get a Jock McHale statue up or else we might even pull out of playing there.”

Eddie McGuire still fuming over Lou Richards snub

A high-profile campaign emerged in 2017 to have Richards, who died in 2008, aged 97, given Legend status in the Hall of Fame, which was ultimately unsuccessful.

At the time, former AFL boss Ross Oakley, who oversaw the league’s expansion from the VFL in the mid 1980s to the AFL in the 1990s, said the selection panel had agreed Richards didn’t qualify the honour.

“A legend status is either playing or coaching and those who have sat on the selection panel over the years have obviously all agreed,” he said in 2017.

“Unfortunately he doesn't meet that criteria.

Lou Richards celebrates his 80th birthday during the Wizard Cup Grand Final between the Collingwood Magpies and the Adelaide Crows at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne on March 15, 2003. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

“It doesn't diminish in any way our recognition of him or our understanding of how important he was to the game over many years.

“To be handed the first Lifetime Achievement Award, it was an award that selection panel through very appropriate and was very well received.”

While it’s fair to say McGuire is still at odds with this line of thinking, the Magpies president did offer his tip for the next Legend - Hawthorn’s Jason Dunstall.