Vic Richardson was one of the most versatile sportsperson of all time    Getty Images
Vic Richardson was one of the most versatile sportsperson of all time Getty Images

Born September 7, 1894, Victor York Richardson, commonly known as Vic Richardson, is one of the most versatile sportsperson of all time. He professionally played more than five sports cricket and football being his biggest engagement. One of the most interesting players to have played the game, Richardson apart from being a cricketer was also involved working as a media person, author, serviceman, salesperson, commentator and many more. On his birth anniversary of the Australia-born talent warehouse, Paulami Chakraborty lists out facts which were hardly known about the player. READ: Vic Richardson: Former Australian captain, champion sporting all-rounder

1. Early life: Richardson was born in Adelaide to Valentine Yaxley Richardson who was an accountant as well as a house painter and decorator and a temperance union secretary and mother, Rebecca Mary. He studied in Kyre College.

2. Professional life: By profession, the player was a state public serviceman and took his time out on weekends, especially Saturdays, to participate in a number of sports.

3. Cricket career: Richardson made his debut in international cricket in 1924 against England, a delayed start at the age of 24 due the World War I. However, he had opted for cricket way earlier, starting to play in state level around 1919. In 1921, Richardson was selected in the second Australia team and went to New Zealand for the tour. Playing 19 Tests, he had 706 runs, including a century and a half-century. In First-Class cricket, Richardson scored as many as 10,727 runs at an average of 37.63 and hit 27 centuries and 47 half-centuries. He also had 8 wickets in First-Class cricket.

4. Cricket career as captain: He captained Australia against New Zealand in 1928, against South Africa in 1935-36. One of his most successful tenure as captain was the South Africa tour. Though his personal performance was not up to the mark, Australia won the series 4-0 and the margin of victories were remarkable. Jack Fingleton emerged as the highest scorer for Australia in the tour, with 478 runs from seven innings. The bowlers remained immensely successful with Clarrie Grimmett bagged 44 wickets while Bill O Reilly took 27. He was the Test vice-captain of the team in 1930 and from 1932 to 1933. He was termed the best captain to have played under, even better than Don Bradman by his contemporary Fingleton. He also captained the South Australia team.

5. Sledging, fight with the Don: Richardson did not have a very good relationship with Bradman, which his grandson Greg Chappell continued. The player, in his career, had many incidents where he was found sledging. He also had a popular brawl with India s Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi.

6. Fielding: He was a great fielder with great reflex. One of the popular dailies had went on to compare his act as one not possible as a human being. He held the world record of taking most catches (six) as a fielder, which was later broken by Greg Chappell who took seven catches.

7. Bodyline series: One of his most important appearances was during the Bodyline series as he was present in all the five Tests. One of the most talked about Ashes series of all time; it was a neck to neck fight between the arch-rivals. The player scored an attractive 83 opening the innings in the fourth Test at Brisbane.

8. Other sports: Around 1921, Richardson was actively associated with state-level baseball and district-level lacrosse.

9. Australian Rules football: He was also one of the most successful players of Australian Rules football. His career in the sport spanned from 1915 to 1929. However, his career was interrupted by World War I just like cricket. He captained Sturt and South Australia in the sport and was a centre-back player. He scored 23 goals playing in 114 games for Sturt and his contributions in football earned him one of the most prestigious award of the sport, the Magarey Medal, in 1920.

10. Brilliance in tennis: The player won the state title in tennis for South Australia.

11. Nickname: Australian Dictionary of Biography describes him as Almost six feet (183 cm) tall, erect and confident, with light blue eyes and thin moustache”, an appearance that earned him the nickname The Guardsman. He was also known as Yorker due to his middle-name.

12. A master of sports: Apart from cricket, football, baseball and lacrosse and tennis, the player was also involved in sports like gymnastics, swimming, tennis, golf (played in state-level) and basketball.

13. Stint as a commentator: After retiring from cricket, Richardson went on to become one of the most successful radio commentators of the game of his time. He paired up with Arthur Gilligan to take part in shows which were immensely popular.

14. Personal life, marriage and connection with Chappell brothers: Richardson married Vida Yvonne Knapman, with whom he had three daughters and a son. His grandchildren Ian Chappell, Greg Chappell and Trevor Chappell were prominent cricketers and represented the country. He later married Peggy Patricia Chandler, a widow and a nurse. They had no children.

15. Various professions after cricket: From time to time after he retired from active sports, he worked as salesman and representative. He later joined Volunteer Air Observers Corps and worked in Australia, Burma and India and also became a flight lieutenant.

16. An author: He co-authored a book, The Victor Richardson Story, with R. S. Whitington.

17. Awards: Post his stint as the President of the Country Carnival Cricket Association, Richardson was announced Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

18. Death: Ironically, he died in his home in Fullarton on October 30, 1969 while watching sports.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)