Vale – Richie Powell
The Men of League Foundation is saddened to hear of the passing of Richie Powell, and offers its sincere condolences to Richie’s family and friends on his passing.
Born 17 January 1939 — Passed Away 20 August 2019
The long term South Sydney forward, Richie Powell, passed away today, 20 August, aged 80. Popular and easy-going, he was born in Waterloo and began playing junior football with the Waterloo Waratahs. He moved into grade with Souths in 1957, where had nine playing seasons with the club. Although he was still a club member, he did not play any football in 1959 and 1960, due to complications from a serious shoulder dislocation. He made his first-grade debut in 1958 and played 17 of the Rabbitohs 18 first grade games that year. His first top grade try came in round two at the old Sydney Sports Ground in Souths 16-7 win over the Roosters on 13 April 1958. When he finished in 1967, Richie had played 123 grade games (14 tries) with Souths, 98 in first grade (11 tries). In 1964, he won the Sun-Herald Player of the Season Award and tied for second place where two Immortals, Johnny Raper and Reg Gasnier, plus Parramatta’s Test forward, Ron Lynch and Balmain’s NSW second-rower, Ron Clothier. During his time at Souths, Richie had to compete for a first-grade position with players such as Jim Morgan, John Sattler and John O’Neill. During the 1960s, he represented City Seconds, while he was made a Life Member of South Sydney Rugby League Club in March 2004.
His uncle Jim Richards, was a well known Souths forward of the 1950s, who played in two Grand Final winning teams in 1953 and 1954. Dual Rugby League and Rugby Union international, Steve Knight, is Richie’s half brother (they have the same mother) and the two were very close.
“ Richie and I was a caring brother and a good friend, “ said Steve, “ and although he was nine years older than me, I really admired him from a young age. “ “ I had a quiet upbringing but I loved going down to the wharves with him when I was about 16 and loading heavy bags of produce. I used to struggle with one bag, but Richie had no trouble loading two at a time with a bag under each arm. “ “ He had a great sense of humour and laughed when he told you that he was born on the same day (17 January) as Muhammad Ali and Al Capone. “
There is a great photo taken in the 1960s at a South Sydney training night, of a scrum packing down. The front-rowers are Richie Powell and Jim Morgan, while the second rowers are Bob McCarthy and John Sattler. The hooker is former World Heavyweight champion (1952 to 1956), Rocky Marciano. For the last few years, Richie has lived on the Central Coast. When his funeral details are known, they will be posted on the website.
From left to right, Front, Richie Powell, Rocky Marciano, Jim Morgan Heads poking through Bob McCarthy, Johnny Sattler