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Richardson family earn dream match in Bundaberg

It is not everyday that a father gets to play a senior rugby league game with one of his sons, let alone four of his sons.

But, with the help of Past Brothers Bundaberg and Pine Rivers Bears, that dream became a reality for the Richardson family on Saturday, July 2, when Dave Richardson ran out for Past Brothers reserve grade with his sons Mitchell, Colby, Will and Chandler in tow.

Colby had to get a one-match release from his Pine Rivers A Grade side in the Brisbane Rugby League to make it happen.

It was something the family had been talking about for more than a year, but they had to wait until the youngest, Chandler, turned 17 and was eligible for the senior grades.

The three older sons played with Dave last year, but Colby said to have all four of them this year - with the game dubbed "Richo Round" - meant a lot more.

The Richardson family.
The Richardson family.

“It was pretty surreal,” Colby said.

“You don’t really realise it in the game, but afterwards you think that it’s a one time thing … it won’t happen again and it’s something we’ll all remember for a long time.

“Dad’s the one who got us all into (rugby league). He played a lot when he was younger. He’s always been very supportive and gives me tips here and there.”

Initially Colby had sought the release in line with a BRL bye round, but then the Bears had a washed-out match rescheduled to that weekend.

However, they still agreed to let him go for the single match, which the Richardson family were extremely grateful for.

Colby said growing up he always wanted to play with his dad and older brother in a seniors match, having played the game since he was 11, but then as he reached the end of his school years, he earned a contract with the Redcliffe Dolphins.

He moved to Brisbane and it was unclear if he’d ever get that opportunity to play with his dad and siblings.

There’s only four years between the brothers – Mitchell, the oldest, is 22 and Chandler will turn 18 later this year.

Colby, 20, said the closeness in age has contributed to their tight bonds

“It was pretty full on growing up because we’re all four years apart in total,” Colby said.

“It was pretty hectic, but we did everything together growing up.”

Mum Megan Richardson said she remembered them all discussing the opportunity to play together last year and that her husband, who is now 41, was going to step away from footy, but went another year for Chandler.

“The goal started at the beginning of last year but with Chandler being underage, we couldn’t do it,” Megan said.

“Since this time last year they’ve been planning it and getting it ready.

“I was just so proud to see it. I’m so proud of how brotherly they all are and how close our family is and in the moment you could see the whole thing. I’m grateful they want to play together and be together.

“Dave only played this year so he could do this. He says it’s his final year. But he went one more year so he could do it with all of them.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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