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AFL royalty farewell 'Louie the Lip'

Football

Triple Brownlow Medallist Bob Skilton is among the AFL royalty paying their respects at the state funeral of football and media personality Lou Richards.

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Past and present players, state dignitaries and Magpies fans filed into the service today marking the life of Collingwood’s legendary larrikin.

Skilton, 78, arrived on crutches and in the company of Collingwood’s 2010 premiership coach Mick Malthouse.

Long-time Collingwood president Eddie McGuire entered St Paul’s Cathedral flanked by his family before addressing the congregation of hundreds.

Richards captained Collingwood’s 1953 premiership side before becoming one of the AFL’s most beloved figures in print and television.

He died in a Melbourne nursing home last week aged 94.

Lou Richards in front of the statue unveiled at the Westpac Centre in his honour in 2014. Photo: Julian Smith / AAP

Other AFL notables included league chief Gillon McLachlan, 1958 Brownlow Medallist Neil Roberts and the current Magpies playing list.

Richards’ long career in the media hasn’t been forgotten with his Channel Nine colleagues Garry Lyon, Billy Brownless and Tony Jones in attendance.

The Victorian government was represented by Deputy Premier James Merlino while Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton and Senator Derryn Hinch were also seen entering the cathedral.

Parts of Flinders Street and Swanston Street have been closed and the cathedral barricaded to accommodate the arrival of hundreds of attendees.

Hundreds more gathered in nearby Federation Square to view a public screening of the funeral.

“Lou Richards was a big part of my life… I always looked forward to grabbing the paper to see what stupid things he’d written,” said Collingwood fan Geoff Edwards, a black and white scarf draped over his shoulders.

-AAP

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