Saturday, June 21, 2014

World Cup '74 Portrait #87 (Ray Richards: Australia)

graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour pencil/30x21cm

The latest subject to be randomly-chosen (in the manner of opening a packet of stickers) depicts Ray Richards, whose profile was obviously such that he was included within not only the FKS ‘Wonderful World of Soccer Stars World Cup 1974’ sticker album (where each of the qualifying nations featured a compliment of 16 player portraits, except the undecided-at-the-time-of publication play-off rivals subsequently-successful Yugoslavia & also Spain, who each had 15), but also amongst the reduced six-man Australia cohort to be represented by Panini’s ’München 74’ (which gave shorter shrift to the ‘minnows’ of Asia, Africa, & North & Central America than the ‘traditional’ footballing European & South American countries).

Richards was selected for the Australian squad for the Finals & went on to appear in all three of the Socceroos’ matches in the tournament, although he failed to see out the last of these, against Chile where Australia earned their only point with a goalless draw, being sent off, eventually, after earning a total of three yellow cards (when two would suffice): none of this impinged upon my consciousness at the time of my televisual experience of the ’74 World Cup, the particular player’s presence, like that of the great majority, only emerging ‘hauntologically’ via the items of memorabilia & subsequent research.

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