Peter Riccardi in action for the Cats in 2005

288 games, 286 goals, a place in the Geelong Hall of Fame, Italian Team of the Century and one incredible legacy, there is no doubt that Peter Riccardi is a legend of the Geelong Football Club.

In a stellar career that stretched over 15 seasons at Kardinia Park, Riccardi was a key figure throughout a pivotal period in Geelong history.

Featuring throughout most of the 1990’s, the Cats icon played in three grand finals and won a Carji Greeves medal in a brilliant decade.

But perhaps his biggest impact at the club came at the turn of the millennium, when Riccardi became a senior leader of the club helping to usher in a new era that would set up a Geelong dynasty.


Riccardi sat down with Cameron Ling in the latest ‘Legends of Kardinia Park’ episode discussing his outstanding career in the blue and white hoops.

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"I was blessed because I played with some ripping players,” Riccardi told Ling. 

“In 1990 I got the call up to play in the reserves, we were doing a bit of lane work and Gary Ablett Senior came in and kicked the footy to me and almost knocked me over with how hard he kicked it.

"I was thinking ‘oh my Lord,’ what an eye-opening experience. 

"In the 90's I played with the likes of Gary Sr, (Mark) Bairstow, (Paul) Couch, and then in the back end of my career I played with yourself (Ling), (Paul) Chapman, (Corey) Enright, (Joel) Corey, Ablett Jr and (Matthew) Scarlett.

"I was that lucky to play with so many greats of our football club, and it's a memory for life.”


Perhaps Riccardi’s most recognisable moment over his 288 game career was the famous shot after the siren, where he launched home a set shot from outside 50 to sink Carlton. 

The Cats were in control with a six goal lead at the final break, before Carlton stormed back to hit the front with less than 30 seconds on the clock. 

Riccardi recalled an amusing story about some of the Cats hierarchy in attendance, who missed his game winning shot after the final siren. 

"Bomber Thompson left the box, Frank Costa and Brian Cook both went downstairs because there were only 26 seconds to go when Carlton hit the front,” Riccardi said. 

“We didn't know how little time was left but they all went downstairs, then they hear the Geelong theme song and start wondering what's going on. 

"They missed the kick, but there would have been a few. If you were a Geelong supporter, we were a long way up and then all of a sudden, they get on a roll in that final quarter.

"We came off the field as happy as can be, but if we had of lost that game those rooms would have been a bad place after.” 


Riccardi was one of the few to play alongside both Gary Ablett Senior and Ablett Junior, two of the greatest players to ever grace the footy field. 

The Carji Greeves medallist played five years with Ablett Senior, before he retired in 1996. 

Just six years later, Ablett Junior arrived at the cattery in 2002 with Riccardi playing his final five seasons alongside Ablett the younger.

Riccardi spoke on the impact both had in the league and the privilege it was to play alongside two of the greatest players in AFL history. 

"I think Gary Junior was the better all-round player, but for bums on seats you can't go past watching Gary Senior,” Riccardi said. 

“I played with Senior for six or seven years and I got caught up watching him while I was out on the footy field, I was lucky enough to have a front-row seat really to his show.

"I didn't play with Junior when he was at his best, but I knew what he was capable of and I saw little snippets of what he was capable of over those first five or six years that I played with him.”