A prominent Vancouver barrister, Richardson was born in England, earned his law degree at the University of Edinburgh, and had his own law office in Vancouver for 27 years. He played soccer in Vancouver, after arriving in 1919, for Riverview Juniors of the Junior Alliance Football League and maintained a lifelong interest in developing soccer at the junior level, later serving on the council of the British Columbia Junior Football Association and as Chairman of the Junior and Juvenile Committee of the Dominion of Canada Football Association. In 1930 he was elected Secretary of the B.C. Football Association for a one year term, and when the Commission was formed in 1933 quickly became its spokesman. He used this position to help fix a very broken soccer landscape in B.C. He remained Secretary of the Commission until his death in October 1952. Along the way he handled many troublesome situations, including the desire of the powerful Pacific Coast League to seek affiliation directly with the national body. He also handled the tours of the Scottish F.A. teams to B.C. in 1935 and 1939, and Charlton Athletic and Islington Corinthians in 1937 and 1938, respectively. He remained at the helm and guided B.C. soccer through the difficult years of World War Two, and was thought of by some as a "benevolent dictator." In 1948 he became a member of the council of the DCFA and was immediately made Chairman of the Constitution Committee, a position he held until his death. John Richardson was inducted posthumously into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1966.