Ron Willey

Player # 146
Position Fullback, Centre
DOB 20th Nov 1929
Debut 1948: Round 7 vs Newtown
Other Clubs Manly, Parramatta
Rep NSW Res(3), QLD Res(2)

Ron Willey joined Canterbury in 1948 as a fullback.

Ron progressed through the grades quickly to become the regular first grade fullback for the next six seasons.

A player of immense talent, Ron played in an era where Clive Churchill was the best fullback in the game and therefore, denying Ron many representative opportunities.

In 1951, Ron was appointed captain for four games at the age of 21. The only younger captain for the club has been Braith Anasta in 2002. Ron captained a total of five games for the club.

Ron became the first Canterbury local to become an international when he was selected on the 1952-53 Kangaroo tour.

After missing most of 1953 and the entire 1954 season through a serious knee injury, Ron returned to the game as captain-coach of Rockhampton and represented Queensland.

Ron joined Manly in 1956 to play a total of 124 games for the club including the 1957 and 1959 Grand Finals.

In 1956, Ron played two games for NSW. In his last season as a player at Manly in 1962, Ron was captain-coach.

He held the record for the most points scored at Manly which was broken in the 1970's by Graeme Eadie.

Ron joined Parramatta in 1963 and 1964 but only played seven games before retiring.

Ron returned Manly as first grade coach in 1970, taking the team to three Grand Finals including premierships in 1972 and 1973.

Ron also coached Balmain, North Sydney, South Sydney and Penrith. He coached for a total of 17 seasons for 403 matches.

Ron is 6th on the all-time coaching list. He also coached NSW in 1986-87.

Ron passed away in 2004 aged 75.

In 2004, Ron was nominated for the Berries to Bulldogs 70 Year Team of Champions.

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Year Games Tries Goals F Goals Points
1948 8 0 2 0 4
1949 18 2 7 0 20
1950 17 3 47 0 103
1951 14 0 45 0 90
1952 10 0 23 1 48
1953 3 0 11 0 22
Total: 70 5 135 1 287