Ron Willey

Ron Willey

Rugby League Biography
Rugby League Biography Less

Ron Willey

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Ron Willey (1929–2004) was an Australian rugby league footballer and coach. He was a representative for the Australian national side. Post-playing, Willey had a long and successful first grade and State representative coaching career.

Playing career

Club career

Born in Canterbury, New South Wales in 1929, Willey was graded by the Canterbury Bulldogs as fullback in 1948 and was the regular first-grade fullback and goal-kicker from 1949 to 1953. In 1951 he was appointed captain for four games at the age of 21. He held the record as the youngest Bulldogs captain until Braith Anasta in 2002.

He joined Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in 1956 and played a total of 124 games over seven seasons for the club including their unsuccessful 1957 and 1959 Grand Final attempts. In his last season as a player at Manly in 1962, he was captain-coach. He held a record for the most points scored at Manly until overtaken by Graeme Eadie in the 1970s.

Willey joined the Parramatta Eels in 1963 but only played seven games before retiring in 1964.

Representative career

A player of immense talent, Willey played in an era where Clive Churchill was the incumbent representative fullback, denying Willey many selection opportunities. He became the first Canterbury local 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...
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