Ron Todd (footballer)

Ronald Walford Todd (23 October 1916 – 8 February 1991)[1][2] was an Australian rules footballer who played with Collingwood in the Victorian Football League (VFL) in the 1930s, and with Williamstown in the Victorian Football Association (VFA) in the 1940s. Todd was an acrobatic and pacy forward, possessing a strong overhead mark. He kicked 327 goals for Collingwood at an average of 4.30 goals per game, 55 of them came in finals football, and 672 goals for Williamstown at 4.76 goals per game.

VFL career

Todd debuted for Collingwood in 1935 and joined Gordon Coventry in the forward line. For his first three seasons Todd played at centre half forward but moved into the goalsquare when Coventry retired at the end of 1937. He had an immediate impact, kicking 102 goals in the 1938 home and away season before adding 18 more in the finals. In a game during that season against Carlton Todd kicked 11.5 yet ended up on the losing team. In another game, against Richmond, Todd kicked 7 goals and 12 points, as well as kicking out of bounds on the full five times.[3] His season tally was the highest in the league and Todd again topped the league in 1939 VFL season, this time finishing with 121 goals.

His 1939 finals total of 23 goals was not bettered until Gary Ablett kicked 27 in the 1989 series. In the last home-and-away round against Richmond Todd brought up his 300th career goal, his 73 games equalled Bob Pratt's record for least games required to reach the milestone.

VFA career

Todd's VFL career ended when he signed up with Williamstown just before the 1940 season kicked off.[4] Todd actually signing not with the club but with bookmaker George Dooley who offered him about ten times more than he earned with Collingwood.[5] Williamstown had sold membership tickets on the basis of the attraction of having Todd and Harry Vallence in the same side. Todd played at centre-half forward in his first season with Williamstown and booted 99 goals,[5] and when the Victorian Football Association (VFA) went into recess in 1942 Todd joined the air force.[5] Despite an interest in returning to Collingwood (whose fortunes had declined abruptly since Todd left) when he spent some time in Melbourne on leave, a five-year VFL ban due to his crossing without a clearance made any future return to the Magpies unlikely.[6]

When the VFA resumed competition in 1945, Todd moved to full-forward. He kicked a VFA-record 188 goals in the 1945 season, which still stands today,[7] and scored twenty in one match against Oakleigh. Altogether for Williamstown, Todd played 141 matches for 672 goals, in the process playing in premiership sides in 1945 and 1949, by which time he was captain-coach.

After his retirement from the game, Todd moved into business and for many years operated a sports store until his death in 1991.[8]

In the 2000s, Todd was back into the news when Carlton centre-half back Bert Deacon's 1947 Brownlow Medal was found in his old shop.[9]

In 2011 Todd was posthumously inducted into the Collingwood Hall of Fame. In 1997 he was initially selected in the Collingwood Team of the Century, but was removed when one of the selectors, John McHale, the son of legendary Collingwood coach Jock McHale, objected to his inclusion in the ceremonial team.[10]


External links

  • Ron Todd's statistics from AFL Tables
  • Ron Todd's 188 Goals in a Season from BoylesFootballPhotos


  • Atkinson, G. (1982) Everything you ever wanted to know about Australian rules football but couldn't be bothered asking, The Five Mile Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0 86788 009 0.

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