Ron Todd (footballer)

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Ron Todd
Ron Todd.jpg
Personal information
Full name Ronald Walford Todd
Date of birth 23 October 1916
Date of death 8 February 1991(1991-02-08) (aged 74)
Original team(s) Victorian Railways
Height 187 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 82 kg (181 lb)
Position(s) Forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1935–1939 Collingwood (VFL) 76 (327)
1940–1941, 1945-1949 Williamstown (VFA) 141 (672)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
Victoria 5 (28)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1949.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

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 in finals, and 672 goals for Williamstown at 4.76 goals per game.

VFL career[edit]

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 fewest games required to reach the milestone.

VFA career[edit]

Todd's VFL career ended when he signed up to play under throw-pass rules with VFA club Williamstown just before the 1940 season kicked off.[4] Todd actually signed not with the club but with Williamstown Vice President, William John (Bill) Dooley;[5] his wage at Williamstown was £500 flat plus £5 per game on a three-year contract.[6] 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 three-year VFL ban due to his crossing without a clearance made any return to the Magpies during the war impossible.[7]

When the VFA resumed competition in 1945, Todd moved to full-forward and kicked a record 188 goals for the season which still stands today,[8] including 20 goals in a game against Oakleigh.

In 1945, Todd also kicked 57 goals for an RAAF team in Sunday competition during the season, and after the VFA season finished, kicked nine goals for the RAAF in a match against a North Tasmania team and 16 goals for a combined Williamstown/Coburg team on a two match tour of Broken Hill, bringing his overall total for the year to 270 goals from 41 games.[9]

At Williamstown, Todd played 141 games for 672 goals, in the process playing in premiership sides in 1945 and 1949. In all, he played 217 games at Collingwood and Williamstown and kicked 999 goals. If his matches for Victoria, his 1942-1945 RAAF games and three tour games (the third was in Tasmania in 1946) are considered, then he played 274 matches and kicked 1238 goals in his overall career.

After his retirement, Todd moved into business in 1951 by purchasing the Hotel Pacific in Lorne. He later moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland, and died in 1991.[10]

During his career, Todd was also a proficient district cricketer for Northcote during the summers, playing 117 first XI games over twelve seasons, taking 204 wickets with his leg breaks[11] and averaging 33.6 with the bat.[12]

In 1997, he was initially selected in the Collingwood Team of the Century, but was removed when one of the selectors, John McHale, son of legendary Collingwood coach Jock, objected to his inclusion in the ceremonial team.[13] In 2017, he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.[14]

In 2007, Todd was back in the news when Carlton centre-half back Bert Deacon's 1947 Brownlow Medal was found in his old shop.[15]

In 2011 Todd was posthumously inducted into the Collingwood Hall of Fame, and he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2017.


  1. ^ "How a Magpie great lost his place in team of the century". The Age. Melbourne. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Atkinson, p. 115.
  4. ^ See The Age, 22 April 1940
  5. ^ a b c Williamstown Football Club via Bill Dooley, son of former Vice President and President William John (Bill) Dooley.
  6. ^ Fiddian, Marc (2003), Seagulls over Williamstown, Williamstown, VIC: Williamstown Football Club, p. 61 
  7. ^ "Suspensions remain on Todd and Fothergill". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. 15 May 1943. p. 9. 
  8. ^ Ron Todd at
  9. ^ Details of Todd's 1945 season
  10. ^ "The Age May 16 1951". The Age. Melbourne. 
  11. ^ "Ron Todd, a Batsman of Promise". The Sporting Globe. Melbourne, VIC. 2 November 1938. p. 9. 
  12. ^ "VCA 1st XI Career records 1889-90 to 2014-15, S-Z" (PDF). Cricket Victoria. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  13. ^ Grant, Trevor (26 March 2013). "How a Magpie great lost his place in team of the century". The Age. Melbourne. 
  14. ^ Ben Collins (20 June 2017). "2017 Hall of Fame: The offer Magpie superstar Ron Todd couldn't refuse". Australian Football League. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  15. ^ The Age, 14 November 2007

External links[edit]


  • 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.