Ron Todd (footballer)
|Full name||Ronald Walford Todd|
|Date of birth||23 October 1916|
|Date of death||8 February 1991(aged 74)|
|Original team(s)||Victorian Railways|
|Height / weight||187 cm / 82 kg|
|1935–1939||Collingwood (VFL)||76 (327)|
|1940–1949||Williamstown (VFA)||141 (672)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1949.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Ronald Walford Todd (23 October 1916 – 8 February 1991) 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.
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. 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.
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. Todd actually signed not with the club but with Williamstown Vice President, William John (Bill) Dooley; his wage at Williamstown was £500 flat plus £5 per game on a three-year contract. 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, and when the Victorian Football Association (VFA) went into recess in 1942 Todd joined the air force. 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.
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, 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. In all, his career at Collingwood and Williamstown produced 999 goals from 217 games.
After his retirement from the game, 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.
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 and averaging 33.6 with the bat.
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.
- "How a Magpie great lost his place in team of the century". The Age. Melbourne.
- Atkinson, p. 115.
- See The Age, 22 April 1940
- Williamstown Football Club via Bill Dooley, son of former Vice President and President William John (Bill) Dooley.
- Fiddian, Marc (2003), Seagulls over Williamstown, Williamstown, VIC: Williamstown Football Club, p. 61
- "Suspensions remain on Todd and Fothergill". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. 15 May 1943. p. 9.
- Ron Todd profile
- "The Age May 16 1951". The Age. Melbourne.
- "Ron Todd, a Batsman of Promise". The Sporting Globe. Melbourne, VIC. 2 November 1938. p. 9.
- "VCA 1st XI Career records 1889-90 to 2014-15, S-Z" (PDF). Cricket Victoria. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- The Age, 14 November 2007
- Grant, Trevor (26 March 2013). "How a Magpie great lost his place in team of the century". The Age. Melbourne.
- 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.