Ron Willey

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Career Stats & Summary

Biography

While he came up through the C’bury juniors (Belmore) as a halfback and made his first grade debut in the centres Ron Willey made the fullback position his own during a distinguished playing career. At only 21 years of age, he was appointed caretaker coach of the C’bury club when Vic Bulgin retired midway through the 1950 season. In 1951 he played for NSW Colts against France and was chosen as understudy to Clive Churchill on the 1952-53 Kangaroo Tour. Willey did not play in a Test on tour (17 games - 5t, 63g, 141pts) and the spectre of Churchill would thwart his selection for NSW and more importantly, Australia, during the 1950s. He suffered a terrible knee injury in 1953 that should have ended his career but he recovered after a year's convalescence to captain-coach Rockhampton in 1955. Willey represented Queensland that year before becoming a prolific point-scorer with Manly. He captained the club on and off during 1957-60, playing in the club's grand final losses in 1957 and 1959, and was captain-coach in 1962. Willey was the top point-scorer for the Manly club until Graeme Eadie eclipsed his records in the 1970s. After playing a handful of games for P’matta before retiring (including P’matta’s win over South Africa in 1963), Willey went on to have both a successful and controversial coaching career. Despite winning premierships with Manly in 1972-73 (the club's first titles), he was criticised for his strong-arm tactics with Balmain in the late 1970s. After achieving semi-final success with Norths in 1982, he was sacked for his defence-orientated methods. Willey took Souths to the semi-finals in the mid-1980s and coached NSW to an historic clean-sweep in 1986’s State of Origin series. In his two seasons with Penrith brought mixed success but he parted company with the club after several controversial team selections in the 1989 semi-final series. His last stint as coach, with English club Bradford Northern (1989-90) also resulted in his sacking.

- ALAN WHITICKER

Career Statistics

All statistics shown in this section are based only on data available in the RLP database, and are not necessarily a complete and/or 100% accurate representation of a player's career. This information should be used as a guide only. If you see a question mark (?), it denotes that the figure is not available.

To view a list of corresponding matches, click on the Match list icon.

Representative

Australia - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
QLD Firsts 1955 2 - 10   - 20 2 0 0 100.00% Match list
NSW Firsts 1956 2 - 12   - 24 1 1 0 50.00% Match list
NSW City Firsts 1956 1 - 7   - 14 1 0 0 100.00% Match list
Overall 1955-1956 5 0 29   0 58 4 1 0 80.00% Match list


Club Career

Australian League Matches - By Year

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Canterbury NSWRFL 1948 ? - 2   - 4  
Canterbury NSWRFL 1949 ? 2 7   - 20  
Canterbury NSWRFL 1950 ? 3 47   - 103  
Canterbury NSWRFL 1951 ? - 45   - 90  
Canterbury NSWRFL 1952 ? - 24   - 48  
Canterbury NSWRFL 1953 ? - 11   - 22  
Manly Warringah NSWRFL 1956 ? 2 76   - 158  
Manly Warringah NSWRFL 1957 ? 4 72   - 156  
Manly Warringah NSWRFL 1958 ? 4 68   - 148  
Manly Warringah NSWRFL 1959 ? 2 73   - 152  
Manly Warringah NSWRFL 1960 ? 2 53   - 112  
Manly Warringah NSWRFL 1961 ? 5 56   - 127  
Manly Warringah NSWRFL 1962 ? 1 51   - 105  
Parramatta NSWRFL 1963 ? 1 15   - 33  
Parramatta NSWRFL 1964 ? - 5   - 10  
Overall 1948-1964 ? 26 605   0 1,288 ? ? ? ?  

Australian League Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Canterbury 1948-53 ? 5 136   - 287 ? ? ? ?  
Manly Warringah 1956-62 ? 20 449   - 958 ? ? ? ?  
Parramatta 1963-64 ? 1 20   - 43 ? ? ? ?  
Overall 1948-1964 ? 26 605   0 1,288 ? ? ? ?  

All Australian Club Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Canterbury 1948-53 ? 5 136   - 287 ? ? ? ?  
Manly Warringah 1956-62 ? 20 449   - 958 ? ? ? ?  
Manly Warringah 1957-59, 1961 8 13 257   - 553 3 5 0 37.50% Match list
Parramatta 1963-64 ? 1 20   - 43 ? ? ? ?  
Overall 1948-1964 ? 26 605   0 1,288 ? ? ? ?  

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Last modified: Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:47:25 +1000 (Sydney time)