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Ron Willey - 1956 to 1962

Discussion in 'Ex-Player Profiles' started by The Wheel, Jun 30, 2005.

By The Wheel on Jun 30, 2005 at 5:00 AM
  1. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

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    Ron Willey - 1956 to 1962

    Originally a Canterbury junior, Ron Willey made the fullback position his own during his distinguished playing career. He was probably the first in line of the great Manly fullbacks and was followed by Bob Batty, Graham Eadie, Matthew Ridge and maybe one day Brett Stewart.

    After 80 games for the Berries he came to Manly in 1956. A shocking knee injury in 1953 almost ended his career but after year out of the game recovering he took up a captain/coach role in Rockhampton in 1955. Willey represented

    Ron Willey - 1956 to 1962

    Originally a Canterbury junior, Ron Willey made the fullback position his own during his distinguished playing career. He was probably the first in line of the great Manly fullbacks and was followed by Bob Batty, Graham Eadie, Matthew Ridge and maybe one day Brett Stewart.

    After 80 games for the Berries he came to Manly in 1956. A shocking knee injury in 1953 almost ended his career but after year out of the game recovering he took up a captain/coach role in Rockhampton in 1955. Willey represented Queensland that year before becoming a prolific point scorer with the Sea Eagles the following year.

    Although I did not see him during his playing days, Willey was the back up to future immortal Clive Churchill throughout the 1950s that is testament alone to his playing ability.

    Ron played 124 games for Manly scoring an incredible 958 points, 20 tries, 447 goals and 2 field goals, a record that was not broken until Graham Eadie bettered it in the late 1970s.

    He captained the Sea Eagles on and off during his career and played in the losing Grand Final sides on 1957 and 1959. In his final year at the club he was captain/coach before finishing his playing career at Parramatta in 1963.

    However it was Ron Willeys coaching career that saw him reach the pinnacle of Rugby League.

    He will always be remembered as the man who coached Manly to their first premiership wins in 1972/73 and along with Ken Arthurson built a feared team that dominated the Sydney Premiership in the 1970s.

    Willey had a controversial coaching career, he was known to adopt strong armed tactics against opponents and his teams he coached where renowned exponents of the Biff.

    During his coaching career at the Sea Eagles he exploited the lenient refereeing and judiciary process on the era by using firebrand forwards like John ONeill, Malcolm Reilly and Terry Randall to great effect. Opposition sides could expect to go home bloodied and bruised from Brookvale Oval.

    He also had successful coaching stints at Balmain, Norths, Souths & Penrith where he sides regularly made the finals after he left Manly. But a career highlight would have to have been the 1986 State of Origin series when he was the first person to coach NSW to a clean sweep.

    Ron passed away in 2004 after a long battle with Alzheimers disease but he will never be forgotten by the Brookvale faithful as he was the first person to lead the club to premiership glory.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015

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Discussion in 'Ex-Player Profiles' started by The Wheel, Jun 30, 2005.

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