13 May 1955 (age 67)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 76d
Last game: 29y 132d
Height and weight
Height: 191 cm
Weight: 87 kg
Drew Petrie (Nephew)
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 8,601st player to appear, 1,150th most games played, 2,398th most goals kickedEssendon: 808th player to appear, 72nd most games played, 243rd most goals kickedCollingwood: 851st player to appear, 838th most games played, 481st most goals kicked
The VFL tribunal last night suspended Essendon defender Ron Andrews for four matches for allegedly striking Hawthorn’s Robert Dipierdomenico during the first quarter of their match at Brisbane on Sunday.¹
A genuinely tough, formidably aggressive player, 'Rugged Ronnie' Andrews was renowned for his apparently indiscriminate tear-through approach which paid scant regard for his ownor anyone else's safety. During his 151 game VFL career with Essendon between 1973 and 1983, he missed a total of 24 matches through suspension. In 1974 he was one of the chief protagonists in an all-in brawl that flared up at Windy Hill during the half time interval of a game between the Bombers and Richmond. After fronting up to the league tribunal, Andrews was found guilty of delivering a 'king hit', and suspended for six weeks. Nevertheless, he had too much genuine football talent to be considered a mere thug.
Playing mainly as a centre half back, he was strong overhead, a useful kick, and boasted excellent anticipation and judgement. He was a firm favourite at Windy Hill because of his wholehearted endeavour and obvious passion for the team. A Victorian representative in 1977 and 1978, he finished second to Graham Moss in the Bombers' 1976 best and fairest count. He also made the 'Inside Football' team of the year in 1976.
A succession of injuries slowed him down later in his career, but he remained a feared opponent, and a respected on-field leader, captaining his side in 1982. After failing to make the Dons' 1983 grand final side he crossed to Collingwood where he played half a dozen games in 1984. The following season saw him follow coach John Cahill to West Adelaide where he rounded off his league career by playing 25 games and topping the club's goalkicking list with 51 goals for the season.
Andrews then spent four seasons at Wentworth District, including two as captain-coach, before playing for Balranald in 1990 and achieving his lifelong aim of being part of a premiership side. He returned to Wentworth District in 1991 for one final season on the field and had the relatively uncommon distinction of playing six games with his 15-year-old son.
Author - John Devaney, with updates by Andrew Gigacz
1. “Canberra Times”, 30/6/81, page 16. The match in question was one of several VFL fixtures scheduled for Brisbane during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Essendon downed Hawthorn on this occasion by 18 points.