Ron Benton

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Post by blackandred on Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:28 am

Very sorry to hear of the passing of Ron Benton. Ron was a hero of mine in my youth and when he won the 1957 Magarey Medal it was a bright spot in a period when we lost so many GFs to Port Adelaide. 1957 also saw Westies full forward, Peter Phipps head the goal-kicking with 90 goals. This year Jonno Beech heads our goal-kicking with 21.

If my memory serves me correctly Ron was at the movies with his girlfriend on the night of the ‘57 medal count. They flashed his name on the screen telling him to contact the club urgently. Thinking the worst he dashed out of the cinema to be greeted by Westies officials with the news of his win. They were the days before txt messages.

Ron won the medal in a very even count that year. Of significance was the quality of opposition he played against in the centre of the ground. How’s this for a list of his opponents that year: Lindsay Head, Jimmy Dean, John Halbert, Bob Hank, Geof Motley and Dave Boyd! 9 Magarey medal between that lot.

Ron was a true son of the west end. He lived in Franklin St and later Waymouth St and went to Sturt St school. He used to kick the footy in the city streets, waiting for the occasional car to pass. For his first game his playing weight was 54kg (eight and a half stone) dripping wet, so well qualified as a part of Westies ‘mosquito fleet’ of the time. Other interesting aspects of his career include:
He played soccer, cricket and footy after leaving school,
He won a welterweight boxing title while doing ‘nasho’ at Woodside,
He scored a goal with his first kick of senior footy at 17yo,
He won the 1957 medal on a countback from Jimmy Dean,
In 1959, then coach Jack Oatey told him he was no longer required so he went off to (how West Adelaide is that?),
He returned to the club under Neil Kerley and played in the 1961 GF win (after Stan Costello dropped out) and was high in the best players,
He once booted ten goals in a night GF against the Bays.

Condolences to his family.
blackandred
blackandred

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Post by aldo russian on Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:28 pm

Great write up b&r. It'd be great to collect as many of these anecdotes as we can muster, whether on this site or in some more official club capacity. We can't have these stories being lost.
aldo russian
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Post by bruce cameron on Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:13 am

aldo russian wrote:Great write up b&r. It'd be great to collect as many of these anecdotes as we can muster, whether on this site or in some more official club capacity. We can't have these stories being lost.

Agree. I'm hoping Lee's book will be full of them.
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