R.I.P Ronnie Auchettl

I was born in 1964 and barrack for Hawthorn. Consequently I have vivid memories of torrid battles with Carlton at Princes’ Park in the 70s and have learnt to hate them accordingly. I have no memories of either Hawthorn or Carlton in the 1960s but do have some fond memories of Ron Auchettl.

I first met Ron while teaching at Whittlesea S.C in 2001 and when informed that he had played a few games for Carlton as a ruck rover during the Barrassi era; it made sense. Ron was a straight forward, often candid talking workmate who kept wearing his shorts in winter. He was intensely loyal to his friends and cared very deeply for the welfare of the school community. He was a distinguished teacher, but also humble and never made a big deal about having played footy at the highest level, indeed many students were shocked to know he actually wore a Carlton guernsey. Ron will be missed by many, many members of the Whittlesea Secondary College community.
I think the Carlton F.C tribute (click here) is not only fitting but illuminates how fleeting sporting success and life can be.



  1. Rocket Nguyen says

    Remember seeing Ronnie Auchettl play for Kyabram in their dought-breaking premiership in 1975 – he’d gone up to coach Ky a few years before and stayed on to play under Peter Lyon (Gary’s father). A team-mate was another Blues man, Ron Stone, who went to Ky to run a chemist shop.

    He went from Carlton to coach Castlemaine – the piece on Carlton’s website by The Beast aka Tony de Bolfo features a snap of Ron addressing Castlemaine players – black jumper with CFC logo – shame the Maine has switched to Collingwood-style.

    Wore #41.

  2. Interesting point re the jumpers Rocket. We were in Castlemaine on Sunday, and saw a photo of their team of the century, noticing both Carlton and Collingwood jumpers, which i couldn’t make sense of it. Now i know the rationale behind those jumpers.


  3. RONNIE Auchettl coached Castlemaine 1970-72.. Coincidentall, the club changed to the Collingwood strip for the start of the 1971 season.

    Ronnie’s record as c-c — 1970, 4 wins 16 losses, eighth placed finish. 1971: 3 wins, 16 losses and again eighth. 1972: little bit better with 6 wins and 12 losses, but again 8th overall.
    Peter Lovell took over as capt-coach for 1973 and the Magpies rose to 7th. By 1974 the Maine had won 14, lost 6 and reached the Bendigo F.L. preliminary final !
    They had recruited big Bob Christie from Golden City F.L. club, YCW.

  4. Rocket Nguyen says

    Thanks RJ – of course, there were only 8 clubs in the Bendigo League back in those days. Ronnie did better at Ky. He was very popular but I don’t remember him being a teacher…

  5. I was bit young for any memories of Ronnies career, and he played less than 20 games. Did he appear in any finals matches in either 1967, or 1968?


  6. Colin Ritchie says

    Was Big Bob Christie originally from Colac? I played with a Bob Christie at Colac YC Under 16’s in the mid ’60’s. He was a fair crack of a footballer. Wondering if it is the same one.

  7. Steve Hodder says

    Rocket were you a student at Whittlesea? Or just know Ron from footy? Glen, I know Ron kicked a goal for Carlton in a losing score against Geelong in the Prelim final. I don’t think he played another finals game. Old timers say that ’68 was his best year, but if you go through the Carlton side of ’68, well to manage a dozen games makes you a fair footballer. He never spoke much about his country career either.

    The funeral was standing room only. More of a testament to him the person, rather than him the footy player.


  8. Richard J. says

    CASTLEMAINE records show Big Bob Christie as a Maine player between 1974-1977.
    The 1974 year summary in the C’maine book remarks that Big Bob provided ‘invaluable overhead marking strength’. This from the official C’maine F.C history: A Day At The Camp — 150 years with the Castlemaine Football Netball Club, 1859-2009 [published 2009].

    1974 was Castlemaine’s first finals series since 1962, when Ian O’Halloran took the Magpies to a semi-final.

    Can’t shed any more light on Big Bob, recruited from YCW, Colin. Wife and I arrived in Bendigo only in early 1977, via a decade in Papua New Guinea. Just before our time.

  9. Rocket Nguyen says

    Thanks Steve for report on funeral. Glad to hear he had a good send-off.

    No, I’m not an ex-student of Whittlesea Secondary College, I went to Kyabram High, and then Rochester High.

    Just wondering what he taught. Pretty sure he didn’t teach in Ky…

  10. Steve Hodder says

    Ron was a cabinet maker by trade and taught woodwork and furniture making at Whittlesea for 32 yrs!

  11. Linda Kolevas says

    Just heard the news today. Ron had a huge heart of gold, the original straight shooter, brilliant drinker, kind, kind kind gentleman. I am glad I got to pash him when I did!!
    R.I.P. Ron, you have left a beautiful legacy.

  12. Steve, did Ron have a sone named Ben? I played superrules with a 6’4″ mountain named Ben Auchettl

  13. Steve Hodder says

    apologies for the late reply but I’ve been asking around re: Ben Auchettl. Ron’s son’s name is Peter and I suspect any grandchildren are way too young to be playing superrules. The name is very unusual and there would be a connection somewhere, although Ron wasn’t very tall he was no petite winger either. Ask Ben the next time he thunders by you.


  14. Stephen C Auchettl says

    Ron was the second son (Kevin my father being the first son) of the Bert the first son etc, etc from the time the family landed in Australia. Everyone with the name spelt that way is related as the name started out in Australia as ouchette and was corrupted by hand written birth records in the first 2 generations.

    Ben Auchettl is from the Geelong area and the family originally moved from Geelong to Ballart and Kalgoorlie then back to these areas searching for gold and opportunities.

    Ronny’s father died 2 year after returning to Australia and moved to Heathcote from the results of internment as a POW on the Burma railway.

    Ronny was only an infant when his father died, he played solid tough football ( a driven athlete ) alongside my father at various clubs around Fawkner before playing 12 senior games at the same time with Carlton when not captaining the seconds at Carlton.

    His brother died (my father) during that period which effected everything in his life so his football days were number at Carlton as the side was so strong with legends now of the game playing at that time. Having seen him play at Carlton, Ky and Castlemaine he had moments that showed what could have been. Trying to mark a stab pass as a young kid was like having a cannon ball shot at you when played with him and his step brothers, or listening to the crack of thunder as he booted a standing drop kick over 77 yards.

    Bruce D said to me that he was the biggest kick of a ball he had every played with or seen, it matched his character, he was devoted to his mother and his wife Lynne (extremely loyal and tolerate person) along the rest of his family Jane, Kerrie, Peter and 3 grandchildren from Jane (Husband Wally) along with the Lloyd cousins etc made very extended group.

    He was loyal to all and was able tough out his final fight on his own terms.

    This confirmed the character he had inherited from his father, mother and the other things taught to him by his devoted step father Dave and the inner calm Lynne gave him.

    Uncle Ron you are missed but not forgotten.

    Stephen C Auchettl

  15. Steve Hodder says

    thanks for the update. I wish a knew the family story when I was working with Ron. It would’ve given us another avenue of conversation over Friday arvo drinks.

    Vale your Uncle Ron.


  16. Josh Moffatt says

    I was a student at WSC and remember Ron Auchettl teaching woodwork. I also remember one Steve Hodder who taught me English haha

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