RON started playing footy at the tender age of eight when he turned out for the Wesley Hill club in the Castlemaine District Junior Football league.

It wasn’t until 1971 that he first wore the Castemaine colors when he played for the Magpie under-18 side.

He spent two seasons with the Thirds, finishing runner-up in the club best and fairest award in both years.

Ron’s first appearance for the senior Magpies — who had adopted their now familiar Collingwood strip only in 1971 — came in 1974.

Coincidentally it was the same year Carlton had invited Ron down to train at Princes Park.

After meeting with Maine club officials, Ron decided against pursuing his football career with the then VFL.

It was a decision which stamps Ron Cawthan as one of the great servants of the Castlemaine Football and Netball Club, and led to a storied career which spanned 36 years.

HE WAS a talented left-footer with outstanding skills. Although he spent large chunks of his senior career launching Castlemaine attacks from the half-back line, Cawthan could also play in the centre.

He was able to step through a pack of players as if there was no-one there, swing onto his left foot and let go with a penetrating kick which broke the game open.

Conversely, when the circumstances required Ron to play a tough, uncompromising style of footy he would play accordingly — setting a standard for teammates to follow.

In short, Ron was able to adjust his game.

He was the ultimate ‘no fuss’ team player where club success was always placed before individual accolades.

In a career which spanned three decades, Ron went on to notch a club record 343 senior games. Add on 58 reserves appearances and his under-18 matches and Ron Cawthan has totalled just shy of 450 games for his beloved black and white.

He has, of course, added to that staggering tally as a regular member of the Castlemaine Super Rules team during its 10-year tenure.

RON Cawthan’s’ personal honours include club best and fairest awards in 1981, 1984 and 1985 plus the club captaincy in 1983.

Not surprisingly, he’s a life member of the Castlemaine club and also a life member of the BFL. That league honour was bestowed in 1990.

After his playing days were over Ron served on the committee of the CFNC from 2000-2009 with a five-year period as club president from 2005 to 2009.

His only time away from the Camp Reserve came in the 1993 and 1994 seasons when he was assistant coach to Malcolm Stevens at Maryborough-Castlemaine DFL club, Harcourt.

Ron’s passion for the game saw him lead the 1991 VicKick clinics while in 1996 he took on the coaching role with the Castlemaine suburban Winter’s Flat under-15s.

In 1998 and 1999 with Chris Edwards he coached the Maine under-16 team in the Bendigo Junior Football League.

And it was during Ron Cawthan’s final year as president in 2009 that the club celebrated its 150th year of existence: 1859-2009.

Not only was Ron in the chair for all the momentous events associated with a century-and-a-half of history, he was selected in the club’s list of 25 all-time greats.

The plaque, complete with names and caricatures, sits on the wall of the time-honoured Castlemaine Market building in the town centre.

ONE other snippet about Ron Cawthan which has always endeared him to me. He’s a very passionate Geelong fan.

At the opening night of the biennial Castlemaine State Festival in late March 2009, a big audience was hunkered down in the Town Hall.

We were all listening to an orchestral recital, but of course it was a Friday night and the occasion of the rematch of 2008’s grand finalists: Hawthorn and Geelong.

I hadn’t come unprepared. As the owner of a 3G mobile with FM radio I’d poked it, and the necessary ear pieces, into a jacket pocket.

At interval I was able to inform Ron the Catters had a handy lead.

We were both bursting to know the final scores. As we’d been transported by the stringed instruments in the Town Hall, the Hawkers had mounted a frantic, last quarter surge.

Digging the paraphernalia out of my pocket I was able to tune in. Breathlessly I raced over to where the after-function drinks and nibblies were being served.

“We won, Ron,” I blurted out. “By eight points.”

Ron’s beaming smile said it all. Our little group, wives included, enjoyed the sweet taste of the drinks knowing we had downed the hated Hawks.

And indeed haven’t lost to them since that fateful late September day in 2008.

RON Cawthan was inducted into the Bendigo Football and Netball League’s Hall of Fame on October 29th, 2010.

At last November’s BFL annual general meeting he was elected, along with former central umpire Beres Fitch, to the Bendigo Football League controlling board of management.

With thanks to the Hall of Fame committee, executive officer Darren Lewis and the Castlemaine Football and Netball Club.

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