Ron ‘Potsy’ Watson and the biggest wake of all time [The link is now fixed – Ed]


Murray Walding’s cousin was Ron ‘Potsy’ Watson, who died at the ripe old age of 89, just before the AFL finals this year.

Here is Ron’s story, by Murray, and the story of the Richmond Watsons.




by Murray Walding


I’ve just had a week tinged with sadness at the passing of Ron Watson, a cousin of mine, although the large families on my mother’s side of the family, and the spread of their ages, has meant that he was more like an uncle. Ron, or Potsy as he was known to all, passed away at 89. He played for the Tigers reserves side in the late 1940s. One of his brothers also played with the Tigers, and another – cruelled by injury at a young age – went on to coach the Richmond thirds. Their grandfather (and mine), Joe Watson, played for the Tigers in 1898–99 as did his three brothers. One of them, Tom, captained the Tigers, but sadly he later turned to the dark side and played with Carlton, then after a return to the Tigers’ den also played with Melbourne. This information has been confirmed by Rhett Bartlett.*


Joe Watson was a true Tiger stalwart and has his ashes scattered across the Punt Road Oval. It’s also said that his ashes were placed in the boots of Tigers players before they ran out for their next home game. So as you can guess, the Tigers have a deep emotional link with my family, once again apparent when at the same time as Rhett was helping me research the Watsons’ link to the Tigers came the news of the passing of my cousin.


Ron’s funeral was held last Friday afternoon (the Friday of the Qualifying Final). Everyone was to wear yellow and black and even those not belonging to the faith wore Richmond colours, if only in a small way. There was to be no organised wake either… and why not, you might wonder? Well, it was simple. We were all going to the ’G to watch the Tigers take on the Cats, and that sums up the depth of feeling for the Tigers in my family.


So there really wasn’t any way the Cats would take out the game because in a way the Tigers played that game with an extra man – my cousin Potsy, in the middle of the packs ferreting for the ball and dishing it out.


Geelong never stood a chance.


*The brilliant Tigerland Archive has been collected and is maintained by Rhett Bartlett and Trevor Ruddell at


Presenting The Tigers’ Almanac 2017. Read all about it HERE.

Purchase The Tigers’ Almanac 2017 HERE.




  1. G’day Murray,

    Sorry to hear Ron’s loss and you are brave storytelling of him.

    I wish Ron could have seen this year’s premiership, and wish you a Merry Christmas.


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