Career : 1966 - 1971
Debut : Round 9, 1966 vs Hawthorn, aged 18 years, 222 days
Carlton Player No. 785
Games : 19
Goals : 35
Last Game : Round 13, 1971 vs Essendon, aged 23 years, 230 days
Height : 183 cm ( 6 ft. 0 in.)
Weight : 93 kg ( 14 stone, 9 lbs.)
DOB : November 8, 1947
The son of dual Carlton Premiership ruckman Rod McLean, Roderick “Ricky” McLean took after his father in that he played his football for keeps. A specialist full-forward who was six feet tall and built like the proverbial brick outhouse, McLean charged like a rhinoceros on the lead, and heaven help any friend or foe in his path. He was strong in the air, a generally reliable left-foot kick for goal, and loved nothing more than to intimidate his opponents. But as a consequence, he often ran foul of the umpires, and was suspended for a total of 30 matches during his career.
Coming to Princes Park in 1966 from Moonee Imperials, McLean wore guernsey number 14 for six seasons on Carlton’s senior list, yet managed only 19 senior matches in a stay limited by ankle and hamstring injuries, regular suspensions, and the presence of two other quality full-forwards in Brian Kekovich and Alex Jesaulenko. Although he played his best game for the Blues and booted 7 goals in his second-last match, he requested a clearance at the end of 1971 and joined Richmond the following year.
At Tigerland, McLean found ready acceptance, going on to play another 39 games and boot 103 goals. In the 1972 Carlton-Richmond Grand Final, McLean lined up at full-forward for the Tigers, but strained a hamstring running down the player’s race. He stayed on the ground, kicked two early goals, then tore the tendon again and was off the ground by half-time.
He played with Tasmanian club Burnie in between stints with Richmond. His VFL career ended in Round 20 of 1976 after a game against South Melbourne Reserves when he was reported seven times and received a 16-match suspension. After finishing at Richmond, McLean took his VFL experience back to grassroots football and coached VFA club Sunshine in 1980 before playing briefly with VFA club Werribee. In 1977, he mentored Ascot Vale on Saturdays, then flew to Queensland to play in the State League on a Sunday. He also coached Riddell District club Sunbury in 1986. His last involvement in football was as the coach of the Riddell District League’s Representative side. His son played in the Victorian State Under/18 Competition in 1992.
Burnie 1974-75, Games 27, Goals 46 ( Honours - Premiership 1974 ) ; Ascot Vale 1977-78, 1981 (Honours - Premiership 1977, Captain/Coach 1971) ; Sunshine Captain/Coach 1980, Games 9, Goals 24 ; Sunbury Senior Coach 1986.
Ricky’s talented nephew; Brock McLean, had played 94 games for Melbourne before he crossed to Carlton in a high-profile trade prior to the 2010 season. Brock wore guernsey number 7 in his injury-marred first year with the Blues, but swapped to number 14 in 2011 in honour of his uncle and grandfather.