Career : 1965 – 1969
Debut : Round 11, 1965 vs St Kilda, aged 19 years, 338 days
Carlton Player No. 775
Games : 60
Goals : 13
Last Game : Round 20, 1969 vs Essendon, aged 24 years, 31 days
Guernsey No. 44 (1964 - 1969).
Height : 187 cm (6 ft. 1 in.)
Weight : 85 kg (13 stone, 5 lbs.)
DOB : July 30, 1945
As at 2011, only seven players have worn the number 44 guernsey in a senior match for the Blues. The first was Maurie Sankey in 1959, and the second was Ron Stone, a versatile all-rounder from Wangaratta who made his way up through the Under 19 and Reserves teams to make 60 appearances between 1965 and ’69.
Remembered for his awkward but effective kicking style, Stone played as a ruckman in Carlton’s Under 19 Premiership team in 1963, his first season at Princes Park after being recruited from Wangaratta Combined Churches (affiliated with the Wangaratta & DJFL). A year later he was impressing at Reserves level, and in round 11, 1965 he made his senior debut as 19th man for the Blues in a milestone match against St Kilda. That game was Carlton’s first foray to the Saints’ new home ground at Moorabbin, and it finished in melodramatic circumstances when an ex-Blue, Bruce McMaster-Smith, kicked the winning goal for the home side with only seconds left on the clock.
While Carlton headed toward a mid-table finish that year under the coaching of former Melbourne champion Ron Barassi, Stone was given opportunities in a variety of positions during the latter half of the season, including centre half-forward, ruck, and full-back. He proved capable in all of them, and his versatility was a real advantage to a team on the rise.
In round 11, 1966, Stone enjoyed one of the highlights of his career when he kicked the winning goal for Carlton against Collingwood at Victoria Park, and in 1967 the Baggers made the finals for the first time in five years. Stone was stationed in the back pocket to pick up the opposition’s resting ruckman in both of Carlton’s lacklustre efforts that September; a 40-point Semi Final loss to Richmond, and a 29-point defeat by Geelong in the Preliminary Final.
From then on however, Ron’s opportunities at senior level began to dry up. After 11 games during 1968, he was left out of the Blues squad when the finals rolled around again. Carlton was the outstanding team of the competition that year, and duly claimed the flag after a tight scrap with Essendon in a wind-effected Grand Final.
Stone added the last seven games of his career to his tally in 1969. Overlooked again for the finals, he was somewhat inevitably delisted at the end of the year after Carlton’s loss to Richmond in another torrid Grand Final. His last match in navy blue came in round 20, 1969 at Windy Hill, when Carlton staged a stirring comeback from 41 points down in the first quarter, to beat Essendon by 11. Alex Jesaulenko and Brent Crosswell led the revival by the Blues that afternoon, and kicked 11 goals between them.
Stone also wore No. 43 for Carlton reserves during the 1963 season.
Milestones50 Games: Round 8, 1968 Vs Fitzroy
1963 - U/19's Premiership