Ron Kee was a popular figure at St Kilda in his playing career in the late 1950s and then left a lasting impression on another generation of Saints players as a volunteer at the club in the 1980s.
Ron passed away on October 24 at the age of 84.
He played two senior games for the Saints in 1959 at full-forward, and his chances at the top level were restricted by the presence of star full-forward Bill Young who had topped the VFL goalkicking in 1956. The lightly built Young was dropped after a brief slump and the taller Kee took his place, making his debut against Collingwood at Victoria Park.
As a youngster Ron Kee played for Leongatha and Korumburra. He was something of a teen prodigy bagging 19 goals in a reserves game with Leongatha then kicking 11 in another game for the firsts.
At St Kilda he began in the under-19s and played in the Saints under-19 premiership side of 1957. Progressing to the reserves he booted 42 goals in the 1959 season and was chosen in a VFL reserves team. But he left the Saints in 1960 to play for Poowong.
South Melbourne gave him a second chance in 1961, but with no opportunities at senior level he crossed to VFA club Moorabbin where he paired up again with long-time mate Lindsay Fox who joined Moorabbin in 1962.
Ron and Lindsay were part of the Moorabbin team which won the 1963 VFA flag. Ron was a natural full-forward, but as had been the case at St Kilda with the diminutive Billy Young, Moorabbin had a highly talented, but shorter, full-forward in Max Papley.
After Moorabbin disbanded at the start of 1964 Ron played for the Brighton-Caulfield team in the VFA. He later topped the goalkicking in the Peninsula League and also turned out for Springvale in 1967.
Ron always had a special place in his heart for the Saints and returned to the club in 1980 and took on roles as team manager.
In later years he was a regular visitor to Past Players’ Reunions.
Vale, Saint Ron.