Career: 1965 - 1976
Senior Games: 181
Senior Captain: 1975
Senior Premiership: 1966, 1967, 1968
Seniors Leading Goalkicker: 1973 (80), 1974 (43), 1975 (33)
Blooded as a team mascot in 1953, Rod waited until 1960 before his debut in Chelsea’s original fourth eighteen side.
Progressing through junior ranks, he played one year in the reserves before making his senior debut at centre-half-back as an nineteen year old in 1965. This was a big ask for a young, finely built man who was tested very early in the piece when he found himself matched against former Richmond giant Paddy Guinane in a practice match. He survived and acquitted himself well, thereby setting the scene for a long and distinguished career with his chosen club.
Rod’s value to the team as a key forward was soon recognised when, after two years on the backline, he was moved up the ground. Having matured physically, he had become a strong mark and could kick straight. He was a natural choice as a key position forward and immediately began to have an impact.
But it wasn’t until the early seventies that he teamed up with Alan Moulden as part of Chelsea’s twin tower forward line. The two interchanged between full forward and centre-half-forward and provided opposition teams with double trouble as they piled on the goals.
With three flags to his credit, Rod established a club goal kicking record of 16 goals against Frankston Bombers in 1973. It was a performance in which he beat five different opponents.
Rod eventually retired from Chelsea in 1976 before playing two final years with Chelsea Heights.
He had amassed over 180 senior games and done so, in the main, with a damaged knee. This restricted his running but not his effectiveness.
Rod will remembered as one of Chelsea’s finest players.