Hall of Fame – Rick Marklew

2012 Hall of Fame Inductee – Rick Andrew Marklew

Born:    11TH July  1968.              Height :  182cm.        Weight :    78KG.
Recruited  From :    Imperials.
First  Senior  Game :    1986.        Last  Senior  Game :    2000.
Guernsey  Number :      23.
Total  Games :      229  (Senior),      104  (Reserves),    17    (Thirds).
Goals  Kicked :      354  (Fourth  on  WRFC  All-­‐time  list.)
Goals  in  a  Game :      8  (once),  7  (once),    6    (5  times).

Premierships    (Seniors) :    1988,  1993,  1994.
Premiership  (Reserves) :    2007.              Grand  Finals :    2005,  2006.
Premiership  (Thirds)  :            1985.
Third  in  Seniors  Best  &  Fairest :      1996.
Reserves  Best  &  Fairest :          2000.
Runner-­‐Up  Thirds  Best  &  Fairest :      1985.
Most  Consistent  Reserves  :      2005.
Life  Member    W.R.F.N.C
Played  Northern  United  :  1989    (17  games).
Represented  Bendigo  Football  League:    1989.
Played  Heidelberg    :  1991    (14  games).
Played  North  Wangaratta  :  2001-­‐2003    (36  games).

Brown  and  Gold  blood  courses  deeply  through  the  veins  of  Rick  Marklew.  His  grandfather  was
the  Rovers  secretary  in  a  premiership  year;  his  father,  Roley,  played  in  a  flag  in  his  first  senior
season,  at  the  tender  age  of  16.  In  162  games  with  the  Hawks  and  for  a  couple  of  decades
afterwards,  Roley  has  been  the  epitome  of  devotion  to  the  club.
So  it  was  a  no-­‐brainer  when  young  Rick  began  to  show  a  bit  of  promise  in  the  primary-­‐schools
competition,  that  his  destiny  had  already  been  charted.  In  1985  the  Rovers  thirds  won  an
unlikely  premiership  when  they  beat  previously  undefeated  Wodonga  in  the  second  semi and
Grand  Final.  Rick  was  at  centre  half  forward.  He  pulled  down  12  marks  and  booted  five  goals  to
be  best  -­‐on-­‐ground  in  the  decider.    Two  of  his  team-­‐mates  that  day,  Michael  Wilson  and
Howard  Yelland,  were  to  share  senior  triumphs  with  him  in  time  to  come.
The  following  year,  aged  17,  he  found  himself  lining  up  alongside  such  gnarled  veterans  as
coach  Merv  Holmes,  Laurie  Burt,  Mark  Booth  and  Leigh  Hartwig.    Within  two  seasons,  he  had
played  in  an  Ovens  and  Murray  premiership  team.
Although  the  Hawks  had  dominated  the  first  half  of  the  1988  Grand  Final,  the  scores  were  level
at  half-­‐time.  The  young  Rovers  team,  giving  away  considerable  age,  weight and  height
advantage  to  the  experienced  Lavington,  were  expected  to  wilt  under  pressure  as  the  game
wore  on.    Rick  was  one  of  the  Hawks  who  lifted,  kicking  four  goals  in  the  second  half.
“One  of  them  was  sheer  poetry”,  recalled  Chas  Wilson  in  a  previous  biography…….”It  gave  the
Rovers  a  breather  after  Lavington  got  to  within  3  points  half-­‐way  through  the  final  term.  Rick
read  an  acrobatic  leap  and  knock-­‐on  from  Rob  Hickmott,  roved  it  perfectly  at  top-­‐speed  and
nailed  the  goal  on  the  run.  Soon  after,  a  frustrated  Blue  flung  him  to  the  ground  after  he  had
marked  and  the  50-­‐metre  penalty  allowed  the  brilliant  youngster  to  kick  the  goal  that  sealed
the  game….”
Studies  took  Rick  to  Bendigo,  where  he  signed  with  Northern  United,  along  with  fellow  Hawk,
Matthew  Allen.    He  and  Matt  starred  in  Bendigo  League’s  Country  Championship  win  in  1989.
Of  particular  comfort  to  him  was  his  role  in  Bendigo’s  semi-­‐final  defeat  of  the  Ovens  and
Murray  League  at  Lavington.
Another  ‘sabbatical’  from  the  Hawks  came  in  1991,  when  he  was  living  and  working    in
Melbourne  and  decided  to  throw  in  his  lot  with  Diamond  Valley  League  club,  Heidelberg.  He
doesn’t  retain  fond  memories  of  that  stint,  particularly  as  he  missed  the  Rovers’  flag  triumph
over  Yarrawonga.
He  was  back  with  the  Hawks  the  following  season  and  was  a  prominent  member  of  the  great
1993  and  1994  premiership  teams,  which  chalked  up  36  consecutive  victories  in  a  period  of
dominance  by  the  club.
What  made  Rick  such  a  valuable  player  was  his  adaptability.  Able  to  be  thrown  into  any
position  on  the  ground  with  effect,  he  was  a  superb  overhead  mark  and  an  accurate  kick. His
351  goals  sees  him  fourth  on  the  Hawks’  all-­‐time  list,  behind    Steve  Norman,  Rob  Walker  and
Neale  McMonigle.   This  includes  one  bag  of  8,  one  of  7  and  five  hauls  of  6  goals.  He  was  a
natural  forward,  who  could  ‘smell’  a  goal,  but  many  a  time  he  was  sent  to  shore  a  backline
under  intense  pressure.
One  of  those  old-­‐fashioned  blokes  who  played  for  the  comradeship  and  opportunity  to  share
in  the  glory  that  came  the  club’s  way,  he  got  particular  satisfaction  out  of  spending  his  career
with  the  Hawks  alongside  many  long-­‐time  mates.    In  fact,  when  he  ran  out  for  his    200th game,
there  were  five other  ‘double-­‐centurions’    -­‐ Rob  Walker,  Peter  Tossol,  Anthony  Pasquali,
Michael  Wilson and Ron  Ferguson   alongside  him.  His  229th – and  last-­‐ senior  game  came  in
2000.  He  was  battling  injury  and  managed  just  8  senior  games  for  the  season.
So  he  headed  to  the  O  &  K Hawks,  North  Wangaratta,  where  a  cluster  of  old  Rovers  were
gathered.  He  spent  three  seasons  at  North  and  figured  in  one  losing  Grand  Final,  before
returning    ‘home’  for  the  closing  chapter  in  his  playing  career.
It  is  a  crucial  ingredient  of  any  successful  team  to  have  a  vibrant,  competitive  Reserves  group,
applying  pressure  to  the  senior  players,  but  also  contributing  to  the  spirit  of  the    Club.  Rick,
ageing  though  he  was,  played  a  vital  part  as  the  elder  statesman  of  the  group,  sidekick  to
coach  Bob  Murray  and  an  outstanding  clubman.    And  he  was  still  a  very  handy  player.  The
‘twos’  contested  Grand  Finals  in  2005  and  ’06,  then  broke  through    in  2007  for  the  club’s    first
Reserves  premiership  in  23  years. It  was  another  career  highlight  for  Rick,  as  he  was  so  highly  –
regarded  by  his  team-­‐mates  and  considered  this an  excellent  way  to  bow  out.
Of  course,  he  has  still  been  around  to  ‘fill-­‐in’  when  necessary  and  in  his  second  match  this
season  ticked  off  another  unheralded  landmark  – his  100th Reserves  match  for  the  club.
With  tall,  developing,  Alex  Marklew  now  beginning  to  make  his  mark  at  the  club,  Rick  has
become  heavily  involved  with  the  Thirds’  side  of  things  this  season.
There  will  be  some  expectations  on  Alex  when  he  comes  to  emulate  his  father  and  grandfather
and  pulls  on  the  Rovers  Guernsey  for  his  senior  debut  within  the  next  year  or  so.    But  it  is  odds-­‐
on  that  the  Marklew  tradition  will  be  in  safe  hands.