by DANNY WARREN
COLERAINE Football Netball Club joined Richmond Football Club in mourning with the news of the passing of Colin Saddington on Wednesday April 18 at the age of 74.
Colin was regarded as one of the toughest defenders in the VFL, generally playing as a back pocket on the resting ruckman during his time at Tigerland during his 102 senior matches for the club, with Geelong and North Melbourne great Doug Wade once claiming on the now defunct World of Sport, that Colin was the most difficult opponent he ever played against.
At Richmond Colin was a member of the Tigers only night grand final win in 1962, being instrumental in the victory against Hawthorn by four points at Lake Oval.
He left for Sturt for two seasons before taking the reins at Coleraine in 1966, guiding the Maroon’s into the runners up position, before gaining revenge for that loss to Portland in the Maroon’s only Western Border premiership the following year, coaching there until the end of 1970 and becoming a much loved local identity.
Colin returned to Richmond and coached both the Under 19’s and Reserves teams, winning the flag in 1973 in a season where Richmond won premierships in the seniors, reserves, Under 19’s and the Under 17’s.
He also acted as selector for Tom Hafey during this period of success for the Tigers.
During his life, Colin worked at many jobs including as a boilermaker, plasterer, butcher and handyman, but it is his football knowledge and ability that most will remember him for.
As leader of the 1967 premiership team, Colin ventured back to Coleraine in 2007 for the 40th anniversary of the win, where he met back up with many of his former teammates and friends, enjoying himself immensely at a club where he is regarded as hero.
Coleraine wore black armbands and dedicated Saturday’s win to Colin’s memory, in front of many of his close friends and Richmond also wore black armbands in their clash with Geelong on Sunday.
He leaves behind his wife Sandra, children Lea, Dean, Karina and Kellie and grand-children Macey, Will, Corey and Chloe and his funeral service is to be held today at 11am at St Stephen’s Anglican Church in Richmond.