Ronald McDougall was a product of Unley High. He came to the attention of Norwood while playing for St Augustines in the Unley Association. He was an imposing figure by the standards of his era, standing 6 foot (183cm) and weighing just over 12.5 stone (80kg).
McDougall played two Association (Reserves) games for the Redlegs in 1928 but was injured and returned to his old club, St Audustines.
By mid-season 1929, Norwood had suffered a significant number of injuries and Ronald was enticed back. As a ruckman/forward he showed excellent form in two Association games and was approached to train with the League side. Subsequently, he was selected in the League side against West Adelaide on August 24th.
He made a sensational debut being adjudged best afield. During the following week The News ran a story with the headline: "Norwood Find : McDougall Brilliant : Versatile Athlete" (News 29/8/1929) It noted that he was an opening bowler for Kensington, “A boxer of class,” and also, “A good gymnast.” It also mentioned he was, “An ardent angler as a member of the SA Fish Protection and Anglers’ Association.” The most telling remark came at the end. “He is the most versatile sportsman since V.Y. Richardson retired.”
The following week he made the headlines again. This time for striking a Sturt opponent and earning a one match suspension.
Ronald returned for the 1929 finals. Playing as a ruckman/forward and kicking a goal he was a part of Norwood’s premiership team.
For the next two years McDougall became a permanent fixture in the League side. In 1930 he was just one of seven players to play in every game.
Ronald had his highs and lows. A high was kicking six goals against Port Adelaide in June, 1930. A low was being suspended for two matches in July, 1931, for striking a Glenelg player.
1932 was his last season. He played his last league game against Glenelg in May. He then settled into the Association side and played in the Grand Final against North Adelaide which sadly Norwood lost.
B Ridge May 2015