South Melbourne 1960s key defender Ken “Chips” Colvin has passed away in an Echuca nursing home as a result of Covid-19. He was aged 82.
He played 55 games for the Swans between 1962-65, mostly in defence, but he also kicked six goals when switched into attack.
Ken played mostly on a half-back flank but was sometimes moved to full-back to allow John Heriot to move forward in an attempt to propel the forward line into action.
After starting his football with Rutherglen, Ken’s family moved to a dairy farm just outside Kyabram, and he initially played for Stanhope in the Goulburn Valley League, before moving to Rochester under Melbourne premiership captain Noel McMahen in the Bendigo League.
When McMahen was appointed coach of South Melbourne in 1962 he took Ken with him to play at South where he quickly made a name for himself as close-checking defender.
After playing five senior games in 1965 under captain-coach Bob Skilton, Ken decided to return home and take up a share-farming opportunity at Lockington.
He returned to Rochester for the 1966 season after playing coach Trevor Randall (ex Hawthorn) arranged for the club to get someone to milk the cows on Thursday and Saturday nights so he could train and play. He won the club best and fairest.
The next season he went to fierce rivals Echuca and was a member of their 1967 break-through premiership team under former Collingwood defender John Knox. He finished his footy career with Gunbower in the Northern District League.
South club legend John “Mopsy” Rantall recalls playing alongside Ken in defence after he started at the Swans in 1963, “Chips was a tough, straight-ahead player who never took a backward step. He played on the opposite back flank to me. He was a top bloke”.
Ken is survived by his wife Pat, and their children, Jenny, Peter, Matthew, Andrew, and Elisa (dec), and their respective families.