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VALE RAY MARINKO

Friday, April 13, 2018 - 1:32 PM
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THE West Perth Football Club wishes to offer its condolences to friends and family following the recent passing of life member and 1960 premiership player Ray Marinko.

Marinko passed away earlier this month aged 81 and he will be fondly remembered as an all-time great of the West Perth Football Club whose connection with the club continued long beyond the end of his playing career in 1965.

Growing up the son of former West Perth great Don Marinko Sr, who played 194 matches for the Cardinals between 1926 and 1939 where he was a premiership player in 1932, 1934 and 1935 and captain in the last two of those including a fairest and best winner, it was inevitable that Ray and his brother Don Jr would follow in his footsteps.

Ray would begin his career with West Perth as an 18-year-old in Round 1, 1954 against East Fremantle. He split his time between being a centreman with stints on either the half-forward or half-back flanks with his elite kicking skills and overhead marking a highlight.

But after three seasons of league football at West Perth, Ray requested a transfer to East Perth that ultimately was granted after being unhappy with being dropped to the reserves during 1956 to attend his best friend's wedding, despite having received approval by coach Frank Sparrow to do so.

He spent two seasons with the Royals where he played 24 matches but missed selection in either premiership side of 1957 or 1958.

Ray returned to West Perth for the 1959 season and that's where he would finish his career to play alongside older brother Don Jr who had just been appointed captain-coach.

The brothers were instrumental in the West Perth premiership triumph of 1960 with Ray widely considered best on ground in the Grand Final win against East Perth despite Brian Foley being awarded the Simpson Medal.

There was more drama to come involving East Perth with the Marinko brothers requesting a transfer again, but in the end Ray remained at West Perth and Don Jr went to the Royals.

But Ray continued to deliver for West Perth before retiring at the end of the 1965 season ending his Cardinals career at 160 matches with him having earned life membership along with being a premiership player.

To view and add your message to the official Guest Book paying tribute to Ray Marinko, please click here