The 'Rocket' Rod Owen Story

The St Kilda culture of the 1980’s is still impacting some all these years later.


Between this article and the Robbie Muir one from a few months back, it’s really this guy then daylight in the footy journalism stakes these days.

That’s some brutal stuff. A pedophile ring running the Saints junior program, giving a 16yo speed to get him through games, promising his dying dad you’d give the kid time to finish school then rushing him into the ones before dad’s body was cool … JFC.

There’s lots of romanticism about 80s footy. But some of the ■■■■ that went on …


I read that story this morning and was about to post it. Tragic story on many levels.
As football supporters we throw all sorts of stuff at professional footballers, expecting them to be at their very best every week. We have no idea what is happening, or has happened to the individual person.
At the top level of sport we assume players are being well looked after. Amazing how good the Demons were compared to St.Kilda, followed by bad again at the ‘bad news Bears’.
Thank goodness there was no social media back in the 80s - it could have turned out even worse. Good luck to ‘Rocket’ Rod in his future endeavors.

1 Like

There were stories going around about Owen’s behaviour before he debuted.

But that was par for the course down there.

1 Like

That article is very harrowing, kids need to protected. What an absolute nightmare his childhood must of been.


This is grim reading.


Read that last night. It’s horrendous.


■■■■■■■ hell, absolutely horrific.
Good on that journo for writing incredible stories like this and R Muir that the accredited football media probably wouldn’t go near.


Devastating read. But completely necessary. I hope he continues to find peace.


Is no one going to talk about the Saints ostensibly having a paedophile ring operate in their midst during the 70s & 80s? Seems like there is a bigger story here that could truly open a can of worms. I’m not sure that club has a closet big enough for all their skeletons.


As has already been highlighted by Rohan Connolly, isn’t it interesting that v.few journos have retweeted it, that no radio station has gone near it, that it hasn’t been mentioned onthe AwFuL’s website.
It’s almost like there’s something to hide, eh?


I think it took the more mainstream footy media a few days to get onto the Robbie Muir thing as well. They’re probably waiting for the legal department to get back from work after the long weekend…


I’m under no illusion that most, if not all footy clubs during that era were incredibly toxic cultures that produced and covered up a lot of bad behaviour, but whilst Russell never explicitly states it, it seems some powerful figures at Saint Kilda knew they were harboring paedophiles, which must warrant further investigation. The fall out would be utterly massive and bring down a lot people in the process, not to mention the PR nightmare that would result for the AFL. So I expect we won’t be hearing much more about this. Rod Owen’s experience is just one of many and only scratches the surface.


Are many of them still alive?

*not insinuating nothing should be done, just asking if they are still alive

Ian Stewart is still about, yes. Not sure about the times keeper who was made life member.

1 Like

Most of the people who would have been in the know in the 80s would be safely out of power in the AFL now. Nobody’s going to be quivering in fear about what retribution Ian Stewart might wreak on their careers. It’s more about the AFL not wanting the next year’s worth of footy headlines to be all about child molestation, I’d guess. They’d probably declare carte blanche if they could, and make it a ‘St Kilda scandal’ to isolate the damage to one club like they did for us with Dank, but it’d only take one allegation from a different club and that’d fall in a heap.


Wonder how much of this spud frawley knew about, and how heavily it weighed on him.

he was the captain at the time of rod’s abuse.

edit: and for the author to drop that nugget in the article does raise questions.

1 Like

That was such a sad read. Poor bloke… that bloody creep of a librarian…

Wasnt he abused as a child, at primary school and Little league. Not sure Spud being his captain until much later has anything to do with it.

1 Like

Most clubs in that era weren’t as professional as today… Regular “Disco nights”, beers and ciggies at Half time etc…