MONDAY, JANUARY 12
Wally Lewis emails ‘Foreword’ to the book ‘For the Love of the Game’, written by former school teacher, Murray Barnett about some of the legends of RUGBY LEAGUE from the 1950s and ’60s. Wally was fascinated to hear I had caught up with former Valleys’ player, Mark Conway on our cruise around New Zealand. Wally knew all about the ear biting incident (see diary, Dec 29) and says it is always a major talking point at Valleys’ reunions. Have my first drink back at Bandits/Brothers club in a while, and Californian barmaid struggles in the beer pouring department.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 13
My mate Laurent Garnier continues to do well as coach of Carcassonne in French Rugby League Elite Division. Former Melbourne Storm and South Sydney star, Matt King returns to his old stomping ground, Woodlawn College (just outside Lismore) for a coaching camp. Matt did work experience with me at The Courier-Mail when he was a struggling young footballer at North Sydney.
Learn of the death of Norma Flannery, widow of former Australian rugby league winger, Dennis Flannery. Norma’s dad was Dan Dempsey, who played seven Tests for Australia in the late 1920s, early 1930s.
Figure out who our chiropractor, Sandy Clarke looks like – actor, Gavin McLeod from ‘The Love Boat’.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 15
Lunch at Breakfast Creek Hotel with fellow journalists, Lawrie Kavanagh, David Falkenmire, Jack Craig and Barry Dick, to toast the memory of former Manchester Evening News rugby league writer, Jack McNamara, who passed away recently. Adjourn to the public bar after lunch and former Test centre, Chris Johns is enjoying a drink with mates. He takes a pic of us old journos.
Our son, Damien and wife, Emma stay at our place tonight. Damien and I watch 1987 match between Souths and Manly from Redfern Oval.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 16
QRL History Committee meeting today, with much of the focus on the annual Ross Livermore Address in May with noted author, Adrian McGregor to be guest speaker.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 17
Scorching temperatures this week and I hear stories about a couple of my mates who almost died from heat stress on their rural properties, when working outside.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 18
Marie works with bushcare people, tree planting in Grange Forest. Damien and Emma’s patrol at Main Beach is interviewed by Channel 9. Emma drags distressed Lithuanian tourist from surf.
Former schoolmate, Andrew Clarke emails me. He has just discovered my website. Says he remembers fellow students predicting the demise of rugby league back in the 1960s. They were mainly hockey players. Wishful thinking on their part.