Diary entry: WEEK 11, 2015

TUESDAY, MARCH 10

Stuart Wagstaff dead at 90. When I think of him, the Benson and Hedges television advertisements are the first things that spring to mind. NRL 360 tonight features amazing footage of rugby league legend, Graeme Langlands stiff arming a British opponent (Dave Robinson, I think) during the 1966 Test series in Australia. No send off! In our shopping bundle today there is Kiwi fruit from Italy; blueberries from New Zealand and tuna from Thailand!

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11

Dinner at Breakfast Creek Hotel, courtesy of Paul Malone, to thank me for my proof reading role for his book, ‘Iron Will’, about Broncos’ Test centre, Brent Tate. Our lovely waitress is from North Allerton in Yorkshire, England. ‘Escape to the Country’ today features the Weald and Downs Open Air Museum at Singleton in West Sussex. I took my Kangaroo Supporters’ tour there in 1990 on the second day of our 38 day trip. We were staying at Portsmouth at the time. I remember the 33 members of my tour party being astounded as our coach, driven by Bob Robinson from Swindon, negotiated many narrow country lanes on our way to the museum.

On radio TAB today, editor, Mitchell Dale defends Rugby League Week’s decision to switch from Thursday to Monday as its sale day. It won’t work.

THURSDAY, MARCH 12

Our local newsagent, Sue says her son loves teaching at Charters Towers, and coaches a female rugby league side at the high school. Attend 20 year Sheffield Shield lunch at Convention Centre, courtesy of Men of League, who have bought a table. We are seated at the back of the room, near the current Shield squad. The lunch is quite emotional, recalling that memorable day in 1995 when the drought broke. Catch up with a stack of people, including Jimmy Maher, Wally Fullerton Smith and Nick Livermore. The players from 1995 adjourn to Shelter Bar at Story Bridge Hotel. The great Billy J Smith gives several a lift, I am reliably informed. Tonight I have dinner with my Murwillumbah (Dungay, to be exact) mate, Tom Tartan at Brothers’ club.

SUNDAY, MARCH 15

To Norths v Burleigh match at Bishop Park, and watch from ‘the hill’ with our daughter, Melanie. Mark Murray, who resigned as Norths’ CEO during the week, is having an ale in the VIP area. Former Broncos’ Test winger, Jharal Yow Yeh is among the patrons of the can bar, looking over the ground where he played his last game of rugby league 12 months earlier, a shocking ankle injury suffered in a NRL match in Perth, finally proving too much for him. I have watched plenty of footy on television over the last three days, some games downright boring (Broncos v Cronulla), others inspirational (Manly’s win over Melbourne). But for me the try of the weekend came from the Hurricanes in their rugby union match against the Blues in Palmerston North. Occasionally, when you channel surf, you come up with a gem like this from the 15 man code, although usually they are packing a scrum or stopping play while some chap does up his boot laces.

Fellow member of our QRL History Committee, Paul Hayes, has been gifted several items by former Brothers and Queensland forward, Bob Cox (formerly Cock), including St George (Sydney) legend, Craig Young’s first New South Wales jersey.

Bob Cock in action

Bob Cock in action for City against Country in the 1970s

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