WEEK 34, 2016
TUESDAY, AUGUST 23
AT Wynnum-Manly Leagues I discuss up-coming sportsmen’s lunch, where I will be MC. Chat to Wynnum first grade coach, John Buchanan, who is a nephew of my former Murwillumbah Brothers’ teammates, Gerard and Phil Buchanan. Gerard, and his wife, Anne, run the famous Bush Tucker fruit shop at Chillingham in the Tweed Valley. Also chat to Wynnum chief executive, Hanan Laban, who played league in France – with Avignon. His dad, Ken is a television sports commentator in New Zealand.
Watch Super League – London v Leeds. Iliess Macani, originally from Tottenham, scores a great try for London. Former British Test centre, Garry Schofield labels Australian forward, Dave Taylor a disgrace, after his lack lustre effort for Catalan Dragons in a 44-0 loss to Hull.
Learn of the passing of Bruce Banner, 82, from Fernvale in the Tweed Shire. Bruce is a relation, on my mother’s side of the family.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 27
The 1976 first grade side is honored at Brothers’ reunion at the Leagues Club, Grange. I played that season, in reserve and third grade, but managed two Amco Cup first grade matches, as well as one appearance in the premiership. John Lohman coached the firsts; Johnny Smith the reserves and Col O’Gorman the C grade. Former State winger, Ian Dauth gives a tribute to Brothers’ former Test hooker, Brian Fitzsimmons, who died on June 22 in Townsville. ‘Fitzy’ played for, and coached, Brothers. Legendary strapper, Jimmy Johnson gets a lifetime achievement award. Tweed Valley product, Grant Glasby reminds me of my Sixth Form (Murwillumbah High School) break-up party at Nobbys Creek, at a disused farmhouse, next to his family’s property. I took Cheryl White to the farewell formal ball, but went with Elizabeth Rowe to the party. A few years later, Elizabeth married a prominent bush rugby league player, who especially made a name for himself at Hay, in the Riverina.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 28
Wynnum-Manly sportsmen’s lunch goes well, despite the late arrival of former Test centre, Chris Johns, who only flew in from a Thai holiday that day. Chris spoke at halftime, in the Intrust Super Cup mach between Wynnum and Ipswich. Beforehand I had interviewed Wynnum coach, John Buchanan; Channel 9 personality, Peter Psaltis and former Test centre, Chris McKenna. Local MP, Joan Pease praises my efforts. Say hello to former Broncos’ halfback, Ron Troutman, who coaches Wynnum’s BRL side.
On the way home, our Men of League group drops into Bob Knights’ Banyo home for a few quiet ales. Bob shows me his scrapbooks, from his playing days with Valleys and Logan City. There are quite a few of my articles.
Former Kiwi league international, Sione Faumuina wants to be a Men of League ambassador. Sione has published his autobiography, which details the struggles of a young man embarking on a professional football career. Stay up to watch replay of Hull v Warrington match. Very good.
Photo: Garry Schofield.