DIARY OF A RETIRED RUGBY LEAGUE WRITER.
WEEK 4, 2017
MONDAY, JANUARY 23.
A tearful Matt Hayden is inducted into Australian Cricket’s Hall of Fame at Allan Border Medal Awards Night. North Stradbroke Island is his home these days. David Warner claims the coveted Border Medal.
At Brothers Leagues Club, Peter Skerman introduces me to former Brothers’ teammate, Peter Mahoney, who has been doing it tough, health wise. He was a wild man in his younger days. Weren’t we all. Peter Mahoney traveled to England as a teenager, and made it to a number of rugby league strongholds, and particularly remembers Dewsbury. We talk about the infamous Queensland beer strikes of the 1970s. Skermo names a few publicans, who he says, ripped off patrons. My former Brothers and Norths’ teammate, Dennis Moore is coaching the Gladstone rep. team.
Chat to my former Murwillumbah Brothers’ teammate, Mick Hession, who tells me his family hails from Galway, Ireland, originally. In 2000, Mick stayed at Athenry in Galway, and local side, St Mary’s, won the All Ireland Club Hurling title, beating Doora-Barefield in the final.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 26.
My wife, Marie makes damper for Australia Day. Locals are playing cricket on the banks of Kedron Brook. She buys lamingtons ($5 a pack) at a house near Milton State School, as we head to our youngest son, Lliam’s place. We are joined by our eldest boy, Damien and his wife, Emma, plus my sister Gay Lynch, and her husband, David. Triple J’s Top 100 is playing. Damien later attends lads’ BBQ lunch. Nigel Large has started a 12 month (booze) dry, as part of a bet with his boss.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 27
Interview Tony Martyn (for Men of League Magazine) re his devotion to the Brothers’ rugby league cause, here in Brisbane and also in Gympie. To South Bank for a food fair. Stone and Wood beer is warm. Adjourn to ‘Jetty’ Restaurant for dinner, when rain falls. Former Broncos’ chief executive, Shane Edwards and his wife, Sue are dining at Popolo. Shane is now general manager, commercial, at Alliance Airways. Two drinks at Tipplers, before cabbing it home. Our driver, Somalian, has six kids. He is 34.
Former Ipswich referee, Peter Betros has ‘retired’ as Queensland Rugby League chairman, his place taken by Brisbane Easts’ stalwart, Bruce Hatcher.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 29
At Chinatown, in Fortitude Valley, we watch Filipino dancers, and then a Chinese choir and dance group. My uncle, Bill Ricketts turns 85 today, and it is the 40th wedding anniversary of Tweed Heads based John and Jan Donnelly, who were married in Maclean, in the Clarence Valley. John is my wife, Marie’s youngest sibling. Today is the 50th anniversary of a massive storm which hit the Gold Coast and caused major beach erosion. Climate change?
In England, the St Helens’ Academy rugby league side is to play a match against Cornish Rebels (from Cornwall). Cornwall is a noted rugby union county, so it is encouraging to see there is a league presence there, in the town of Redruth.
Photo 1: Peter Skerman (right) and Peter Mahoney.
Photo 2: Tony Martyn (centre) with legendary Brothers’ strapper, Jimmy Johnson (left) and former Brothers’ hooker, Greg Keane.