The name Pannowitz is revered in the Hunter Valley district of New South Wales.
So it did not come as any surprise when former Hull Kingston Rovers and Keighley (England) forward, Keith Pollard named Terry Pannowitz among his list of best players from his much traveled career.
Pollard is the first to admit that his name is not at the forefront of discussions about the best rugby league players. But he achieved a lot, and rugby league gave him friends for life.
His book ‘Red and White Phoenix’ (The adventures of a Hessle Road lad), is a lovely read, and I am grateful to former Maitland forward, Greg Grainger, for giving me copy to peruse. (Hessle Road, Hull is where Pollard spent his childhood).
Pollard won premiership glory at Maitland in the Newcastle competition, where he played alongside Terry Pannowitz.
Former Great Britain forward, Brian Lockwood describes Pollard as one of the most under-rated props in the country, a man who may have worn his country’s colors if he had not decided to travel the world.
Terry Pannowitz toured New Zealand with the Australian side in 1965, but did not play a Test. According to Pollard, the mighty St George club in Sydney were chasing Pannowitz as a halfback, but he refused to move because he only wanted to play lock. Pannowitz, a fitness fanatic, was captain-coach of Maitland.
Terry’s older brother, Bob was captain-coach of the Murwillumbah Brothers’ side which won the 1969 Group 18/Gold Coast premiership, defeating Cudgen 11-0 in the grand final, with winger, Athol Gear scoring the only try. Pannowitz kicked two goals and two field goals.
The Courier-Mail’s Lawrie Kavanagh was sent to Murwillumbah to cover the match, and described it as a “tough, tight, honest affair”.
Lower grade results: Reserves: Murwillumbah Old Boys 15 South Murwillumbah 7; Under-18s: Tweed Heads Seagulls 11 Souths 0; under-16s: Cudgen 9 Gold Coast Tigers (now Southport Tigers) 6.
I played under-18s for Brothers that year and we lost to eventual grand finalists, Souths in the knock-out semi-final at Knox Park, Murwillumbah. Our coach was Des Lee, who was first grade halfback in ’69, and went on to carve out a fine career in Newcastle (Central Charlestown) and Brisbane (Wynnum-Manly).
That 1969 (A grade) side will be the centre of attention when Brothers’ hold a reunion at their Dorothy Street leagues club on Sunday, October 27 this year (2019).
Footnote: I met Keith Pollard in 1975 when I was playing for Wingham Tigers in Group 3 and he was captain-coach of Kempsey Cowboys in Group 2. Keith was visiting his good mate, Brian Atherton (ex Widnes, England) in Taree.
Photo: Keith Pollard fires out a pass for Maitland.