DIARY OF A RETIRED RUGBY LEAGUE WRITER
WEEK 22 2018
MONDAY, MAY 28
RADIO TAB’s John McCoy pays tribute to former Norths and Queensland winger, Fonda Metassa, who died last week, aged 80. Fonda’s wake will be held at Norths Leagues Club, Nundah. I buy book, ‘Retro Rugby League’ by Ian Collis. There is a photograph of the 1952 Sydney Wests premiership winning side, with Peter McLean the captain. His son, Mick ‘Dolly’ McLean, who lives at Tweed Heads, and played for Manly-Warringah, looks so much like him. I played against Mick in 1975, when he was captain-coach of Port Macquarie Sharks and I was playing for Wingham Tigers. Mick’s son is Broncos Media manager, Trad McLean.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 30
Marie and I walk Witches Falls circuit on Mt Tamborine, after baby sitting our grand daughter, Parker Ricketts at Main Beach, where one of Australia’s richest man, Gerry Harvey says hello to us, in Beaches Cafe. Gerry lives nearby. We buy rhubarb, avocados and lemons from road side stalls on Mt Tamborine.
Lionel Morgan, the first indigenous man to represent Australia in rugby league, is present in Queen Street Mall for a State of Origin team promotion.
THURSDAY, MAY 31
There is a furniture truck outside number 88 Uxbridge Street, Grange, with the elderly resident having sold. I have little doubt her modest wooden structure will be demolished for a giant modern thing. A neighbour says farewell, and the old dear is embarrassed by the show of affection.
SUNDAY, JUNE 3
‘Sunday-Mail’ have an exclusive about former Queensland State of Origin prop, Gavin Allen requiring a heart transplant. Given the way he played the game, one thing ‘Jed’ didn’t seem to need was a new heart. Allen was raised in Cairns in Far North Queensland, and trained for footy in bare feet. “When I moved to Brisbane (Valleys’ coach) Peter McWhirter had to find me some shoes,” Allen told me, when I interviewed him for the book ‘Bennett’s Broncos’.
Photo 1: Peter McLean (centre) with Col Hudson (left) and George Bain (right). The ballboy is B Rowan
Photo 2: Lionel Morgan (left) and fellow indigenous icon, Steve Renouf.