DIARY OF A RETIRED RUGBY LEAGUE WRITER
WEEK 43 2018
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25
The Courier-Mail reports that Anthony Siebold will coach the Broncos next year. Wayne Bennett has been named South Sydney’s coach for 2020 and ’21, and, as far as I know, wants to complete his contract with the Broncos by staying around for the 2019 season. Bennett is to be a guest speaker at a function at Odsal Stadium, Bradford in England, ahead of Saturday’s First Test against New Zealand in Hull. Bennett is England coach. Former Sydney Morning Herald league writer, Steve Mascord, who lives in England, is set to conduct the Odsal interview.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26
Former Brisbane Brothers’ rugby league skipper, Trevor Bailey likes my ‘Corbett Park Nostalgia’ article on this website. I also get positive feedback from Laurie Parker at Charleville. Wayne Bennett, a product of Clifton-Allora on the Darling Downs, played for Brothers in the early 1970s and was appointed coach of the club in 1980, after what I’m told was a tense period of negotiation. “Wayne wasn’t easy to deal with,” I am told by one of the directors from that period.
Former Test prop, David Shillington finishes his stint as Men of League’s Queensland manager.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27
Marie’s sister-in-law, Beth Donnelly (nee Yates) passes away at 3 a.m. after a short, but brave battle with stomach cancer. She was only 64. Beth married Kevin Donnelly at Casino in 1976. Her wish, to be moved from Lismore Base Hospital to St Vincent’s, where she did her training (she was a nursing sister) was granted barely 48 hours before her death. There also is sad news from England, where our daughter-in-law, Emma’s Aunty Marion has passed away.
Winx wins the Cox Plate and jockey, Eddie Bowman pays tribute to his personal trainer, Trent Langlands, the son of rugby league Immortal, Graeme Langlands. The lass who sings the National Anthem has a shocker.
In the Serbian rugby league grand final, a player is sent to the sin bin for mooning the crowd.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28
Watch England v New Zealand rugby league Test from Hull. Centre, Oliver Gildart scores a great try, on debut, in England’s 18-16 win. English winger, Jermaine McGillvary’s eight-year-old son plays in Manchester City Soccer Club’s junior system. Also watch Test from Carcassonne in France, with the French beating Wales 54-18. A minute’s silence is observed for the 10 people who lost their lives in the severe flooding which hit the region. Wales player, Elliot Kear, is a product of Whitchurch College, Cardiff, which has produced a number of union stars.
Some of my former Murwillumbah Brothers’ rugby league teammates have morning tea with former first grade halfback, Des Lee at the aged care facility where he now resides. Des, who played first grade for Wynnum-Manly in Brisbane and Central Charlestown in Newcastle, was one of the bravest footballers I have ever seen. He was my under-18 coach in 1969.
On ABC radio, Ian McNamara (Macca) talks of his meeting with Country and Western icon, Tex Morton at Manly in the 1980s. Macca plays Tex’s song, ‘The Travelling Showman’. My Aunty, Dorothy May Ricketts, (Sister Dorrie) performed for many years with Tex and was a fine singer in her own right.
It is our eldest boy, Damien’s 38th birthday and he and wife, Emma and daughter, Parker pay us a visit. In the pool area at our town house complex, people enjoying the amenities have four dogs (at least four) inside the fence, which is against body corporate rules, but more importantly, against the rules of common sense, hygiene and respect for residents.
1 Steve Mascord
2 Kevin and Beth Donnelly on their wedding day at Casino.