DIARY OF A RETIRED RUGBY LEAGUE WRITER
WEEK 2 2019
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9
Radio TAB’s John McCoy played rugby union for Gregory Terrace against The Southport School, in a curtain raiser to the Wallabies v British Lions Test at Lang Park, Brisbane in 1966. After their match, the boys watched from the sidelines as the Lions demolished Australia 31-0. Their touring squad included two men who would go on to tour Australia with the Great Britain rugby league Lions, Terry Price and David Watkins.
Former ABC Television producer, Don Munro is Brothers through and through, but when he was based at Dalby, as a young man, he played for Colts instead of the local Brothers club, because of pressure from his then employers. Don says great league personalities of the 1950s and 60s, Henry Holloway and Brian Davies, once had a match race at Lang Park, after they had retired as players. ‘Big H’, as Holloway was known, broke at the start, but still got run down.
In 1999, when our son, Damien was part of the Broncos’ system, then assistant coach, Craig Bellamy told him not to ease up in the 400 metre runs. The 400 and 800 metre events were specialities for Damien, who was a fine athlete at Nudgee College. Bellamy felt Damien was holding back, so as not to be a show off.
Marie and I see movie, ‘Collette’ at Centro in James Street, Fortitude Valley. Very good. Moreton Bay Bugs for lunch at Green Beacon Brewery.
Gary Carlaw, the father of former Test rugby league forward, Dane Carlaw, died unexpectedly today, aged 67. Roy Masters has written a column in the Sydney Morning Herald about former Wests (Sydney) skipper, Warren Boland’s brother-in-law, Steve Tamone, a courageous prop for the Magpies, who died of a heart attack, aged 63.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10
Penalty shoot-out in match between Monaco and Rennes involves 22 shots at goal. Monaco end up winning.
Fellow Stafford Tavern patron, Gerry McKendry sees former Cronulla coach, Shane Flanagan at Greenmount Surf Club. Flanagan has been deregistered by the NRL, for alleged integrity breaches. Another Stafford regular, Keith Rooney, took his grand kids to the Big Bash cricket at the Gabba. “Blokes don’t go to the urinal any more,” he observes. Rory Gibson wrote a column about this recent trend, in ‘The Sunday-Mail’.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 11
Drinks at Grange bar, Quincy’s, which always boasts a great selection of craft breer. A ‘Resch’s Appreciation Society’ has been formed in Sydney, as a rebuke of the craft brew craze. Veteran sports commentator, David Morrow says all other beers, other than Reschs, are rubbish.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 12
My old newspaper, the Tweed Daily News, advertises for a reporter with tertiary qualifications, and the ability to take captivating pics. I would not have been able to apply. I began my cadetship, in 1971, straight out of school, after being a contributor to the Murwillumbah High newspaper, Focus. In those days, ‘The Daily News’ photographers were from local studios, at Murwillumbah. A career in journalism meant I enjoyed the company of many great people, including fellow Brisbane sports writers, Bernie Pramberg, Jim Tucker and Brian Burke. None of them would have been able to apply for ‘The Daily News’ job.
Marie and I babysit our grandsons, Ethan and Connor while their parents, Lliam and Channelle attend an outdoor concert at The Big Pineapple in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. They reckon singer, Tash Sultana was “a bit off”.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 13
There is a tribute to former professional racing cyclist, and later a broadcaster, Paul Sherwen, at start of ‘Tour Down Under’ in South Australia. Sherwen, died last month, aged 62. I didn’t realise he was born in Widnes, Cheshire, the English city where I have a number of friends, among them Paddy Hart, Brian Grady and George Nicholls. I loved listening to his commentary on the Tour de France.
‘Slow TV’ on SBS features Australia’s Kimberley Coast. Amazing scenery.
1 David Watkins in action for the Welsh rugby league side. That’s Clive Sullivan in the background
2 Roy Masters (far right, backrow) as coach of the Australian Schoolboys’ team in England in 1972
3 Top sports journalists (from left), Bernie Pramberg, Jim Tucker and Brian Burke.
4 Brian Grady (far right, front row) in the Huyton team, one of many Widnesians contracted to the Merseyside club in the 1970s.