DIARY OF A RETIRED RUGBY LEAGUE WRITER
WEEK 1 2020
Former Queensland National Party MP, Vic Sullivan once called a race at Jandowae in western Queensland, after the official caller arrived late. That is one of the more interesting snippets from the chat among the lads at the Stafford Tavern’s ‘Table of knowledge’.
Steve Haddan is progressing well with his latest book, about Queensland rugby league legend, Wally Lewis. Steve was to interview Wally’s former Australian Schoolboys’ rugby union teammate, Mark Ella this week.
Our eldest boy, Damien; his wife, Emma and daughters, Parker and Evan have been staying at our place, but today they leave for Green Mountain, part of the Lamington National Park in the border country near New South Wales.
A neighbour has seen a brown snake in our complex. Nothing like the 17ft taipan, former Brisbane Brothers’ winger, Peter Skerman tells me he saw at Proserpine, in North Queensland, But Peter is a fisherman…
The West Indies are playing Ireland in cricket in Barbados when I turn on the television. Amazing finish and the Irish are unlucky to lose. On the ‘league channel’, the Bulldogs are playing the Sharks in an old game. Sharks’ forward, Craig Dimond makes two great, driving runs and then fullback, Johnathan Docking scores a fine try from a grubber kick. I coached Craig, briefly, at Murwillumbah, when his dad, Peter, a former Test player, was licensee of the Imperial Hotel.
On my morning walk, I see a garbo on his phone, while he is driving, and then a female mini-bus driver on her phone, driving up the street, after dropping off (Sydney) Wests Tigers’ rugby league players for training at Emerson Park. Disgraceful.
Our grandson, Connor is three today. He is a delightful child, and I mean that sincerely.
Learn of the passing of former South Sydney winger, Brian James, aged 76. James, a stylish runner, played one Test – against France at Lang Park, Brisbane in 1968.
In China, the Government says the outbreak of a new virus in Wuhan, is ‘under control’.
My ‘Green Beacon Pale Ale’ at Quincy’s Bar, Grange is flat. Switch to Maleny Lager, which is OK. Marie has Gippsland Rose.
Learn of the passing of Manfred Moore, a former Oakland Raiders’ grid-iron player, who played rugby league for Newtown in 1977. I had mixed emotions about his signing. On the one hand, I wanted him to fail (which he did) just to show that it is not a simple matter, playing our game just because one has had experience in the ‘great’ NFL. On the other hand, his success, might have led to more interest from American footballers. Newtown coach, Paul Broughton said Manfred struggled to differentiate between pain and an injury.
My Maitland mate, Greg Grainger sends a photograph of a New South Wales Country side, which includes Tweed Seagulls’ players, Tom Searle, Earl Browning and Rob McDermott, men we played against, ‘back in the day’. I remember McDermott was ‘so cool’, a surfie, from memory, who moved to the Tweed from Newcastle club, Souths.
In England’s Challenge Cup competition, York Acorn defeat London side, Hammersmith Hills hoists, 36-14. I mean, are there any better names in the world of sport.
1 Connor Ricketts is three. He celebrates here with parents, Lliam and Channelle and older brother, Ethan
2 Steve Haddan does an interview in his Channel 9 days