DRIVING rain did little to dampen the spirits of the league legends who attended the Men of League Golf Day at Forster Golf Club on Friday.
Countless test and NSW caps and more than a few first grade appearances were on hand in the 14 legends who attended the day headed by Team of the Century Hooker Noel Kelly, rugby league hall of fame inductee Harry Wells, and guest of honour John ‘Bomber’ Peard, who revolutionised the game with his mastery of the up and under kick during the 60s and 70s.
Others on hand included former Balmain tackling machine and local legend Dennis Tutty and the man who, until Fui Fui Moi Moi came along, boasted the best name in the history of rugby league, South Sydney great Ziggy Nizscscott.
Some war stories were told, a few glasses of the amber fluid were shared, but the main theme of the day was one of giving back to greatest game of all. As microphone man Doug Keen worked the room asking for a few stories from the legends on hand, every one of them expressed gratitude at what the game had given them and a desire to continue giving back through the Men of League organisation.
The Men of League (MOL) organisation was founded by one of the all time greats in Souths and Roosters legend Ron Coote along with Jim Hall and Max Brown with a charter to “assist rugby league players, coaches, referees, officials and administrators, from all levels of the game, and members of their families who have fallen on hard times.”
The movement was inspired by the sad death of former St George player Doug McRitchie who died alone in a south coast hospital in 2002, which prompted Coote to vow: never again. The MOL now boast branches all over Australia and holds more than 50 events, like the golf day at Forster last week, which raise funds for scholarship scheme, residential care and rehabilitation facilities, various social welfare initiatives and the Sporting Chance Cancer Fund.