FOUR local sporting legends were inducted into the Group Three Rugby League Hall of Fame at the Wingham Services Club last Friday night (December 6).
Almost 200 people attended to watch Forster’s Tony Paskins and Taree’s Kevin Hardy, Wally Sneddon and Warren Kimberley be inducted into the hall of fame.
Paskins moved to Forster in 1967 after a stellar career in England and Australia.
He took over as captain coach of the Hawks in 1968 and guided the side to premierships in that year, the 1969 grand final and 1970. To this day, the 1968 side is rated as one of the best to play in this area.
Sneddon, 87, travelled all the way from Queensland with his wife and son to attend the event.
His association with football in Taree started in the 1940s. After a one season stint with South Sydney he returned to Taree in 1951 where he captain-coached Old Bar to the grand final where they were beaten by Taree Browns Creek.
Kimberley played more than 200 games for Wauchope and he also coached Wauchope.
He became involved in club and group administration whilst still playing and is a past president and vice president of the Country Rugby League. He remains a patron of the CRL.
Hardy was a member of the Taree United side of 1971 that won the club’s maiden first grade premiership. After a season with Newcastle Western Suburbs he returned to United in 1973 as captain-coach and guided the Greens to titles in 1973, 74 and 77 along with the 1978 grand final, making him one of the most successful coaches in Group Three history.
Among the guests was Danny Buderus. Buderus started his career in the Group Three juniors before heading to Newcastle.
Newcastle five-eighth Jarrod Mullen, who also played football in Taree, was another special guest.
Group Three president Wayne Bridge confirmed that there will be at least two inductions into the hall of fame each year. The 2014 induction will be held in December.