It’s a rugby league Christmas




Christmas is ostensibly a celebration of the start of a person who preached a timeless message of compassion and charity, and even non-believers like me get along with household yearly and no less than try to be good to them.

You’re unlikely to seek out a lot compassion or charity on a rugby league area, although, and that’s a part of the explanation why we like it. Regardless, this yr I made a decision to attempt to deliver collectively the spirit of Christmas and the brutality of rugby league by means of deciding on a Christmas XVII.

Merry Christmas and a cheerful new yr to all rugby league Roarers.

1. Abraham Fatnowna

We wouldn’t have the Christmas story with out the seemingly legendary story of the prophet Abraham, settler of the holy land.

His rugby league namesake tended to go by the identify ‘Butch’, hailed from Mackay and debuted for the Brisbane Broncos on the tender age of simply 18 in 1992. Whereas he was evidently a prodigious expertise, Fatnowna by no means settled on the star-studded Broncos and his profession fizzled out in England a number of years later.

2. Angel Marina

For a man who managed a measly 22 first grade video games for Canberra within the Eighties, Angel Marina left fairly a legacy. I’d by no means heard of him earlier than I spent a quick interval residing within the capital, however I shortly found that he stays one thing of a cult figure.

I’m not going to low cost the likelihood that Canberra people will nonetheless be speaking concerning the nice man in reverential tones a few millennia from now.

3. Paul ‘Mary’ McGregor

Like many Dragons supporters, I’ve stated some unkind issues about ‘Mary’ lately. Within the spirit of the season, it’s value remembering that he was an excellent participant, a NSW and Australian consultant, key member of the primary profitable Steelers crew and a founding member of St George Illawarra. Properly performed, Mary.

Paul McGregor holds a post match interview

Paul McGregor. (Picture by Mark Kolbe/Getty Pictures)

4. Wayne Merry

Wayne ‘Bugsy’ Merry was a well-respected policeman who had an extended involvement with the service’s consultant league groups, together with representing NSW himself within the Nineteen Seventies and ‘80s. He additionally managed 5 video games within the prime grade for Western suburbs in 1971 and ’72.

Sadly, Merry passed away just some weeks in the past on the age of 73. Vale, Bugsy.

5. Sensible Kativerata

The sensible man of Suva had a quick and well-travelled taking part in profession with the Dragons, Souths and Parramatta. He’s since turned his hand to teaching and most lately led Fiji to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

6. Joseph Busch

Joe ‘Chimpy’ Busch – nice identify that and a double whammy on the Christmas theme – is a Corridor of Famer who rose quickly by means of the ranks after debuting for Easts in 1928. He performed for each NSW and Australia the identical season, earlier than touring England with the Kangaroos in 1929-30 and taking part in a key position in a single the nice Ashes collection.

7. Noel Goldthorpe

There could also be one or two Noels who’ve reached larger heights in rugby league, however Goldthorpe’s the one one I do know of who lives as much as his identify by means of being born on Christmas Day.

Common readers know he’s a favorite of mine, an underrated participant who performed an understated half in main St George to 3 Grand Finals within the house of 5 seasons within the Nineteen Nineties, earlier than shedding all of them.

8. David ‘the Mule’ Hosking

Talking of cult heroes, the ‘Mule’ was definitely that for Manly supporters, having carried the membership’s treasured cargo on his again as they traversed the barren land between their 1987 premiership triumph and renewed success within the mid-Nineteen Nineties.

9. Arthur ‘Snowy’ Justice

So far as I do know there’s not a lot snow round Hurstville at Christmas, with Justice’s nickname apparently deriving from his shock of blond hair. As his provenance suggests, Snowy was a St George junior and went on to grow to be a membership stalwart, taking part in first grade for a decade, captaining the membership within the 1930 Grand Last, serving as head coach and membership secretary and turning into a life member in 1944.

10. Toby Rudolf

Rudolf is extra Khal Drogo than beloved, red-nosed bearer of Santa Claus. However he must be right here as a result of I’m quick operating out of choices.

(Picture by Matt King/Getty Pictures)

11. Mike Nicholas

Saint Mike Nicholas MBE is likely one of the all-time greats of Welsh rugby league and a tireless advocate for the 13-man sport in his house nation.

He’s additionally a legend of the Warrington Wolves membership, having received a Problem Cup in 1974 and grow to be a fan favorite resulting from his ardour and dedication, together with 13-send-offs throughout his membership profession. Not very compassionate, however I’ll forgive him.

12. Josh Jackson

Which brings us to the person himself. Like his namesake, Yeshua of Nazareth, Joshua Jackson was a shining gentle and saviour for Canterbury all through his illustrious profession.

13. Brandon ‘The Cheese’ Smith

Craig Silvey’s great novel, Jasper Jones, is a outstanding piece of writing for a lot of causes, not least the writer’s means to mix tragedy and irreverent humour into his narrative. ‘Child Cheeses’ performs a outstanding half on this.

I’m the cheese-bringer at Thompson household gatherings, primarily as a result of I reside simply up the highway from one in every of Brisbane’s best purveyors of gooey, smelly French cheese, and deciding on Child Cheeses is one in every of my favorite components of Noel.

Bench: Adam Starr, Fonua Pole, Mark Carroll and Arthur Romano.



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