The Cumberland Throw

Eric Grothe Snr Interview – Part 1

The Cumberland Throw yet again had the pleasure of visiting another legend of our great club, this time, the man widely regarded as the best winger of all time, Eric Grothe Snr.

Now before anyone pipes up and says “hey what about Semi?”, for those out there old enough to remember, Eric brought the crowd to it’s feet every time he touched the ball. Every run was power personified, determination and danger to the opposition and Eric was arguably one of the best cover defenders we had seen in years.

The comparisons between Eric and Semi with the way they play the game, their passion, determination, power, strength, speed and for pure crowd excitement are uncanny!

But this interview is all about Eric!

Still softly spoken, still a bit of a larrikan with some of his comments, still every bit THE GURU.



We hope you enjoy watching this latest installment in The Cumberland Throw’s Legends series.

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13 thoughts on “Eric Grothe Snr Interview – Part 1

    1. DK Eel Post author

      I knew Zip had a pretty major injury earlier in his career, but I didn’t realise just how it changed his style of play. As Guru said, to think that Zip could have been a Wally lewis type of player with speed, evasion AND size ….. just mind blowing

  1. Phil Mann

    Some of the footage is magnificent. Probably too soon to compare Semi with Eric. Just hope Semi doesn’t have as many injuries as Eric.

    1. DK Eel Post author

      Cheers mate,

      I go through a lot of footage I have here and from a number of sources when putting these together to try and enhance the narrative from the players.

      I loved seeing the footage of Eric menace the English team on the 1982 Kangaroo tour (first test).

      It’s a shame that we didn’t have the amount of game coverage back in Eric’s early days as we have today. I have a few scant memories of my brother (Sixties) getting me along to the games with him to watch the under 23’s run around and seeing these blokes. I have a clear memory of going to Henson Park to watch Parra thrash Newtown. We caught the early supporter bus from the club. I remember asking him “why were we going so early to the game”. I’ll never forget this response – “We all need to see this young winger Grothe, he’s just amazing”. I remember watching Parra win a scrum and Eric running over several Newtown players and (as I was hammering though the packed sandwiches we had so I could justify a meat pie later on) and thinking to myself “ok, now I understand”.

      I didn’t complain (as often) about the early morning starts to games after that …… as often .

      With an older brother like Sixties, there was no chance I was going to be anything other than a dyed in the wool Parramatta fan!

  2. sixties

    Eric was very welcoming to us and I’ll admit to bending his ear about my obscure lower grade memories of him as well as musical rarities.
    Eric is an extremely humble man, and his reflections about his career emphasise this.

  3. Rowdy

    How good was that?!

    Eric’s final comment rings a bell with what is coming out of this current team “We just all wanted to stay together:”

    I hope we can get some really smart individuals onto the board to direct whoever ends up CEO!
    There is no reason why we can’t have 8 or 9 internationals and have room left in our salary cap through TPA’s just as Brisbane and the Roosters are able to do.

    1. sixties

      That will come with success. The example being Hayne. Wherever Hayne plays, and let’s say Parra, his TPAs will probably exceed his salary. If a player is as highly marketable as Hayne, the organisations will approach his manager. Little prompting will be needed.

      1. DK Eel Post author

        I can recall a match at Belmore against the Illawarra Steelers. They had punter the ball down the sideline, their winger was sprinting to get to the ball and had left our defence in the dust, but not Eric.

        He came from across the other side of the field, leapt across the Illawara winger and threw the ball over the sideline.

        In an a game wrap up in Rugby League Week, they were asking the winger about THAT moment. While I may be paraphrasing a bit here (it’s been a loooooong time since I read the article) , I recall the winger saying that he had ” beaten the defence al ends up, he ball was sitting up perfectly to take , the line was wide open, then this flash of blue and gold came across and the ball went into touch. All I could think was ….. bloody Grothe …. forgot about him!”

        So many awesome memories relating to that legend of the Blue and Gold!

        1. rod horder

          the Illawarra player was allan mcindoe, a real speedster of the nrl at the time, I remember it well, it was a Saturday afternoon game on the abc, I will never forget that moment , I couldn’t believe it when I saw him coming and basically ran diagonally across most of the field to get him just before the line, incredible, imagine being one of the parra players watching their teammate do that, what would they have been thinking? I will always remember that moment, people forget he used to do it all the time.

          1. rod horder

            actually just reading your comment I think your moment was not mine, the moment I’m talking about was when mcindoe broke clear near his own 10m line and raced away down the sideline , eric came from the other side of the field and tackled him right before the tryline. I think they scored anyway off the next play but that was an awesome moment I wont forget.

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