The Cumberland Throw

Eels Team List Nostalgia – The Unheralded

It’s the bye week, and with the Eels only featuring in lower grade matches I’ve decided to take a sabbatical from the here and now and take a buggy ride down memory lane.

And what better way to do so than via a team list. Seriously, who doesn’t love a team list!

I’ve produced the odd list in my time, and I much prefer compiling one with a difference.

Therefore, I’ve decided to come up with a register of Eels players who’ve rarely received the accolades, but have added value (in my opinion) to Parra during their time in the Blue and Gold. I’ve called it “The Unheralded”.

The players below are from the 1970s to the current season, but there are qualifications:

1. No NSW or Australian representative honours.
2. No premiership title
3. Less than 100 first grade games with the Eels

This is not meant to be a “best of the rest” or “should have played rep footy” type of list. It’s really just a compilation of players that were personal favourites of mine, and maybe it might rekindle a few memories for some of you.

Here we go.

Parramatta Eels – The Unheralded 

Fullback: Phil Mann, 1973 – 1983 (55 games)

Mann in flight against the Dogs.

Phil Mann in full flight was a sight to behold. His nickname of “Spider” was well-deserved as his two metre plus frame rarely provided an easy target for a one on one tackle. The long legs were hard for legs tacklers to wrap their arms around, and his inspector gadget arms delivered a powerful fend. One of my favourite rugby league moments was provided by Phil – a length of the field try in reserve grade at Kogarah.

Having caught a failed Dragons penalty goal, Mann took off from the in-goal and down the left wing. After fending a number of defenders, he was confronted by Michael Sorridimi, who attempted to psyche him out by jumping up and down with his arm above his head, as if to say, look how tall you are.

He was also swatted away!


Wing: Brad Williams, 1981 – 1984 (24 games)

A bigger Williams takes on the defence.

Williams was a crowd favourite from the lower grades in the late 1970s, primarily because his thin frame of around 60kg (the “bionic matchstick”) seemed so unsuited to rugby league. His bearded visage provided the appearance of a mini-me version of Neville Glover.

Yet his first grade career seemed to take off as a considerably bulked up Williams became a different proposition for defenders. The Eels winger reached a level of notoriety by admitting in an interview that he was aided by a medically supervised course of steroids (then permissible). What wasn’t as well documented was his dedication to training in an effort to build up his physique. Still, Gibson was no fan of Williams going public and he ended up moving to the Raiders.


Centre: Ed Sulkowicz, 1974 – 1980 (68 games)

Sulkowicz in action at the SCG.

Ed Sulkowicz and his brother Ted were genuine club men – primarily playing lower grade football but producing quality footy whenever called upon for the top grade. Ed played quite a bit of first grade and possessed a vastly underrated sidestep (right foot from memory).

Back in those days there was no such thing as left centre or right centre. It was inside centre and outside centre. So a player with Sulkowicz’s pace and step outside the Crow made for an ideal pairing.

Sulkowicz was one of my favourite Eels players in the 1970s and I cheered myself hoarse when he scored what should have been the winning try in the 1977 grand final.


Centre: David Woods, 1989 – 96 (97 games)

Woods – untapped potential?

One of the most naturally gifted backs to play for the Eels, Woods unfortunately found a way to pile up injury upon injury.

Woods was an elusive runner, who could swerve at top pace. During the late 80s to mid 90s, he became one of the “go to” backs for Parra when attempting to spark their attack. He could have been anything in the 1980s golden era backline.

Were his injuries bad luck or poor training and poor injury management? Only Woods could answer that.


Wing: Lee Oudenryn, 1992 – 1995 (50 games)

Oudenryn takes on the Manly defence.

Leaping Lee had a cult following, and made a name for himself via his impressive pace. When the Eels played the touring Great Britain side in 1992, Oudenryn famously beat the man acclaimed as the fastest in rugby league, Martin Offiah, in a pre-game match race over 100 metres.

Despite claims of jumping the gun, Oudenryn was pulling away from Chariots over the last 15 metres.

Unfortunately few scoring opportunities were up for grabs at the Eels during the early 90s, so Oudenryn’s raw speed rarely came to the fore.


Five eighth: Denis Moran, 1997 – 2000 (36 games)

Moran in his post Eels days.

Despite not being able to secure a permanent first grade spot, Moran’s versatility in covering the halves and dummy half positions made him a valuable player in Brian Smith’s Eels roster. He possessed good pace off the mark and his stocky frame was ideal for such dual roles.

A typical Moran performance saw him coming off the bench to score a try in the Eels demolition of the Roosters in the 2000 finals series. He was an opportunist, always placing himself in the play to take advantage of offloads or half breaks. With Brian Smith noted for turning over his roster, especially in the halves, it was no surprise to see Moran move on after that season, finishing his career in England.


Half: Chris Lawler, 1994 – 1998 (49 games)

Lawler – Did he get a decent shot?

Chris Lawler was one of the Eels better performers during the dark years before Brian Smith’s arrival. He was the top points scorer in the 1995 and 1996 seasons. The goal kicking half was also a genuine speedster, hence his achievement of also being top try scorer in both of those seasons.

The arrival of Smith, along with the recruitment of John Simon, saw Lawler fall out of favour. He would only make one top grade appearance during Smith’s tenure. Personally I had hoped that Smith would take Lawler to another level. Unfortunately he didn’t feature in his plans.


Lock: Kenny Edwards, 2013 – 2018 (70 games)

Kenny – a character and a talent.

One of the biggest “personality” players to ever pull on the Blue and Gold jersey, Edwards will probably be remembered as much for his antics as his skill. The hugs, the cramps, the off-field dramas, all seemed to garner as much attention as his ability to change the momentum of matches with his high energy plays.

For mine, Kenny’s understanding of defensive structures was one of his greatest strengths and was definitely a key component in Moses’ improved defence in 2017.


Second Row: Feleti Mateo, 2004 – 2010 (88 games)

Feleti could produce freakish offloads.

Personal disclosure – I really rated Feleti. An in-form Mateo in Eels colours – it was truly an extra dimension in attack. I know he was prone to errors, and his work rate wasn’t the highest, but when he was in the zone he was almost impossible to shut down. He had the pace, power and ball skills to play either in the forwards or the halves. Unfortunately, patience wasn’t always his friend and this led to far too much lost possession when looking to promote the footy.

The 2009 run is regularly attributed to Jarryd Hayne, which of course plays down the contributions of others. When Feleti was added to the Eels 2009 team that was already producing a new level of second phase footy, the meter hit the freak zone.


Second Row: Justin Morgan, 1994 – 1999 (83 games)

Morgan – a talented and versatile forward.

Morgan was an incumbent in the Eels pack prior to Brian Smith’s arrival in 1996, having debuted in 1994 at age 19.

His athletic frame – 6ft 3, 105kg – saw him playing both front row and back row positions, and increasingly a bench role under Smith’s coaching. His work rate and mobility in attack and defence made him a valuable member of a talented Eels pack.

Morgan was only 24 when he moved on from the Eels and he retired only three seasons later.


Prop: Bob Jay, 1972 – 1980 (55 games)

Bob Jay offloading in traffic.

Bob Jay was an example of the days of great club men during the semi-professional era of rugby league. His nine years with the club only yielded 55 top grade games, but he played with the Eels at a time when they dominated the club championship (1976 to 1982) with three strong grades.

A rugged prop, Jay was in the mould of the run hard, tackle harder front rower typical of the 1970s, with a pinch of ball skills thrown in. He was arguably in the best form of his career when a forearm from a Manly forward (deemed legal by Greg Hartley) broke his jaw during the 1978 finals series.


Hooker: Brad Drew, 2001 – 2002 (45 games)

Brad Drew on the burst.

Brad Drew only stayed for two seasons with the Eels but had an immediate impact through his key role in the Eels record breaking 2001 season.

Drew was a converted half, but his stocky frame made him the ideal dummy half. He possessed the skill set of most halves, and the pace to create line breaks with his darts from the ruck. He was also a dangerous proposition close to the line.

Typical of the Smith era, this talented dummy half was only retained for a brief period (see also Aaron Raper) as the coach looked to use utility players in this specialist position.


Prop: Peter Johnston 1989 – 1991, 1996 – 1997 (69 games)


Johnston – without his headgear.

If ever a prop forward clearly defined his personal style, it was Peter Johnston. The kamikaze front rower had two stints with the Eels, punctuated by time at Souths and the Steelers.

Wearing his trademark headgear, Johnston often earned the ire from opposing fans for a tackling style that they argued had him leading dangerously with his head.

There was little doubt that Johnston only knew one way to play – fearlessly. He was undoubtedly an Eels hitman, and when you have a player that makes the opposition nervous, that’s a good thing!

Over to you.

Feel free to add your memories about the players on my list and/or add a list of your own.

Eels forever!


Credit to Slip, News Limited, Getty Images and a raft of internet sources for these images.

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75 thoughts on “Eels Team List Nostalgia – The Unheralded

  1. slip

    Nice article sixties. Just on Chris Lawler, a player that was quality and could kick goals from the sideline, but was in reserve grade. You mentioned the arrival of coach Brian Smith and Lawler falling out of favour, but he was too good for the lower grades. Many Parra fans at the time were disgusted with Brian Smith, having a quality player not in the top grade. I wonder why? Maybe we’ll never know!! I will always feel that Lawler was hard done by.

    1. sixties Post author

      Slip, I’ve never completely defined my opinion on Brian Smith as a coach. He delivered a period of strength, yet almost seemed to be self destructive in his methods.
      The Lawler scenario was typical. If he didn’t rate you, you were gone. Now that’s fine, because the coach has that right. But I could never understand the talent that he didn’t rate. Or the players he released. FFS, he nearly released a young Hindy for eating a packet of chips!
      He also turned over crucial positions far too regularly – mainly the spine. Try to name any long term player in the halves, fullback or hooker during his tenure. It’s impossible, and I’d suggest this instability is a big reason why we didn’t fulfil any promise during this era.
      His recruitment 2002 to 2004 was baffling.
      Tales of his messages to players prior to games are legendary. It had some players psyched out, not built up, before they played.

      1. slip

        I too have criticised Smith in the past and agree with your analysis.

        Back on Lawler, a try scoring machine that would kick goals from the sideline, while John Simon missed from right in front. And those were the days when the Eels didn’t win games by too many points until 2001. Is it possible Smith had issues with very talented players that couldn’t play exactly to the coaches game plan? Lucky Hayne started at Parra when Brian Smith ended.

        Tales of his messages might explain the 2001 GF. What a disaster!! Andrew Johns said that during the GF breakfast mid-week, the Eels looked nervous. Brian Smith must of failed to put them in the right frame of mind, the opposite to Jack Gibson.

        1. sixties Post author

          He really did confuse me as a coach. Some of his match plans, especially against the Broncos, were brilliant. Yet at other times he seemed to be overly complex in his communication and strategies.

    2. MAX

      Andrew Fitzhenry, was another talented young bloke that Smithy didn’t really take to. I understand that he was a pretty talented cricketer too!

      1. sixties Post author

        If Smith didn’t rate a player, they rarely got the opportunity to shine. Then again, that’s what he was paid to do – select his preferred players.

  2. Greg

    Great topic.
    The late Chad Robbo was one of my favourites. Unfashionable but just got stuck in and gave his best to whatever job the team needed. Also Jeff Robson …. Should never have cast him aside for Sandow.

    1. sixties Post author

      Greg, you are obviously a fan of unselfish players – those that play their role without going for the hero plays. Every team needs to have an underlying team first mentality, so players like that are crucial in a squad.

  3. slip

    Here is an article from my website on Brad Williams

    By Charles Christian
    May 6, 1982

    Parramatta’s bearded winger Brad Williams used a course of the highly controversial drug group, anabolic steroids, to build himself up for first-grade football. The drug, backed by an intensive weights program and controlled diet, built Williams up by an astonishing 3 stone (20kg), from 10 stone (64k) to 13 stone 3lb (84kg).
    Williams this week revealed he had used the steroids.
    Williams took the drug under strict medical supervision in a six-week period in the 1980-81 summer. “I can’t see any harm in letting people know you’ve taken steroids-it’s not illegal,” he told me.
    The Parramatta winger is not the only Sydney first-grader to have taken steroids. But he is the first since Graham Olling, back in 1977, to go “public”.
    The use of steroids has become an explosive issue in world amateur sport. The drug is officially banned now-but believed to be still in intensive use by athletes in the strength events, such as weightlifting and the field sports.
    A bigger, stronger Williams broke into first-grade football with the Eels this year.
    Photographs of him as a lower-grade winger with the Eels in 1980 show him as a real string bean at 64kg. He now plays at 78kg and is a considerably more robust player.
    Williams talked openly of the period in which he took the steroids, under the strict supervision of the Parramatta club doctor.
    NSWRL Doctor Bill Monaghan said he believed other players in Sydney have used steroids to build weight and strength.
    “The taking of steroids is a touchy area,” he said. “It has to be approached with a great deal of care and responsibility. The taking of steroids over a prolonged period, without any medical supervision, can lead to such things as liver damage and testicular atrophy, leading at times to sterility.
    “Obviously Williams was on a careful supervised program. But just because he had success in what he did doesn’t mean that it would work well for others.”
    Dr Monaghan said he preferred footballers to build up by natural methods-a weights program, backed by a proper diet.
    Team-mates tagged Williams the “Bionic Matchstick” in his build-up days. The nickname sticks, even though Williams is now substantially bigger and stronger than he was.
    “I’ve got absolutely no regrets about taking steroids,” Williams summed up.

    1. sixties Post author

      I was a fan of Pebbles June, but at 205 first grade matches, he doesn’t qualify – needs to be under 100 top grade appearances to be unheralded. In essence he was too qualified! He was one of the first selected during his era.

  4. Shelley

    I would have Ian Hindmarsh on the list. Great work rate and brilliant defender. I remember when he left and went to the Raiders we all realised just how much he did to cover up some other lazier defenders.

    1. sixties Post author

      Fair call Shelley. I was certainly disappointed when he moved on. It was another example of a player leaving under Smith (though he did return).

  5. Anonymous

    Good read sixties. After a devastating 3 weeks with the passing of my mother n helping my family mourn I’ve decided to make TCT my place to ease my pain. On behalf of my father , wife & family we wish to thank everyone on TCT for there support in our time of grieve.

    On to footy. I liked chris lawler I remember a game vs Canberra n John lomas was sent off after the 1st hit up. He (lomax) took out Adam Ritson high shot. We ending up winning 50/10 n I heard Ray (Rabbits) warren say what a rip snorter of a kick from the side line after lawler was goal kicker.

    Does anyone know what ever happend to chris lawler.

    1. sixties Post author

      Our thoughts have been with you Rev mate and welcome back. Wishing you and your family the best as you move forward.
      I reckon Parrathruandthru will be able to update you about Chris Lawler. The bloke is a walking encyclopaedia about Eels players. If he doesn’t reply to your comment, I’ll ask him this week and answer you.

      1. Snedden aka the rev

        Thank you my friend. It’s good to be back but I will always have a soft spot for the bunnies as they were my mums team.


  6. Anonymous

    Disappointed that P Kent has NOT made this list. In all seriousness D Woods was a super player plagued by injury; Peter Johnston a fav of mine during parra bad time of the 90’s. He damaged I Roberts at Manly one day and Roberts went off hurt.

  7. colin hussey

    I have to say I had the privilege to see everyone of those players in action on more than one occasion. I remember Bob Jay running out in the mid week cup which was early in the season or actually pre season at the old Sports ground with my late mother, the first match they played in the new strip. Bob had put on weight and in the new strip was hard to recognise, and my mum after gasping with the strip made the comment who is that big player, I had to look twice and check the program.

    Trouble with these memory stories is how many others are left out of the list. Good post non the less Sixties.

      1. Jimmy Corbo

        Great article Sixties, certainly bought back some memories. as per our Twitter exchange I was a massive fan of David Woods, what a player he could have been. He could be our very own Marcus Dupree “The best that never was”. Agree with your comments on Mateo, he was huge in the 09 GF and got us back into that game with some great ad lib play. Hayne was incredible but we forget the contribution of others during that year like Mateo, Inu, Mortimer etc it was no one man band. If Mateo had got himself a little fitter he could have been SBW like, just a phenomenal player when he was on. I recall the games he played at the back end of the year when he was leaving he was simply outstanding, one particular game against the Broncos they just could not tackle him. One player who I would like in your side was David Solomona, freakish off loads, makes Mateo look like Martin Lang.

        Re: Brian Smith, he was a PE teacher at my school many many moons ago and would play the same mind games with Students at school sport. On the Wednesday morning you were in/out of the starting team and by that afternoon you were out/in, he would get a perverse enjoyment out of the agony it caused. It is very much a short term motivational method that wears off very quickly and just leaves everybody uneasy and nervous.

        1. sixties Post author

          David Solomona is a good call Jimmy. Come on, drop in a list of your own. I reckon it would be a ripper!
          Thanks for sharing that about Smith too.

      2. colin hussey

        I admit to some name lapses, also the amount of games some played, so questions on positions and match numbers
        Full back I think of the player we got from wests played a few years and went back there. or Ted Sulkowitz
        Winger, Owen Stephens,
        Centre Greg Owens
        Dean Widders.
        Brett Atkins
        John Baker
        They are a few players that stick in my mind & played some good games for the eels.

          1. Parramatta Tragic

            I think Jim played for Australia so he is disqualified from this list but he was one of my favourites. Would love to know where Jim is now and if his Aunty is still with us (Cumberland grandstand favourite)

        1. colin hussey

          Adding to the list. 1: Steve White 2: Owen Stephens, 3: Graham Atkins 4: Greg Owens, 5: Geoff Emery, 6 Dan Mortimer, 7: Tim Smith. 8: Bret Altkins: 9: John Baker, 10, Dean Widders, 11 Geoff White, 12: Mick Mosely, 13: Dallas Weston 14: Steve Williams 15:

          I wanted Graeme Olling in there but think he did rep at some point. Numbers are the old ones, I also have Greg Hunt as a fullback option but think he had a few more games.

  8. MAX

    Did anyone ever rate Matty Goodwin, I loved the way he played, stood and off loaded, always a robust tough player, but you never really hear anyone rate him!

    1. sixties Post author

      I rated Matt Goodwin. He was a good pick up from Penrith in a challenging era. Could easily be on my list.
      Come on Max, as I said to Jimmy, drop in a list. I’d enjoy reading it.

      1. MAX

        I think you must have more time than me, but I love reading what you put together. How about compiling a list of players that Parra have bought that have contributed strong and consistent performances, we haven’t had much success on that front!!

          1. MAX

            A top imports list would be good Sixties.
            Thanks for the work that you put into this site by the way!

    1. sixties Post author

      Gary was a fine player, but he was over qualified for this list Rowdy, having played for both NSW and Australia whilst with the Eels.

      1. Rowdy

        Great Blog Sixties. Thanks mate I was just keen to give him a start as he gave me many reasons to smile when at our club. Mark Levy? There’s a couple more I’ve included in my full team list that might not qualify either. In for same reason. Hope you enjoy my nostalgia?

  9. Rowdy

    ullback Gary Dowling, Fast and elusive, A real try scorer who could hit a hole.
    Wing Owen Stephens, big strong and fast. I think he came from rah rah.
    Centre Stu Kelly, it’s a shame he was forced out by somebody or just but he could beat a bloke on the outside by standing them up or a swerve, quicker than he looked because he seemed to glide (never played for NSW ‘cos he was a canetoad
    Centre who qualifies maybe? Ron Graham, The Doodler” played like Greame whathesname for Penrith and Illawarra. The Penguin. Ronny was big and robust.
    Centre Mal McMartin was a great robust footy player who came from Penrith to join his brother John (the best hooker not to play rep footy ever)!
    Wing Mark Levy, he nearly got the FB job ahead of GD. Mark was very fast and could kick goals as well.
    5/8 James Maloney, would’ve played first grade if the idiot in charge of our club at the time knew how to recognise talent running around for the Reggies.
    Halfback Jason Bell, how did we let this bloke go to Norths/souths anyway I’m sure we never got 100 games out of him?
    Prop Matt Goodwin, didn’t this bloke stiffen us up through the middle when our young fellas didn’t know what welcome to first grade meant!
    Hooker John McMartin we let him go to the Sharks were he went on to win 3 priemships (In his dreams) anyway that’s why he reckons he went there, said Parra were not allowed to win a title anymore than he would ever be picked for rep footy so long as he stayed there.
    Prop John Baker, this bloke would scare a Bulldog out of a Butcher’s Shop! Baker played at around 12 stone 7lbs. had red hair, freckles and a fierce countenance. Me and my mates called him “Baker the breaker”! Fearless.
    Second Row; John Payne, we called this bloke..Aches’n ? another mad redhead on real RED like Fatty, but built like a brick S..thouse. He was quite the athlete for such a big fella in the mould of Bobby McCarthy.
    second row. John Vincent, an indigenous lad who could run, step and fight (which was a prerequisite to play in the forwards in that era. He had many a running battle with Manly’s Pommie maniac, Mal Reilly. shows how tough Vincent was? He never took a backward step to Reilly.
    Lock John Quayle, Never represented while at Parra was without doubt the par excellence of cover defenders with bootlace try savers his forte.
    Reserves, Kevin McFarlane was a great winger who followed Chingachook Gary Peterbridge to saints. Johnny Wilson was a Lovely bloke and a trivic halfback too. Barry Leany, had 11 kids and ran sideways but in a straightline toward the opposition like a crab. A great toiler in the frontrow. Bobby Jay, BlueJay was a friend and a favourite as you mentioned. Brian Smith could take the Lock spot if you don’t think the “Son ‘o the Cannon (Quayle) qualififies? Bum-Head played way above his weight in the “70s and played in a pretty handy forward pack through his dedication to fitness and tackling technique was the little bloke who fitted intrto a pack that boasted Keith Campbell, Bob O’Reilly, Dennis Fitzgerald others. Just after Moby and Thirsty departed for the money to Easts and Penrith respectively.
    I know I fudged the rules a bit, but hey ? Better to have a go than die wondering?

  10. Anonymous

    One of my favorites was a cronulla player who joined us and could of been anything if it was not for a bad injury in his 11th game for us. His name was Adam Ritzon. With his signature being chased after by the majority of ARL clubs Ritson eventually agreed to sign for the Parramatta Eels for the start of the 1996 season. Adam was placed into the Eels starting line-up with immediate effect and after playing just eleven games for his new club struck tragedy in a fixture against the Canberra Raiders. Just two minutes into the game he was knocked unconscious after a dangerous high tackle from Canberra forward John Lomax and with the completion of the game and a routine scan it was discovered he had a life-threatening brain cyst. Ritson then went on to have fourteen operations over the next year, several of which nearly left him dead. Eventually he made a full recovery but was never the same and retired from the game later that year at the age of twenty.[3]

    After his career was effectively over at such a young age a lawsuit was filed by Ritson first against Lomax for the high tackle but was then shifted towards his club the Raiders instead. Eventually the case was settled out of court with Ritson being given a six-figure sum.

    1. sixties Post author

      I was there at that match. What an ordeal Ritson went through. Parrathruandthru caught up with him not that long ago. I’ll see if he can add an update.

  11. MAX


    A name alludes me. however was a recruit from Souths that played half and hooker, I think he got penalized for touching the ref against saints in what was a very close game, he may have been a Trindall but not sure (Moran keeps coming to mind but I know it wasn’t).

      1. colin hussey

        Max, I think the only halves that we got from souths was Pittard, Trindal and Sandow, although I think that there may have been another Aboringal player that we got for a short while also, name escapes me though.

        Here’s another name that did the rounds and had some good games at times, Terry Scurfield. What of Gary Pethybridge who was an ok centre as well.

  12. Phil Mann

    Pretty Fair Team Sixties. As you will have worked out Big Phil was a favourite of mine, but not everyone. When at his best, he could raise as much noise at Cumberland as Grothe Kenny Sterling Cronin or Price. Equally he could generate groans

  13. Phil Mann

    Does Mick Pattison qualify? Was selected for NSW SOO but never played. Played 53 games for Parra, 32 for the rabbits and 43 for Illawarra, Given he’s a Guildford boy I’d have him at 6.

    1. Rowdy

      G’day Phil, I thought little Mick, did both his shoulders in the same SOO match. Or was that little someone else?
      Yeah I loved Patto too.

      1. Phil Mann

        Hi Rowdy, I followed Patto closely as we played together at school (well he played and I made up the numbers). He is possibly still the only ever player selected to play SOO (run on) and never got to play. Infection or something. Was replaced the morning of the game by a little known midget Terry Lamb.

          1. colin hussey

            Bob “santa clause Cowie, now there’s a name you don’t hear very often. Seen him a few times and was an ok player but another of the short contract players. In a sense too good for reserves but not good enough for firsts.

            Steve Williams in the same mold, there was a big player and by that I mean tall, and similar build to Evans, he had two stints at parra and never achieved a lot. Played probably around 10 years back, I need a list of past players to pick him

    2. BDon

      Around 1979 the U23s had Sterling, Pattison, Ella, Grothe, Neil Hunt murdering opponents. Brett Kenny was playing in the centres in Reserves but gravitated to five eighth, so as they all moved to top grade Pattison wasn’t really able to stabilise a position. He was a good footballer.
      I can’t remember whether it was Fearnley or Gibson era, both loved the no frills forwards, but a bloke named Cliff Connor covered for injuries in the top grade a few times. He looked a bit like Ray Price, taller but thinner, 13 stone would have seen him out. Like Price, he took a flogging but tackled all day. He worked with a mate of mine at the Water Board who said ‘same at work, goes all day, doesn’t complain’.

      1. sixties Post author

        There’s a name from the past with Cliff Connor. I thought the same mate. Also reminded me of a thinner Price – not that Price was big by today’s standards.

    3. sixties Post author

      I debated with myself regarding Pattison. Because he was so highly recognised I left him out. But he’s certainly one of our best.

  14. Parramatta Tragic

    Mark Levy
    John Vincent
    John Moran
    Olaf Prattl or Mal McMartin
    Dave Cotter
    Ted Sulkowicz
    Terry Reynolds
    Greg Heddles
    Greg Owens
    John Baker
    Tony Charlton
    Kevin Webb
    Peter Peters

      1. Anonymous

        Sixties, as I mule over this topic so many names come up but also a lot of names that have slipped my mind, one of them I had to the forefront of a position at fullback, Gary Thomas. He played in that sort of transitional time between the old committee and when the emperor was marshalling his team to stand for the footy club. Gary I thought was a pretty fair #1.

          1. The Mayor

            Gary was the captain of my Under 12 school team even though he was only 10. Was by far the best player in the entire Parra competition that year. Very disappointing that he retired from grade at such as early age. I’m not sure but I think he may have played one match for NSW in pre-origin era

          2. Colin Hussey

            In those days I had good contact with many of the players and Gary was a top person and agree that it was sad he retired early.

  15. parrathruandthru

    Here’s a team list for you. Guys who played only 1 or 2 games under Jack Gibson

    1. Gary Phillips
    2. Geoff Green
    3. Will Harris
    4. Steve Halliwell
    5. Paul Younane
    6. Digby Murray
    7. Brad Garrett
    8. Gary Howell
    9. Bruce Grimaldi
    10. Steve Stonham
    11. Robert Cowie
    12. Wayne Morrow
    13. Warren McDonnell

    14. Michael Lans
    15. Greg Henry
    16. Peter Fitzwalter
    17. John Bilbija

    80’s numbering system used. This team would have given a good show against anyone 81 – 83. Could be a few names some of the more mature members might have forgotten. There was also the likes of Michael Davis, John Kambas, Ian Hamer, Tim Welsh, David Hall and some other guys who played more than a couple of games. John Beecher, Geoff Coburn, Jeff Emery, Brett Scott. Back then there would be a large selection of guys who had played full lower grade games and you could afford to run them in the last 20 mins of a first grade game to see how they went. All the guys I named started though

    1. sixties Post author

      Superb memory lane stuff. Michael Davis went to my school and I remember being surprised to see him in the graded teams – he could play much better than I had thought.
      I worked with Robert Cowie’s brother many, many years ago – quite a character!

  16. Anonymous

    Thank you sir. Loved the article. Wonderful memories and a great time to play for this wonderful club. One day I would love to share a drink or two with you sir. Brad W

  17. Anonymous

    Was a mad supporter threw some great and struggling parra sides
    John Vincent was amazing
    You’d watch reserve grade and wait to see him in first grade couldn’t he do stuff
    Also Ron graham who was a great centre
    He also worked in the heart of parramatta as a a panel eater
    I went to north mead high and the number of guys who played for parra was noticeable Ron hilditch johny kolc Melrose boys Steve Williams I’m sure there are more
    The school also had rod batter ham and bob smithies share a teaching role
    Cheers Ian stutchbury

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