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Interviews Rugby League

int15 - Interview with JIM CODY, an old Western Suburbs Hardman, 60s and 70's by Tony Lewis

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Monday, October 28, 2013

Name/website

From Tony Lewis off
Kelly's Kids
a tribute site to the Mighty Maggies during Noel Kellys years

Hometown

Springwood

Country

NSW Australia

Club followed

Western Suburbs Magpies.

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Interview with JIM CODY ,
an old Western Suburbs Hardman player from the late 70's


Visit Tony's website for a great read and memories of the Mighty Old Magpies. Click image above

   
 

THE JIM CODY INTERVIEW

"A True Wests Legend - Thanks to Tony Lewis for another great interview.

Interview with Jim Cody.



A True Wests Legend



Jim_Cody_story_photo_Jim_tackles_Dennis_Fitzgearld

I think this photo says it all about Jim Cody the West’s player. Jim always played to win no matter which grade or team he was playing for.
Jim Cody was and is one of the greatest Rugby League players to wear the famous Black and White jumper of WSDRLFC.

wests_team_photo_1967

Thats Jim far right standing 1967.



Jim was kind enough to let me interview him at his home. We talked about days gone by and the great players Jim played with and against over his 17 years of top grade Rugby League.

I hope you enjoy Jims story as much as I enjoyed my time talking to my boyhood hero.

Chow_Hayes_Story_1969

Me as a boy. (its my Jim Cody look.)


Lets start at the beginning Jim was born in 1943 and played Rugby League from an early age for the South Strathfield club.
Their home ground was Henley Park Enfield.
The year was 1957.
Jim played centre or five eight in those days before moving to the forwards so as to see more action.
During this time Jim won many comps as a junior.
It was about this time that the Enfield Feds were restarted.
A lot of Souths Strathfield players like Denis Pittard,
John Armstong and Nev Hornery to name a few went with Alex Smith. Alex took the boys to Feds and were a very successful junior side.
Alex Smith is the father of Rod and Wayne Smith.

Jim showed great ability as a young rugby league player and was asked to play President Cup for West’s at the tender age of 15. Jim not wanting to upset his coach at South Strathfield declined the offer.

Jim was graded in 1961 and played his first 3rd grade game on April 15 at Henson Park


Jim_Cody_story_first_3_rd_grade_game_1961_v_Newtown

Jims jumper number 38



Jim_Cody_story_first_game_at_SCG


Jims first game at the SCG 1961.


Jim_Cody_story_1961_SCG_Wests_v_Norths_1st_grade


The main game played on that day April 29 1961.


Jim_Cody_story_Third_grade_final_SCG_v_Manly

Jim on his way to the 1961 Grand Final.
Note: Doug Walkaden playing front row for Manly.



photo_SCG_1961


The SCG from the air in 1961.


Jim_Cody_story_1961_third_grade_GF_v_South_Syd



Jim_Cody_story_1961_photo_3rf_grade_winning_team



The winning Wests team in 1961.
Wests beat Souths 12 points to 7.



Reunion_Jim_Cody_and_1961_3rd_grade


The winning team at the Pratten Park Reunion 2011 ... 50 years later.
L to R Carl Ross, George Downie, Ray Bernasconi,Norm Dhu, John Rochester, Jim Cody, Ian Russell and Barry Ferney

In 1961 Jim played 18 Third Grade games as well as 3 Reserve Grade games.

1962

Jim made his First Grade debut in 1962.

Jim_Cody_story_Jims_first_First_grade_game_1962


Jims first First Grade game. ...Jim was only 18.



Jim_Cody_story_1961_team_photo_match_of_the_day


Jim bottom left. Pick the odd man out in this team photo.


Jim_Cody_story_v_Parramatta_SCG_August_25_1962

West v Parramatta at the SCG.


Jim_Cody_story_1962_Wests_v_Parr_First_semi_final_SCG_program



Jim_Cody_story_1962_story_about_Jim_aged_19

This story taken from the Rugby League News.

Jim played 11 Reserve Grade games and 12 games in First Grade including the 1962 Grand Final.

Jim_Cody_story_1962_GF_v_St_George_teams


Wests lost 9-6.
This was the game where the Famous Cody, Provan, Wilson, Cody incident happened. Billy Wilson was sent off after punching Jim.


Many years later Billy Wilson owned the Sands Hotel in Nambucca Heads and it turned out that Jims wifes second cousin is married to "Bluey" Wilsons son.

Jim_Cody_story_1962_GF_team_photo


Wests 1962 Grand Final Team.


Jim_Cody_story_1962_GF_Eddie_Lumsden

St George great Eddie Lumsden, Fred Nordon, Jim Cody and Kevin Smyth.

1963
Jim was now 20 years old and looking forward to a big year at Wests.


Jim_Cody_story_1963_Wests_v_Bal_2_forwards_sent_of_program



Jim_Cody_story_sent_off_1966_v_balmain


Wests were very hard team to beat in 1963.


Jim_Cody_story_Syd_v_Country_1963_program


1963 was the year that Jim played in the Sydney II team.
A very good Sydney II team.


Jim_Cody_story_1963_second_semi_final_Wests_v_saints_teams


Wests beat St George 10-8 to go straight to the Grand Final.
Jim played what he thought was a good enough game to make the Grand Final.
Unfortunately Jim was not chosen for the Grand Final and was very upset to have been left out of this famous game. Jim was told by both selectors that they had picked him to play.
To quote Jim “ that kind of ripped my heart out….”
BUT ....Jim played 2 weeks later in the Ampol Cup winning team.


1963_Ampol_Cup_teams_V_Parra

West 17 beat Parramatta 11

Jim_Cody_story_Ampol_Cup_1965



Jim played 16 First Grade games and 4 Reserve Grade games in 1963.

1964
Not a very good year for Wests.
Jack Gibson played 5 games, Arthur Summons 3 games, Don Parish 1, Bill Carson 1 and Kevin Smyth 5.
Wests also did not play one game at the SCG in 1964.
Jim Cody played 17 games in First Grade and 1 in Reserve Grade.
A busy year for some.

Jim_Cody_story_1965_Jim_and_Mick_Fella


Jim and Souths Mick Falla meet.

1965

Wests_team_1965_at_Pratten_park_dressing_shed


Jim Cody bottom left sitting. ( I think Ned took this photo )

A new coach at Wests, Ken "Killer" Kearney.
Wests made the Final of the pre season but yes beaten
by St George again.
Saints 15 - Wests 7


West's State Cup Squad 1965. Jim is 3rd from the left standing between Roy Ferguson and Ron Costello.
The highlight of the season was winning the State Cup beating Parramatta 16-14. Jim scored a try in this match.

Jim_Cody_story_1965_Three_sent_off_v_Parra

Jim had a big year playing in 27 First Grade games.


1966 to 1969

The Noel Kelly Era.





The 1966 team photo.



Jim_Cody_story_1966_Wests_v_Saints_Glen_Brown


This is the history making game where St George were beaten at Kogarah Jubilee Oval for the first time in 10 years.
( If anyone has a copy of this game please contact me)


Wests 12 St George 9 was the final score.


Jim_Cody_story_1965_Glen_Brown_playing_for_QLD


Glen played one season 1966 with Wests.

(If anyone can help me get in touch with Glen Brown that would be great.)

Back to Jim Cody.


Jim_Cody_story_1966_big_story_on_Jim_v_Souths



Jim scores another 3 pointer.



Noel_Thornton_interveiw_Shark_days

Noel with black head band.


One of Jims good mates from his days at Wests, Noel "Sailor" Thornton. Jim would always room with Sailor when Wests went on trips away.


Jim played 16 First grade games in 1966.


1967 team photo.



Back Row John Elford, Don Parish, Noel Kelly, John Armstrong, Noel Thornton, Tony Ford, Jim Cody
Centre row (l to r):John Hayes, Dennis Pittard,John Mowbray,Dave Barsley,Bob McGuinness
Front row (l to r):Noel Dalton, Ken Stonestreet, Doug Walkaden, Pat Thomas, Roy Ferguson
Jim_Cody_story_1967_award_SMH

1967_Wests_v_Newtown_program_Pratten_Park_last_game_PP
This was the last offical game played at Pratten Park. Before the full time move to Lidcombe Oval. Jim Cody was there.

Jim played 22 First Grade games in 1967.

1968 team photo
1968_color_photo_of_West_team
K.Stonestreet,Doug Walkerden,John Armstrong,Tony Packham, J.Elford,B.Bryant
Dick Picket,B.Glasgow,R.Fergson,Rod Smith,John Maxwell,
Jack Walsh,B.Beer Jazza,Bob McGuniess,Ned, Dave Barsley,Chow Hayes
( where's Jim)
Jim_Cody_story_footie_card_photo_1968
I found him!
1968_Wests_V_Penrith_program
Start of a new season for Wests.
Jim Cody starts season 8.


Nev_Hornery_1968_Wests_V_Easts_SSG_Nev_sent_off
A funny sight Jim Cody holding back Nev Hornery.
Jim played 6 First grade games and 9 Reserve grade games in 1968.

1969 Team photo.

Neds last year at Wests.

1969_Wests_v_Cronulla_Endeavour_Feild_SMH_game_report
A very good win.
Jim_Cody_story_1969_Wests_team_photo_dressing_shed
Jim is second from left next to Peter Flanders 1969

1969_progams_Jim_Cody_100th_game
Jim plays his 100th First grade at the SCG.
Jim played 17 First Grade games in 1969.
Jim_Cody_story_1969_Jim_and_John_ONeill
Jim runs past John O'Neill @ the SSG.

The 1970 season.

1970_Wests_V_Balmain_program_Ivan_Jones_half
Wests have a new coach and Jims playing front row.
Jim played 12 First grade games, 1 Reserve grade and 2 third grade.

The 1971 Season.
Jim played 8 First grade games and 7 Reserve grade games.
Jim_Cody_Story_1971_Barry_Bryant_and_John_Baker
John Baker and Barry Bryant doing it tough.

The 1972 Season.
During preseason training being held at Carss Park. Jim called it "a horror course"
Jim asked Bill Beaver where his new contract was... Bill kept saying he had left it at home. After much talk Bill told Jim that a deal had been done with Nambucca Heads Roosters and that was that.
Jim to his credit took Nambucca to a premership win in 1972.
Nambucca also won the pre season comp the Caltex Cup.
The Caltex Cup was open to all teams between Newcastle and Tweed Heads.

The 1973 season.
Jim had come back to Sydney for work and was talking to old teammate Dave Barsley.Dave said that Jim would get a start no trouble at Ryde Eastwood
Ryde Eastwood were playing in the Sydney Second Division comp at the time.
A week later at the pre season game at Lidcombe Oval. John Elford had broken his arm and Alan Clarkson the journo asked Jim who he was playing with Jim told him the Ryde Eastwood story Clarkson said that South’s were looking for a front rower and he was the man for the job.

Just then Don Parish the new West coach was walking past heard the conversation and said “Jim you are not going anywhere you will play for West’s”
Jim_Cody_story_2011_PPMR_Don_Parish_and_Jim


Don Parish and Jim Cody at the 2011 Pratten Park Reunion.



Jim told Don what happen in 1972 and Don told Jim that he would talk with the board and two days later Jim had signed a new contract…one training run later and Jim Cody was back in First Grade. West’s needed some backbone and they got it.
Jim_Cody_story_1973_Jims_last_game_in_First_grade


Jims last game in First grade playing in the front row.
There are only 4 players left from the Kelly Days still playing. Tony Ford, Tommy Raudonikis, John Baker and Barry Bryant.


Barry_Bryant_photo_on_the_run_1973


Barry Bryant with John O'Bryan.


Jim_Cody_story_1973_Jims_last_game_for_Wests



Jim Codys last game in the famous black and white jumper.
The end of a great career with Wests.
Jim played 14 games in 1973.
6 in First grade and 8 in Reserve grade.


In total Jim Cody played 159 First grade games.


Jim played a total of 223 grade games for Wests over 12 seasons.


Jim_Cody_tackles_Dennis_Fitzgearld



If you thought that was the end of the Jim Cody story you are very wrong.


Jim is now 30 years of age and has been offered a job as Capt/Coach at Griffith playing his great love Rugby League.


It was a very long year for Jim a lot of promises were made but most were broken.


One player of note playing for Griffiths was a very young Ray Brown. Ray was playing for the eighteens.



Ray between Noel Kelly and Arthur Summons.



Some more bad news for Jim was that Country football legend Len Bertoldo had left the club to play up in Mareeba.


In August of 2013 Len Bertoldo passed away. A towering figure in Group 20 rugby league, Mr Bertoldo’s career everest came in 1975, when he represented NSW alongside such legends as Bob Fulton, Arthur Beetson and Ron Coote.

“He will be a great loss to Griffith and a great loss to rugby league,” Mr Coote, a former Australian captain, said. “Len was from the old school. He ran the ball up hard and said what he meant.” Mr Bertoldo won an equal record-breaking seven Group 20 titles – six of them with his beloved Griffith Waratahs – and played in 10 grand finals.

He represented Riverina from 1975 to 1979, also representing Country in its famous 1975 victory over a star-studded City side.

His humble nature and love of Griffith saw him reject contracts from a host of Australian Rugby League (ARL) clubs, including Souths, Manly and Wests.
This story is taken from the The Area News newspaper.



After a long season at Griffith Jim played the next 2 years 1975 and 76 at Goulburn United as Capt/ Coach.
During these two years Jim was playing lock.

In 1975 Jim team made the Grand Final and in 1976 the Final.



In 1977 at the age of 34 Jim moves from Goulburn up to Coffs Habour to play for the newly formed Coffs Habour Jetty team as Capt / Coach.


The gun side during this time was Sawtell Panthers who had Les and Noel Cleal in their side.

Noel Cleal.

Jims Coffs Habour Jetty side missed out on a spot in the semis by a bad decision made by the referee.

Jim and Refs??
The Coffs Harbour Jetty club only lasted one year. Jim was offered the Capt/ Coach job with Coffs Harbour in 1978.

Unfortunately for Jim he was badly hurt at the first training run of the season. His spine was separated from his tailbone…very nasty.
Due to the serious nature of the injury Jim only played one game that year. Mainly because of this injury Jim retired from playing.
Jim was 35 years of age.

Thats 21 years of playing Rugby League.
After 1978 Jim coached Woolgoola Reserve grade in 1979 and 1980.

In 1982 Jim coach Sawtell Panthers Reserve grade side to a Premiership.
In total Jim was directly involved with Rugby league for 25 years.

We talked some more about Rugby League in general and Jim told me his favorite Sydney ground was Pratten Park mainly because Wests only played there on Saturdays which gave him all of Sunday to recover before going to work on Monday.
Pratten_Park_entrance
Entrance to Pratten Park and the famous Red phone box. 1960's
Patten_park_dressing_shed
The Wests dressing room Pratten Park.
Taken in 2008 could of been taken in 1928!!


Speaking of Sydney grounds Jim remembers North Sydney Oval as having the hardest surface especially in the middle which was a cricket pitch in summer.

I had to ask Jim whom he would name as the best player he played with or against and quick as a flash he said Kel O’Shea. Jim said “ One of the greats…..
1962_Kel_OShea_on_the_run
Big Kel O'Shea on the run at the SSG about 1962.
What about the Hard men Jim?
Kevin Ryan, Bluey Wilson and Brian Hambly to name a few.

Reg_Gasnier_photo
1968_Langlands_photo
Two of the extra special players that Jim spoke of and played against.

Jim still loves the game but shakes his head about the number of refs that can’t or won’t make a decision.
Jim finds that players are far to friendly with the players from the other team during and after the match.
Jim remembers old Roy Lister saying after a losing game in the Wests dressing shed “ leave Cody alone just leave him alone…. and the fact that after a defeat you had to go to work on Monday and face the public and work mates.
Now the players live in a cocoon .
Jim_Cody_and_Bill_Keato
Jim and Bill Keato 2012 @ SCG Reunion.



Jim talking to Rick Wayde at the Pratten Park Magpies reunion Aug 2013.



Jim today lives near Coffs Habour on the north coast of NSW with his wife Terry and life is good.



Jim Cody August 2013. A very young and fit looking 70 year old.
Jim has a dickie knee which is the only major problem from his playing days.

Jim, thanks for your time I had a great morning and thanks to your lovely wife Terry for the beautiful morning tea.

Note: If anyone has photos of Jim during his Country Rugby League days please get in contact with me and I will add them to this story. Thanks in advance. tonyandlee@aunix.com.au
Jim_Cody_story_1969_SCG_v_Balmain
Jim on the run at the SCG 1969.

Thanks again to the wonderful and helpful Wests people at the Wests Archives.


Jims story would only be half told without your help.

Ben_Fisher_at_desk_big

Ben and his dedicated team of reseachers will only be to glad to talk with you on (02)97971933 about all things Wests.


 




THANKS FOR THE INTERVIEW TONY......... "Quigs @ Era of the Biff"
Visit Tony's website for a great read and memories of the Mighty Old Magpies.
Click on image to visit

 
 

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