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Interviews Rugby League

int05 - Interview with John Mowbray, an old West Legend from the 60's

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, June 02, 2012


From Tony Lewis off
Kelly's Kids
a tribute site to the Mighty Maggies




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Interview with John Mowbray,
an old West Legend from the 60's
suitably titled
"for the love of the game"

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



As a young fan of West's I had my favorite players and one was Johnny Mowbray, Mowy to his mates. He was a winger, very quick, and looked like he enjoyed playing for the Magpies. I met Mowy at the Pratten Park Magpies reunion 3 years ago and I had the pleasure of sitting at his table, where he made me feel more than welcome. I had the idea of a web site in those days and I said to myself that one day I would interview Mowy and post it on Kelly's Kids. Three years later I sat down with Mowy at his home at Cessnock and spent two black and white hours with him, talking about the great players he played with and against, the highs the lows and of course the 1963 Grand Final. Well Mowy here goes.....

John Robert Mowbray was born in the year of 1940. He played most of his junior football for Guildford in the Parramatta district. While at school Mowy toured with the first schoolboys team to leave these shores. The tour was to New Zealand...the year 1953. His position in the team was fullback. Mowy even as a young player showed plenty of natural ability he scored over 300 points for Guildford in the years 1957 and 1958. He also represented Southern Districts both in football and sprinting.
In 1959 Mowy went along to trial with Balmain and was told by the late Norm ' Latchem ' Robinson, "Son come back next year your'e too small !!".
So Mowy went to a trial match between West's and Parramatta at the old Cumberland Oval and had a blinder and West's graded him. His first grade game with West's was at Pratten Park in 1959. Mowy was to play second grade that day but because Ian Moir was out with the flu he played first grade. West’s played Manly that day and Mowy scored two tries in West’s win. He also won the Sun Herald 'Man of the Match', as well as 'Man of the Match' in the two other Sunday papers. I quote from the Sun Herald paper.."Gave most attractive wing display. Scored try that proved turning point of the game" For the record the score was West's 24 Manly 13. What a dream start for a long and colourful career. On a sad note Mowy broke his collarbone with only a few minutes to go and was out of football for some weeks.

Mowy was very quick and was once recorded at 9.45 seconds over 100 yards......that's quick!! He played against some of the best wingers of all time players such as Ken Irvine, Johnny King, Michael Cleary, Bobby Landers and Eddie Lumsden to name a few. So I asked Mowy who was the best....his answer surprised me..."Bob Mara who played for Balmain was the most difficult player that I faced “ said John “he was quick and hard to read.."
I next asked, "Well Mowy, who was the best player at West’s during your 10 seasons with the Magpies?" Mowy thought for a while and said Dick Poole the Newtown and Australian centre. “He was great to play outside of. He had a great pass straight into your chest every time”.
How about the best player during the Kelly Kids era?... "Easy", said Mowy. "Noel Kelly. He was a great player and a very good coach”.
Mowy named a few more players that deserve a mention. John Hayes, Dennis Pittard, Kel O`Shea and one of the toughest players that Mowy played with, Jack Gibson.

John Mowbray playing for City Seconds -1962

We talked about the 1963 Grand Final and how West’s were robbed. Mowy told me he was there when Don Parish tackled Johnny King, heard the ref call tackled then saw King regain his feet and score the winning try. Heart breaking stuff. A lot has been said about this game and how Jack Gibson came into the dressing room before the game and said that West’s had no chance because the ref had backed Saints! Well Mowy told me that its all true.How does he know? Simple! Because he was there! My view is easy I just quote the penalty count 18-7 against West’s.


It's now 1968 and Mowy decides it's going to be his last year at Wests. He asks Billy Owens, the reserve grade coach, if he can play closer to the action. This move would make him more attractive to a country rugby league club. Bill agrees, so he gets a few games as five–eighth and captain of reserve grade and that’s how Mowy finished his football career at Wests.

John Mowbray and Billy Smith at SCG - 1966

Mowy is offered a captain-coach job in 1969 at Wollongong where he looked after all 4 grades for the princely sum of 3 thousand dollars per year. Mowy left Wollongong in 1970 and guess who the new coach was? Another old magpie…. Noel Kelly. After leaving Wollongong Mowy captain-coached Corrimal, also on the South Coast. He played and coached at Corrimal until 1974.
The only reason that Mowy retired from football was a broken jaw. It was broken in 3 places thanks to Hal Brown the ex- Balmain player.

Mowy has done many things since then; he became involved with the Surf Life Saving movement on the south coast. Owned a farm at Berry where his love of trotting began.
He moved to Cessnock about 8 years ago and has become very involved with the local trotting people. Mowy lost one of his legs 3 years ago but this has not stopped him from getting around. Mowy is a regular at the Pratten Park Magpies Reunion and can still carry beers back from the bar. He is a life member of Western Suburbs Football Club and was nominated for the West’s Tigers team of the century.

John Mowbray

Mowy played 10 seasons with West’s starting in 1959 when they were the millionaire club through to 1968. He played in 85 first grade games scored 40 tries and also played many lower grade games. Mowy was unlucky not to be picked in the 1963 Kangaroo Tour and when you think that his playing weight was only 9 stone he always played well above his weight.
I would like to thank John for his time and the loan of his scrap book and photos. It has made my job a real pleasure. Over 40 years ago I was a big fan of Mowy but now that I know the man I am an even bigger fan. Mowy thanks for the memories...Tony

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



Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, June 02, 2012


"Tortured Soul"





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From the Halifax Section of
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What do you actually do at the North Sydney Bears?
My role is as General Manager, and Gary Freeman is head coach.

Can you explain what a ‘Leagues’ club is?
The leagues club was initially formed to support the football club, via income from poker machines. It is a community club providing support to over 20 ‘intra clubs’, including squash, soccer, baseball, etc.

Do you do any coaching at any level?
I coached the Italians u15’s side this year, and we are due to play in a world youth tournament in Russia next October.

Is there anything that you can tell us about Ben Black and Ben Fisher that they would rather we didn’t know?
They are both champions.

Was playing in the Green and Gold the pinnacle of your career?
Without a doubt. To play alongside of Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley and company was a true honour.

What made you sign for Halifax when leaving Wigan?
I had spoken to Gary Mercer a couple of times, and I had fond memories of Thrum Hall from the ’94 tour.

How emotional was it for you to hang up your boots?
Very emotional. To dedicate yourself to one pursuit for all of your life, and then to realise that it’s over is very difficult.

Was it a difficult decision to make?
My body made the decision for me!

Can you tell us who you would have in your ‘Legends’ team from 1 to 13?
1) Darren Lockyer
2) Jason Robinson
3) Mal Meninga
4) Laurie Daley
5) Les Kiss
6) Wally Lewis
7) Andrew Johns
8] Shane Webcke
9) Steve Walters
10) Arthur Beetson
11) Gorden Tallis
12) Gary Larson
13) Peter Jackson

Can you give us a run down of your Rugby League career, (who you played for, etc., international appearances, State of Origin)?
Origin – 4 games between 1988 and 1995
Tests – 4 games between 1994 and 1995
North Sydney – 285 games between 1986 and 1998
Wigan – 1999
Halifax – 2000

Who do/did you admire in the game, and why?
I admire all players for the courage and commitment.

Can you explain the different RL competitions in Australia, other than the NRL?
Most clubs have 5 sides – NRL, Premier League (reserve grade), Jersey Flegg (u20’s), S.G. Ball (u18’s), Harold Matthews (u16’s). Then there is also a second tier opens competition called the Jim Beam Cup.

What were your favourite watering holes in Halifax?
I didn’t spend much time in Halifax socially, but my favourite pub in Eccleston (Lancashire) was the Brown Cow.

What, if anything do you miss about living in the UK?
I definitely miss the friendly people, the fantastic shopping and my kids miss the hot lunches at school.

Can you actually see GB getting a series win against the Aussies in the near future?
Definitely. The GB side went so close in the Tri-Nations that it is important they stay positive and keep building on the foundations they have made.

Were you a fan of the Tri-Nations tournament before it began, and did the tournament alter your original opinion after the way it went?
I think that the tournament is vital for International RL and should continue to be played every two seasons.

Is your nation ready for a flogging at cricket by England next summer?
Bring it on!!

Do you fancy a run out as A. N. Other at some point during the season?
I reckon I’d be good for two hit-ups and a tackle.

It was said in the trade press that you were considering legal action against Halifax Blue Sox over money owing. What’s the story behind that, and can you tell us how it worked out?
I ended up missing out on a few match payments, which I half-heartedly pursued. There are no hard feelings.

You gave Ben Fisher a glowing reference, saying that he can regularly make forty tackles a game and is capable of scooting from acting half when the chance appears, but which modern day British hooker would you most compare him to?
Ben is small in stature, but big in heart – I’d probably compare him to Mark Smith.

To what extent are/were you involved with the Italian RL adventure? (NB: the questioner believes that you played for Italy against the Greeks in Sydney)
I played last season in a one-off v Greece, which we won on the bell. I am currently coaching the Italian u15’s.

Who got your boots after you left them on the centre spot?
Not sure.

How does someone’s hero affect your life? Does it mean that you have to act differently in different scenarios?

What was the highlight of your playing career, and also the low?
Highlights were playing in several finals series for North Sydney and also winning an ashes series with Australia. Low point was never playing in a Grand Final.

What made you sign for Halifax?
My very first club in Australia was the Macquarie Field Hawks, and their colours were blue and white! So I started as a four-year-old and ended as a thirty-one year-old in the same colours.

According to the Bears website, it would seem that your ‘enthusiastic’ coaching of your kids from the touchline has resulted in a ban or two. Is this true?
Not true.

Do you have great expectations of your children to follow in your footsteps?
I encourage my kids to participate in life, be it Rugby League or ballroom dancing. It’s their choice.

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?
Don’t sneeze when you’re hiding.

It has been said in the past that Australian players only ever came to play in Britain in the twilight of their careers, and for a nice retirement package. Do you believe this to be true, and what was the motivation for you to come to Britain?
My motivation was that I couldn’t bring myself to play for another NRL club side other than Norths, and I had great memories from the ’94 tour.

How did you feel on your last game at the Shay, (you looked just a little emotional)?
Very emotional.

Were you surprised at the send-off given by the Fax Faithful?
Very sad.

Do you watch any of the British games on TV? (Are they televised?)
I love to watch the British game on Foxtel.

If you could change any of the rules for RL, which would you change?
I think that every tackle needs to be a contest for the ball, so I would do away with the two-on-one strip rule. This would encourage players to be more conscious of ball security and slow the game down a fraction.

Which three players from any team in the world would you sign for the Bears, and why?
Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer, and Jason Robinson – because they’re the best.

What is your take on the lack of promotion and relegation to the NRL?
I would like to see a similar concept in the NRL, and I think we’re moving towards that with a strengthening of the domestic competition, (Jim Beam Cup).

Do you follow the results of Halifax at all?
I constantly follow the results of Halifax, and would dearly love to see them back in the top comp. Are they looking for a coach?

You’ve played at many venues throughout both hemispheres, but where is your favourite ground?
North Sydney Oval. It’s beautiful!

Final question: What are doing for Christmas?
We’ll be feasting in fine seafood, and spending most of the time in the pool.

Tortured Soul
22nd December, 2004
WWW.RLFANS.COM Forum Index » Halifax - rlfax.com


Int03 - Television Identity Ray Martin. Ray was interviewed by David Hundt

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, June 02, 2012


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Text of an Interview with leading
Television Identity Ray Martin.
Ray was interviewed by David Hundt for the website
Queenslanders for South Sydney.
(The EOTB recommends a visit to the Q for SS website)

Courtesy of the Queenslanders for South Sydney Website

Ray Martin joined the Board of South Sydney in April after decades of supporting the club. He was also one of the many high profile supporters who were instrumental in Souths bid for re-instatement to the NRL from 1999 to 2001. He was kind enough to speak to QforSS about his involvement with, and love for, South Sydney.

How did you first come to support the Rabbitohs, and what are some of your initial memories?

My father grew up in Maroubra and I had no choice but to follow Souths - I was indoctrinated from a young age of the South Sydney legends. We lived in country NSW, where my father worked as a fitter-and-turner. The only thing he cared about were the results from Sydney in the Monday papers. He used to wear a Souths jersey around the place, I'd always see him in the back yard with it on. I never lived in the South Sydney district but I've always been a supporter. It's funny - whenever I was posted away from Sydney for work, Souths seemed to win a premiership. In 1989, when Souths were doing so well under Mario and it looked like we might win another premiership after long last, my mates said that they'd pay me to go away again! I spent a lot of time working interstate and overseas when I was with the ABC in the 1960s, and the Mighties did especially well then.

My first memories of the team playing was when my father took me to see Clive Churchill and Jack Rayner play in a semi-final against Newtown in 1954 or 1955. I can remember that game clearly, because Ian Moir scored a try that day. Souths won the premiership fairly often in those years. When you're a kid, you like to follow a winning team, and I stuck with Souths. There was no need to change teams, and I've followed them ever since. My family had a house on one of housing commissions in Sydney; it was a small place with three bedrooms. My parents had one room, my sisters had another, and I had the tiniest bedroom of all. I'd sit up late with one of those old Bakelite radios - the ones that were around before transistor radios - on Saturday nights and listen to the Kangaroo tours from England. The games were played after midnight our time, which was a pretty late hour for an eight-year-old to be awake. Mum would come in and find me up at some ungodly hour, and tell me to go to bed. I used to collect Rugby League Week and other football magazines and cut out all the pictures of the Australian players, because two-thirds of them were from Souths.

Who have been your favourite players down the years?

I loved Jack Rayner but I could never understand how he could be captain of Souths while Clive Churchill captained Australia - it seemed bizarre. Rayner was such a powerhouse forward. Churchill was certainly a favourite of mine too. Then there were Bob McCarthy and John Sattler. I've got a big photo of Satts in my office, I'd say he was my favourite. He always played it so straight and so tough. His game would've easily transferred to the modern game - you can't say that about many players. He was just such a brick wall. Jimmy Lisle, Eric Simms and Kevin Longbottom were great too. Thinking of them and seeing Hazem El-Masri in the recent game we played reminds you that a team must have a goal kicker who can get seven from eight on a regular basis. They are match winners. Mario Fenech has been brilliant in more recent times. I loved to see him leading Souths, especially his battles with Benny Elias. They were always a great confrontation. Craig Coleman - he was a terrific, tough little roustabout of a player. Spud Carroll was up there too - he was the last really great player. Terry Fahey of course. But Mario was the giant of the modern era. I can understand the reasons for him leaving. It's sad when local boys have to do that. It makes you cry sometimes to see Anasta and Wing run around for the opposition.

Please describe the most memorable occasion in your time with South Sydney as a fan and/or administrator.

First, there was the march prior to the first court case, when we moved from the Leagues club down to Town Hall. People were there from every club in the League, showing their colours. Newcastle sent down 11 busloads of people to rally for Souths. My wife's family are Sharks fans, and plenty of them came along to support us too. For me, it was a great display of the Australian ethos of giving people a fair go. I think we were badly treated by the powers that be. Another memorable occasion, one that sticks in the mind, was a game in the early 1980s when we beat Manly at Redfern Oval. I think the score ended up 19-18, or something like that, to us. Les Davidson was playing for us at the time, and he dropped the ball on the line with about five to go. A bunch of old Aboriginal ladies were sitting along the front of the grandstand, and they really gave it to him when he ran by a little later, telling him that he didn¡¯t know how to play. Souths' heart and spirit got us home that day, against a strong Manly team and in front of a full house at Redfern.

As a director, what is your current level of involvement with the club?

I don't claim to have any particular football expertise, I'm just an amateur and a fan of the club. My life and experience are in marketing. I¡¯m there to back Nick Pappas in his efforts to make the club more professional. There's a lot of P.R. work that needs to be done for Souths. Players have to speak and dress well. This is a profession now, it's big business, and sponsors take notice of how the club presents itself. The Broncos and Easts get that side of things right, whereas we make mistakes both on and off the field. We don't have a Leagues club to support us, but we have the best sponsor base in the NRL despite our losing games. We need to lift our public image: the players need to be seen as role models, and to act like winners. I hope to re-forge the relationship with South Juniors that has waned somewhat over the years. We also need to embrace the wider South Sydney family. I think that Souths has the best team brand name in sport - it's better than even Collingwood's or the Wallabies. We have to capitalise on it, and act like the Pride of League, not victims. We all want to be the Pride of the League once again. For that to happen, Souths needs to get young people involved in the club, so we've got to look attractive and classy. Recently I hosted an event in Sydney that raised over $130,000 for South Sydney. The people there were in the media, banks and major corporations - the big end of town. So many people have told me that they want to be involved in the club. We have to earn our way by using the South Sydney brand, but we can't live off it. We have to match the other big clubs on that front.

How have you rated the club's performance this year, and what are your hopes for it in the next twelve months?

Frankly, the team's performance has been ordinary. With a few exceptions, the players have dropped their bundles. They have not had much luck, and there are about four games we really should have won, so there's eight points immediately. But as Paul Langmack has said, we need to get that winning spirit back, and that brings you luck. I'd rate the performance as about three out of ten this year - it looks as though the wooden spoon is ours. Apart from Bryan Fletcher and maybe Paul Stringer, no one has really stood out. The surprising thing for me has been that there have been no bolters who have impressed. Unlike North Queensland, Penrith or Canberra, we haven't produced a player who has put his hand and appeared capable of playing for Australia. No Wing or Coleman has come through. That young fellow, Brett Kearney, looked fantastic early in the season - he's a really goer but he's suffering from serious injury just now. Next year will be a building year but it'll be tough. The players have to lift their game; they need to show more heart. But if we don't dramatically improve, we will face crisis at the end of the season. The NRL franchise agreements come up for renewal at the end of 2005, and you can't just languish at the bottom of the table indefinitely.

Interview by David Hundt, QforSS Secretary

The Era of the Biff would like to thank the QforSS, and Ray Martin for making available a copy of this interview. The Era encourages you, the viewer to visit their webiste by clicking on the link provided.


int02 - Text of an Interview with the Legendary John Sattler. Satts was interviewed by David Garnett for the website Queenslanders for South Sydney

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, June 02, 2012


Queenslanders for South Sydney





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Text of an Interview with the
Legendary John Sattler.
Satts was interviewed by David Garnett for the website
Queenslanders for South Sydney.
(The EOTB recommends a visit to the Q for SS website)

Wednesday 28 August 2002
By David Garnett
Courtesy of the Queenslanders for South Sydney Website

Many Souths fans talk about Souths legends and players of yesteryear, especially as our greatest memories come from the eras where Souths were supreme forces to be reckoned with on the field. The 1920's, 1930's and 1950's spelt complete success for Souths, accounting for 12 of our 20 premierships. But it was in the mid 1960's and early 1970's when a team came out of Redfern to win a premiership and dominate the competition for another era. After 12 years of silence, a team stuck together, and in true Rabbitoh spirit, worked their way to the top. Today this legendary team is much talked about. Mainly because there are many people from that team and who were watching this team play, alive today. They can still recall the facts and exact stories, and whom given the chance to talk about it, never hesitate to tell you it was a great time to be a part of our legendary club. One such person who I recently interviewed, would arguably be Souths most popular legend today. It is fitting that I believe that his legendary status, stems not wholly from his playing ability, but from his spirit and his loyalty to his club, his mates, his family, and most of all to the South Sydney fans.

Gday John, do you want to start by giving me a brief history of your football career?

Dave, I went to South Sydney a long time ago in 1963. I had 10 seasons with them. I won 2 and a half games in my first year there. We won 2 and a half games, the last one being against Easts. It was a deferred game because of rain. In 1964 there was a coaching change. Bernie Purcell became the coach and then the young blokes started to come through. The McCarthy's, Standons and the Cootes, then John O'Neil came down from Gunnedah, then Paul Saite a few years later. Bernie Purcell coached us, he was a tremendous coach. He could handle anybody that had a bit of a difficulty, or if there was any problem with discipline he could handle them. Even though he came from the city he had a real bushy style.

How did he handle them?

He just didn't let them get away with any shit. If blokes wanted to put shit on him he wouldn't get cranky at them, he would just say ok that's fine and walk away, and then they wouldn't be able to say anymore. He was just one of those coaches that said "oh well, if its too hard for you, then its too hard for me, when your ready, then you come to me". He never sacked anybody, but there was only a couple of blokes like that, mainly Kevin Longbottom, who was our big fullback. Tremendous player and a great bloke. Sadly he has passed away now. But longy would get the shits because Bernie would say, "oh you missed a tackle" or something, and then he would walk off at training. And then Bernie would say "ok darls, you better tuck your skirt in your pants before you come back". So that's how it all started in my time there, and then we just grew as a wonderful team and a wonderful team of mates. With an exception of a couple we've all solidly stuck together over the years, just like the supporters.

Were you on big lucrative contracts then?

I came from a little place called Kurri Kurri out of the coal fields of Newcastle.

Is this were you were born?

No. I was born in Maitland 9 miles from Kurri Kurri. My first year in a-grade, in Kurri Kurri, I was 17 and a half or 18. I was given 57 pound. Out of that we had to buy our own shorts, jumpers and boots. The next year we played the pommies in Newcastle and we beat them at Caltex Cove, and we got a 25 pounds bonus each for beating them and including 25 pound bonus I got 52 pound for my full season and played every game.

In those times, was that much money?

No. But it wasn't a little amount either. Then I went to South's in 63 and I thought I was a billionaire, they gave me 650 quid, 40 pound a win, 30 pound a draw and 20 pound a loss. I signed for the same money in 65 and 66.

So were you on a 1 year contract?

I only wanted to sign for 1 year because I had never been to Sydney before and I was terrified of it , you know. But they said to sign a two year contract, because it might take a year to settle in. So I signed for 2. I signed for the same amount in 65 and 66. At the end of the 66 season, decimal currency had just come in of course, Charlie Gibson who was the Secretary at South's at the time, George Hanson was the treasurer, said "did you want to go to another club or are you happy with us". And I said no, no, no I don't want to go. I don't want to go anywhere else. So they called me in, and in those days you had to be 21 to sign a contract, so my dad came down to sign it for me. They said "ok its your turn to sign you're a big boy now, are you sure you don't want to go somewhere else". And I said no way I love it here. So they said have we got a deal for you, they said we'll give you 1300 dollars, which converted was the same money. And 80 for a win, 60 for a draw and 30 for a loss, which again converted was the same money. Then in my last two years at South's I got 10000 dollars but no match fees. That was the total of my go with them, but we thought we were millionaires, and we were because we were playing for Souths.

Whenever I have met you, for all your legendary status, you seem so down to earth and easily approachable. Is this something that your parents taught you?

There is four in our family and my two parents. I have a brother and 2 sisters. My 2 sisters and brother are all back in Kurri Kurri now. Dad worked in the coal mine, he was up in the power house and would work the machinery which would pull the big cages up from 1000 feet. It would pull all the coal up and put the horses down at the start of the week and pull them up at the end of the week. He more or less worked in the mine all his life.

Who would be the best player you have played with or against?

The best player I have played against and with is Graham Langlands. Closely followed by Ron Coote and Bob McCarthy, then Johnny Raper and Gassnier. They were great players and it was a wonderful era with many great players. They talk about the players of today and there are some terrific players today. Andrew Johns is a great player and would have been a great player in any era. But a lot of the others that they rate, wouldn't do Langlands, McCarthy and Rapers boots up. And I mean that sincerely. They played under harder conditions, and produced bigger and better rugby league that these guys are playing, with the exception of Andrew Johns.

Is that because he comes from Newcastle like you?

No, No. Actually his dad comes from Kurri Kurri same town as I came from, then they moved to Cessnock, where Andrew and Matthew were brought up.

There is something about how Johns passes it to his centres and then wraps around them in support, you just cant coach that can you?

Apart from his skills, Johns, he's a real tough little bugger. Billy Smith who was the great St George and Australian Halfback was tough like him, and a really good wear and tear sort of a player. Probably didn't have the real ball skills that Johns has, but he was more like another 2nd row forward and he was a great player.

Who was the toughest player you have played against, not necessarily the best?

Kevin Ryan was probably the real hard tough old nut.

Who did he play for?

He played for St George then finished of with Canterbury, Captain Coach in 67. We played them in the grand final under his coaching and beat them. He was tough. Noel Kelly was very ,very hard and tough. But blokes like Raper and Langlands, they were really tough blokes. They could get injuries and play. They would go away on tour and they would play a game today and they would be carrying a crook rib or something really serious, or a broken hand, and they strap it up go round again. And when the tour was on you could play 4 games a week.

Tell me about the 69 Grand Final which you lost.

They (Balmain) staggered into the grand final by beating Manly in the semi. George Arubana intercepted a ball with a minute to go. They were never ever going to win and be in the grand final. Then when we played them, we were about 200 to 1 on. The whole atmosphere in the grandstand was different. Then when we were in the dressing shed, John O'Neill said, "it's a joke playing these cats, we should just go and get the shield from the sideline. Go and get the shield and go into the College and go and have a drink". That was the old pub where everybody went, on Botany Road there. One of the Branighans was walking around saying, "Hey chicka do you know what one the first at Randwick." Well that was never on in our sheds you know.

Is his son Luke Branighan the player we have just signed from Cronulla?

There was Ray and Arthur. Ray was a great player, gee he was a great player. Arthur was a great player too, but he wasn't as dedicated as Ray was. Luke is Arthur's son. Luke is a great little player.

On the broken jaw incident in 1970 grand final, what happened after the game?

They took me to straight to hospital. It broke through the middle of my jaw, through the teeth, and also broke either side. So the middle one they pinned, and they wired the rest of it together. I was wired together for about 14 weeks.

How did you get on with eating?

My wife Barbie, used to do a full baked dinner and then crush it all up in the blender and then strain it and add milk to it so you could drink it through a straw. And how long did you have to do that for? 14 weeks. The reason I was tied up for that long is because when I went to sleep, for some reason, I had this feeling that someone was trying to restrict me and I would wake up with a startle and struggle about and break the wires. And if it was 2 in the morning you would have to go to the orthodontist and get it wired up again.

How many times did that happen?

About 4 times. Yeah, it wasn't pleasant.

Who was the most influential coach or person in your playing career?

Initially, when I was in u18's, I didn't play until I was about 16, it was a bloke called Bill Sweeny. He was a local sergeant in Kurri. He was a wonderful basics coach. And appreciate it was country coaching. But Bill was enormous, he was a tremendous fella, very much like Bernie Purcell. Bernie had played at the top level. Bill Sweeny had also at the country level which used to be big time then. But Bernie Purcell was enormous, he was just like a father to us. He new the game and new how to handle blokes and nothing fancy in a game, just ABC and get the job done and get off and get home. And I think that's the way St George, I know St George over all those years of all their premierships, they had great players. But Norm Provin, Ken Carney and Ian Walsh, who were the 3 coaches, they always.., it was just ABC rugby league. Catch pass and tackle. None of this computer crap, garbage, building blokes up to be what their not and that's the way they play it. They should just get on with the game.

Do you think that, with the introduction of this new technology, and the introduction of more money, that coaches feel they have to justify what they are doing?

It all started when they started carrying clipboards to the game in my era, and now of course there are computers, and personally looking at it, I think it's a load of garbage. It's a very simple game being made difficult by coaches. Not all coaches, but the majority of them.

How would you rate South's performance the first year back?

There is a lot of good young players there. The start was good of course. I don't think anyone expected them to win the premiership, but its been disappointing for all of the fans where they have finished, and the scores that have been put on them in the last few games. But really, basically when you look at it, to get a team together at the end of last year, and I'm not knocking any of the players that are there, I think Stringer has been magnificent and a lot of the younger blokes have done some real good stuff during games. I think they can only get.. , well of course they can only just go to the roof now if they tie a few of these players up and if they fire up. I think that the way they started off and the late start that they had and who they had to pick from, I think they have done a marvelous job.

What do you think of our new signings for 2003?

The majority of them I think are pretty good, providing they can fit in with the Souths style of play and the Souths way of life. And it is different, Souths way of life. Souths always, no matter who plays them, they like to throw the ball around, they like to be together. And in today's game there is not a real lot of teams who have that real togetherness. Even if they are winning premierships there is always that bitchiness amongst them. And you can't afford to have it. And over the years Souths have never had it, but the majority of the blokes they have signed I think are good signings, and we are all looking forward to them doing something very positive next year.

Did you play for any other clubs?

I played for Kurri, Souths of course, and at the end of my career we came up here (Brisbane).

Did you play for Wynnum Manly?

No, I signed with the QRL, and they placed me with Wests. And they were like what Souths were when I first went to them, but they never improved. They were two horrid years there. The players were great and people were good to me, but we had no good players. I had 2 years there, and during that period of time in 73, the first year I played the series and captained Queensland in the interstate series.

So the competition was called the interstate series and it is now known as the State of Origin?

Yes, where every you were, that's where you played. That's why State of Origin was brought in, by Ron McAuliffe, who was the boss of QRL at the time, and they have made it more fairer now. So for the interstate series, as you can imagine, every body was in Sydney playing. Most of the good players were there, there was only a few that didn't go like Wally Lewis, Des Morris and Greg Dowling who stayed here.

So most of the games were one sided towards NSW then?

It was disgraceful.

So NSW had QLD and the NSW players to pick from under this system. Who thought up that idea?

That's just the way it was, from day one. Then in my last year, Tommy Bishop, the great little pommy captain was coaching Norths, came over and said would you have a year for us. And I said no I wont, and anyway it finished up I did. And they had a lot of good young players, Nicky Geiger who played for Australia, that was in 75. So I had one good year with them and we made a final, not the grand final, and got beaten by Redcliffe. It was a really good year and I was really happy I finished on a good note even though it was up here in the lesser standard of football really.

So after you finished your football career where did you life lead you?

I worked with Carlton United when we moved up here and they were very, very good to me. I was there for 4 years and then we went into a hotel in Gladstone called the Young Australian, we were there for 2 years then we built a hotel at Bribie Island, on the still side. Then we sold that, and then we went to Southport, and were in the Queens Hotel at Southport. Then we bought the Helensvale Tavern. We were there for 7 years. And then I sort of gave it away, and now I have been doing some relief management for blokes. It was supposed to be 6 weeks and 3 of them have been 23 months, 27 months and this one has been 28 months, and this was supposed to be 6 weeks. So where do you live now? I live at main beach Southport.

Have you ever been approached by the club to take a coaching or training role?

No, It is something I have never been interested in and I think they know that.

With you life experiences what advice would you have for budding rugby league players or people travelling along life's journey in general?

>Be a Good person, don't get involved in the politics of the game. If you want to play game, play the game, and get away from all the politics. And think about your mates you are playing with. That's very important because you cant win a game without them. You can't win it on your own. And everyday just have a good look at yourself and make sure your heading in the right direction, life wise.

What do you think of the QforSS team, the Queenslanders for South Sydney Supporters Group?

I think its marvellous. I think its been very powerful the way they have stuck together. And a lot of people might say well what good can they do. But you've got no idea how the players feel about it, and you've got no idea how the club feels about it. It's very, very strong and its very, very powerful and it can only get better, which is great for South Sydney.

>Just one last question John, can we borrow the BBQ for Saturday night on the patio, we're having a free sausage sizzle for QforSS members and Souths fans?

Yep that's fine Bushy rang me about 10 minutes after you.

Oh, and one more thing John, can you sign my Jersey please

Queenslanders for Souths Sydney would like to formally thank Mr John Sattler for taking the time out of his busy schedule to allow us to interview him for our Website and help promote our Supporters Group. To us, you are the ultimate Souths Legend.

The Era of the Biff would also like to thank the gang from QforSS for allowing me to reproduce this great interview -- Good luck Rabbitohs (except when you play the Sharks)


Queenslanders for South Sydney (QforSS), Inc. gives supporters of the club north of the border the chance to meet and cheer on their team. The club was founded less than an hour after the Rabbitohs won their famous court case on 6 July 2001. A handful of loyal supporters, lead by Jack Saunders, felt the need to create a group for Souths fans in Queensland. Within a few weeks, more than 300 people gathered at the inaugural QforSS function, which was held at the Terminus Hotel in South Brisbane. John Sattler, patron of our club, came to meet his many admirers and to provide a marvellous rendition of the club's victory song during the glory years.
Based on the huge response to that initial function, QforSS has grown quickly. We produce a quarterly newsletter that contains news about what we're up to as well as the latest from Redfern, we operate a website with all the gossip about the club, and we provide weekly e-mail updates to members during the season. QforSS also organises a range of fundraising activities and functions for our members, in order to keep the fans in contact with the football club, and also to attract new fans to the Rabbitohs.
Souths fans in Queensland are spread far and wide, so one of the aims of QforSS is to create the opportunity for Souths fans to get together. Functions in 2003 have included gatherings to coincide with the Charity Shield and trial match in the pre-season, a mid-year function with Mario Fenech, and our end of year 'Burrow Bash' (coming up on October 11). QforSS also hosts regular gatherings at the Runcorn Tavern and Gilhooleys Irish Bar in Albert Street, so instead of travelling to Sydney each week to watch the team, fans can watch the team play in the company of fellow supporters and family. We also sent a busload of supporters to Sydney for the first match of the 2002 season, and organised a bus for the trial match at Ipswich in 2003.
The club tries to give something back to the great game of Rugby League by supporting junior teams and the local league. We have also donated funds to other worthy causes in the community. QforSS will also continue to deepen its ties with South Sydney, which has generously donated merchandise to us for fundraising purposes. In short, QforSS strives to bring Souths fans in Queensland closer to the club they love.
You can learn more about QforSS by sending us an email (qforss@hotmail.com), by visiting our website (www.geocities.com/qforss/), or by writing to us at PO Box 6145, St. Lucia 4067.

Interview by David Hundt, QforSS Secretary


int01 - Questions for Changa Langlands from fans from the great "Saints Immortals" website

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Saturday, June 02, 2012


Saints Immortals





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From the website
Extract from a section titled
"Ask Changa"
Questions from fans put to
Living Legend Changa Langlands.


Extract of questions put to the "man" by fans.

Brent and Anthony
Why has the game changed over the last 10 years?


The game has changed over the last 10 years naturally because of the rules. One thing that a lot of ex-players, like myself, feel unhappy about is that the people who change the rules have never asked ex players, or even any of the players who are playing today. I think that they should discuss any changes with a few of those who have played or are playing the game.

Brent and Anthony

In your opinion, who do you think in the last 25 years, has played the best for his team?


The last 25 years I would say Wally Lewis, Bobby Fulton, Arthur Beetson and Mick Cronin.

Peter and Bashir

Who is the best player in the game? Why?


I think Brad Fittler is the best in the game today because he can read the game.


Should video referee's rule on forward passes?


No. I do not think that the video refs should rule on a forward pass. You have the referee and the two linesmen, one on either side, and they are supposed to be helping the referee. There are three of them there on the paddock, so I do not see why you should have to use the video referee.


Who do you think are the best 3 players in the world and in history? [apart from you]


I will only keep them to Australia—Raper, Gasnier and Fulton .


Do you know where or what Johnny King is doing these days?

He is managing a football club in the Newcastle area and going well. He was a terrific footballer and scored some great tries. I remember the try he scored in the grand final in 1964. It was at the Randwick end of the Sydney Cricket Ground and turned the game for us and we beat Balmain.

No name included
I was asked the other night at Canterbury races if I had ever seen Todman race - I hadn't been born yet.
I was then asked if I had seen Bradman bat? Had I seen Phar Lap race" I hadn't.
Years ago I had a single called 'Changa' I cannot record who sang it. Do you know of it? Do you know where I could get a copy of it?

Yeah I remember it. Rugby League Week had some sort of contest in the '70s. A bloke by the name of Jimmy Hannon recorded it for RCA and it was called 'Chang the Magic Dragon'. I don't have a copy and wouldn't have a clue where you could get one.

I remember when I was a kid going up to Jubilee oval on a Sunday arvo with my Dad and watching you, Billy Smith, Paul Mills, Barry Beath and Co, tranie in hand to listen to Frank Hyde and thinking I would love to follow in the footsteps of you blokes one day. I also remember kicking the ball back to Ted Goodwin down at Scarborough Park when he was practising goal kicking one day.

These are all fond memories of which I wonder if the local junior has these days.

Do you think the 13 import rule should have stayed around which may have kept loyalty and maintained the local hero???? Do you think today's administrators have got it a bit wrong and we need people with the calibre of a Frank Facer or Bullfrog Moore?

There's no Frank Facers or Peter Moores around but we could do with blokes like that.
Yeah there was a lot of loyalty in the old days and it did have to do belonging to the area. At one time you had to live in the area and then a few imports were allowed. Years ago you didn't play for the money you just played for your club but today they're playing for money so they just go where they're going to get more money and so there's not the same loyalty.

Old time Saint's fan from America
I grew up watching you, Reg, Billy, Johnny etc and still think you guys were the greatest team ever. Now that I live in the USA, I miss Saints but I have always wondered, were you trying to make a statement of some sort with the now infamous white boots?

No. I was not trying to make a statement but I wish I still had them - they'd be worth a fortune. I chucked them over a crossbar in England at the end of '75. I wore them because I was under contract to Adidas and Ken Irvine, who was working at Adidas, asked me to wear them. I was not compelled because of my contract but I felt obliged to wear them. It was a promotional stunt. Adidas wanted to have all of the teams wearing boots to match their team colours. I wore them to training for a few weeks before the grand final and they were the same as the black ones I always


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