PROMINENT rugby league identities Steve Glyde and Peter O’Grady have been made life members of VB Gold Group 2 after decades of service to the sport.
Known for his droll sense of humour, Glyde played locally with Bellingen and Smithtown and was later a member of several premiership-winning sides around the state during the early days of his teaching career.
After returning home to Bellingen, Glyde became a top grade referee and holds life memberships with his home club at both senior and junior level.
He also continues to serve as a Group 2 vice-president.
O’Grady was an outstanding Macksville representative player in his younger days but has since created an unequalled reputation as a Sea Eagles and Group 2 executive.
Taking over as Group secretary following the death of the formidable Glenn Shipman, O’Grady devoted four years to the role and now assists chief administrator Jim Anderson as the player registrar.
Meanwhile, Group 2 chairman Greg Mayhew, who has been re-elected to the post unopposed, praised the efforts that helped create a record-breaking year for gate receipts during the semi and grand final series’.
The records were established despite the crowd numbers at both matches hosted by Port Sharks being down on 2009 figures.
“The Group looks forward to another great year in 2011, starting with NRL fixtures at Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie on February 19,” Mayhew said.
Gold Coast Titans will take on South Sydney in a pre-season trial at Coffs Harbour while Penrith and Newcastle will play that same evening at Port Macquarie.
Meanwhile, Anderson has promised disruptive patrons, abusive club members and other bad influences at both senior and junior matches will receive no mercy with a range of new measures being introduced to remove them in season 2011.
Instead of being simply asked to leave venues, the worst offenders are likely to be named and shamed publicly while being handed total bans from all rugby league venues, anywhere the game is played.
“I’ve seen some of these clowns going off at games who wouldn’t say ‘boo’ out in the street,” he said.
“They have got to get the message that just because they are at a sporting event they can’t expect to get away with crap that would get them arrested if they tried it on out there in the real world of civvy street.”
In other developments, first grade referees will receive a $10 match pay rise while the Group’s first webmaster has been appointed with Woolgoolga secretary Paul Dwyer charged with developing an improved online profile.