THE newly formed Coffs Coast chapter of the Men Of League Foundation has hit the ground running.
On Tuesday, former Coffs Comets identity Geoff Crilley received the first official welfare visit from local MOL when member Phil Jeffrey called in to Kempsey Nursing Home where Mr Crilley is currently a patient.
Another visit is being arranged to ex-Nambucca Heads player Slugger Cooper who is recovering in Macksville hospital.
“One of the really enjoyable things we do is visiting those traditional rugby league people to let them know they aren’t forgotten,” president Peter Barrett said.
“It cheers them up a lot and in most cases, helps put them back on the road to recovery.”
After forming earlier in the year with 150 members, a drive last month during the Heritage round more than doubled that number and a recruitment visit is being paid to the match at Woolgoolga this Sunday to give league fans on the northern beaches their opportunity to sign on.
“We’ve been blown away by the reaction,” Barrett said.
“Fundraising will be our next major priority which will enable us to purchase special items for those in need or something which will make lives a little easier.”
A committee has been formed to organise a sports luncheon at Sawtell RSL on Friday, June 18, with former international Noel ‘Ned’ Kelly opening up his vast book of contacts to arrange a celebrity guest list.
“Ned is great mates with cricketer Douggie Walters and he hopes to bring him to the luncheon,” Barrett revealed.
“But the bloke we’re all waiting to meet is Ian Schubert, the NRL’s salary cap auditor, who broke the Melbourne Storm story and while he doesn’t like giving away too much information about his investigations, there’s a lot of interesting things about his career as a player.”
Emerging from the Comboyne club in the Hastings League as a 16-year-old winger, Schubert had a rapid rise in the game.
From club football with Wauchope under-18s in Group 3, he made the North Coast junior representative side before selection in the famous 1973 Australian Schoolboy team which returned from Britain and France undefeated.
Within the next 18 months, Schubert was a star under legendary coach Jack Gibson with Eastern Suburbs Roosters and a member of the Australian World Cup squad.
“People know about Shoey and the salary cap but forget he was a sensational footballer in his time,” Barrett added.
“Those who played against him in the old days will especially find the luncheon interesting.
“During the function we’ll raffle a State Of Origin jumper and conduct other fundraising activities.”
Tickets are $30 per person and available from Sawtell RSL, Club Coffs, Hotel Coffs Harbour, the Golden Sands in Nambucca Heads and the Nambucca Hotel in Macksville.