It is commonly known in most rugby league teams that the character of the group is usually the hooker.
This untold truth was proven once more when Northern Sydney Wellbeing Officers Ken Vessey, Fred Jackson and Norm Pounder visited Sam Crotty at his Northern Sydney residence.
Sam was a true city slicker in his early years of life and attended the Paddington Primary School and Technical College, which was renowned as a breeding ground of many fine rugby league players, namely Kevin Junee, Dick Thornett, Kevin Roberts, Kevin Ashley, Ken Kay and Bob Lanigan.
He played junior rugby league with his brother Warren (another hooker) for the Paddington Colts Junior Rugby League Club alongside talented players like Bobby Jones and Alan Greig. Sam faced off against many strong clubs such as Bondi United Junior Rugby League Club who had Johnny ‘Bomber’ Peard and Barry ‘Bunny’ Reilly.
Sam played for the Eastern Suburbs Presidents Cup representative team in 1964 that was beaten by the eventual premiers, South Sydney, at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Sam got a surprise when Ken Vessey told him that he had played in the front row for the South Sydney team in that game and they reminisced how they obviously had clashed heads in that game!
In 1966, he was graded with the Eastern Suburbs club and played five First Grade games, as well as many others in reserve and third grade. At that time, his team mates included Reilly, Peard, Bruce “Lappa” Stewart, Ron Saddler and Les Hayes. He recalled with fondness his memories of his junior rugby league days through to being graded with Eastern Suburbs along with many of his ex-team mates and foes from the Paddington Colts and Bondi United Clubs.
Today, Sam enjoys life with his loving wife Jennifer, two daughters, two sons, their partners and twelve grandchildren (five girls and seven boys). He proudly supports the current NRL Premiers – the Sydney Roosters.
The Wellbeing Officers wished Sam good health and presented him with a Men of League Foundation polo shirt, cap and magazines, which he thanked them sincerely for, as well as the visit.