Born 20 December 1954 – Passed away 2 March 2019
Rugby league lost a great servant when Steve Hall passed away on 2 March 2019, aged 64. He had bravely struggled with cancer over the past few years but in those trying times, never lost his love for his family or rugby league.
Known to his friends and throughout the game as ‘Bear’, he was born in Walgett and became a good player as a boy. He first played grade with the Walgett Dragons, then moved on to the Coonamble Bears before joining the Dubbo Macquarie Raiders. Next he captain/coached Mendooran in 1982, which was the club’s initial season playing in Group 14 first grade football.
In 1983, he captained Mendooran to a Grand Final victory over Barradine. In his last year with the club, 1984, he captain/coached Mendooran to a one sided 64-4 Grand Final win over Coonamble.
He then moved on to Dubbo Cyms as captain/coach for four years, leading them to the 1986 Grand Final win. With the Bear at inside centre, Cyms beat the Forbes Magpies 56-0 in that Grand Final.
In 1987, he coached Country Seconds in their annual match with City. Over the years, he also coached Group 11 and Western Division, as well as numerous junior representative teams.
In 1992, he was appointed by the NSWRL as the original Development Officer in Dubbo, which made him rugby league’s first Indigenous Development Officer.
For the next 26 years or so, he worked tirelessly to promote the game he loved. Although he began with the NSWRL, he also worked with the Western Suburbs Magpies and the Wests Tigers in coaching, development and mentoring. Around 2003, he was instrumental in establishing the Talented Aboriginal Athlete Pathway Camp and he was the first NSW under 16 Indigenous team manager.
Along with other Indigenous Rugby League workers such as Ron Gibbs, Steve managed and coached many overseas Indigenous touring teams. These sides visited such places as Queensland, the Northern Territory, Papua/New Guinea, Tonga, New Zealand, England, France and Italy.
Sadly, on the day he passed away, the inaugural Steve ‘Bear’ Hall Shield Challenge match took place before the South Sydney – St. George Charity Shield match at Mudgee, between the NSW Koori and Queensland Murri Indigenous under 16 teams.
Steve is survived by his wife Margaret, his children Michelle and Steve, plus his seven much-loved grandchildren.
His funeral will be in the Campbelltown area next week, possibly on Tuesday 12 March.