Image: Honourees Ray Warren (left) and Keith Barnes (right) with Foundation Honorary President Ron Coote at the 2013 Men of League Foundation Annual Gala Dinner.
Veteran broadcaster and voice of our latest TVC, Ray Warren, says it was an easy decision to lend his voice to support the cause of the Foundation.
Also known as ‘The Voice of Rugby League’, Ray said, “It didn’t take any thought at all. I’m one of the honourees of Men of League Foundation and I respect and appreciate everything they do for basically anybody in rugby league who falls on hard times. It was easy to say yes.”
A long-time supporter of the Foundation, Ray was inducted into the Men of League Foundation Parkview Honouree list at the 2013 Annual Gala Dinner. He remembers the moment fondly, saying that it was a touching occasion.
“[The plaque] hangs proudly in my office. I’m looking at it right now. It was a memorable night and it was an honour to join a list of men including two of my close friends, Ron Massey and Jack Gibson.”
Ray emphasises that the Men of League Foundation plays an integral part for the rugby league community and it’s not there just to help old players.
“It’s more far reaching than being there to help players in a bit of trouble, health-wise. It’s basically there for their families as well.
“I know what it’s like to belong to a junior football club, I was President of one for about 10 years. There were women in the canteen and there were people marking the lines or putting the ropes up or picking up the orange peels after the game and all that. And some of them have been mothers and grandmothers of kids playing football.
“So, it’s not just about footballers, it’s about the extended family of football and the Foundation is there to basically help all the branches of rugby league that there are.
“It’s not just about retired footballers… The vast majority of people played rugby league because some they love playing rugby league. But then, they might have fallen on hard times. But it’s not just for them, it’s for them and their extended family – the woman in the canteen, as I said, the bloke that cleans up the ground after you’ve finished using it,” said Ray.
When asked why other members of the rugby league community should sign up as a member of the Foundation, he said the answer is simple.
“By becoming a member, you’re making it more possible for the Men of League Foundation to help all those people that I’m taking about. Again, we’re not talking about just footballers, we’re talking about the extended family.
“The more members that the Foundation has got, the more resources they’ve got to help those people [who need it]. It is important that people understand that it’s not a retirement fund for retired footballers, it’s something that’s there to help all the branches of rugby league that are ever in need of help. And you can’t do that unless you’ve got resources. By becoming a member, you can help,” Ray concluded.
Do you want to play your part to help those in the rugby league community who are doing it tough? Become a 2019 member of the Men of League Foundation today and visit menofleague.com/membership