The rugby league community is mourning the passing of highly-respected Queensland Rugby League Northern Division life member Tom Tassell, who passed away this week aged 76.
A talented player in his youth, Tom moved to Mount Isa as a paid player in 1965 from Brisbane where he played for Blackstars before transferring to Townies. He played for North West Queensland against Great Britain in 1968.
The following year he scored the first try for Mount Isa in their 1969 Foley Shield victory – the first in their history. He then lined up for North Queensland in the early 70’s where he once again faced a touring Great Britain team in ’71.
In all, Tom dedicated 50 years of service to junior and senior rugby league in North Queensland as either coach, administrator, selector, or an advisory at all levels. Most recently he served as a Director with the Jones Park Board of Management.
His enthusiasm for the game saw him become a life member of Cairns Kangaroos and Cairns District Rugby League, while his wife Sandy recently became the first female Life Member of Kangaroos Junior Rugby League.
Such is the family’s standing in the community, the Tassell Trophy Challenge Under 14 Carnival – hosted by Kangaroos Junior Rugby League – has been played in their honour each September for the past 17 years.
Tom is survived by his wife Sandy and three boys, who all were born in Mt Isa and played top level rugby league – Brad, Kris and Jason.