Adrian Astorquia – Another of Innisfail’s Fine Rugby League Players

Visit to Adrian Astorquia (Men of League Member 3,240).

When Northern Sydney Welfare Officers Norm Pounder and Ken Vessey were informed by Eddie Whiley (ex Manly Warringah rugby league player, Club Director) that Adrian was a resident at the Pacific Lodge Nursing Home, Dee Why they wasted no time in going to see Adrian.

Upon our arrival we were fortunate to also met Adrian’s daughter Simone who told us her Dad had been at the Nursing Home for about 1 month and he was settling in as well as could be expected. Previously Adrian had suffered a stroke and had some other health concerns.

Image: Norm, Adrian, Simone and Ken

To say that Adrian was pleased to see his ex Manly Warringah team mate Norm, would be a gross understatement and in no time at all they were talking about their playing days together during the late 1960’s – early 1970’s.

They fondly recalled playing in many grade matches together but especially in two Reserve Grade Premiership teams in 1969 & 1973 and really enjoyed talking about their adventurous trip down the length of the Murray River in an aluminium surf boat from the North Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club, with a group of Surf Club mates as part of the 1988 Bicentenary Celebrations. It should be noted that they were both tight lipped about giving away too many details about what happened on the trip and only added “what happened on the river stayed on the river”!!!

Adrian was born in Innisfail, Queensland where he played his junior days of rugby league as a second rower before being noticed and signed by the Manly Warringah Rugby League Club in the late 1960’s.

Here he played in many grade matches, including two 1st grade matches (issued with Club’s 1st Grade Player number 181). He fondly recalled his playing days when he faced such great players as Gasnier, Raper and Kevin Ryan plus played alongside many talented players including Krilich, Bucknell, Whiley, Pounder and Bailey.

Whilst playing back in Innisfail he was member of a premiership winning Foley Shield team as did the likes of future Innisfail players including Kerry Boustead, Lionel Williamson, Billy Slater and Greg Bandiera, proving that Innisfail was a nursery for many great players.

Today he still follows the Sea Eagles in the NRL and has lost none of his passion for supporting them.

He has a loving family comprising of daughter Simone, son Anthony and their families including 3 grandchildren.

We presented Adrian with a Men of League polo shirt and cap, thanked him for his contribution to the game, the pleasure he had brought to those spectators who had the privilege to see him play his brand of rugby league and wished him a return to good health.

In return Adrian was moved and very appreciative of our gifts, the visit and thanked us.

By Ken Vessey
Welfare Coordinator Northern Sydney Men of League Committee

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