Bringing a smile to an old player
Richard Healy is a former 1st grade rugby league player, who was part of the mighty St. George District Rugby League Football Club during 1945-1949.
Richard – known to his friends as Dick – is now in his 90s and is in poor health at Hornsby Public Hospital. But Men of League Northern Sydney welfare officers Chris Letters, Fred Jackson and Ken Vessey paid a special visit to remind Dick that the game had not forgotten him.
Before the visit, Chris, Fred and Ken acquired three rugby league team programs from 1945-1946, in which Richard was named in the front row for St.George against Newtown, South Sydney and Balmain – with the kind assistance of Terry Williams, historian at the NRL "Heroes and Legends" Museum.
Richard was very pleased that Men of League had taken the time to visit him but when he realised he was holding three programs from all those years ago bearing his name, when he wore the great St. George jersey with so much pride, he was overwhelmed with joy and told us all about his named teammates by their first names.
In the match program against Newtown, lined up against him in the front row was the rugged Frank "Bumper" Farrell and we asked if he got the better of Bumper?
Richard replied with a huge grin across his face, "No, but I did subdue him", adding that he always respected his opposition players.
We presented Richard with a Men of League polo shirt and wished him a recovery to good health.
Upon leaving the Hospital we all felt saddened but felt good also because we had just met a fine old gentleman who was so proud to have been part of rugby league all those years ago.
By Ken Vessey