Eric Carney – A true artist

The Men of League grapevine was working at its best when Brian Atherton, President of the Mid North Coast Committee, advised that an active Men of League Member (member no. 3,865), Eric Carney of Port Macquarie, was recovering from surgery at the RNS Private Hospital, Sydney. Northern Sydney Welfare Officers Norm Pounder, Fred Jackson and Ken Vessey wasted no time in visiting Eric and meeting his lovely wife Ann at the hospital. To their delight, Noel Kelly, Men of League Life Member and Carl Ross, ex Wests Magpies rugby league player, were also visiting. 

L-R: Norm Pounder, Fred Jackson, Ann Carney, Noel Kelly, Eric Carney and Carl Ross

Eric’s surgery involved placing rods in his neck as a result of an old rugby league injury. In his playing days, Eric played in the Group 2 Country Rugby League area with Kempsey Cowboys alongside Jim Murphy (ex Wests Magpies player) and Smithtown Tigers with another Wests Magpies player rugged John Elford.

During our entertaining talk about rugby league past and present, Eric was asked who his hardest opponent was and he replied, “Without any doubt, a second rower named Garry Silvia of Nambucca Heads in 1975-76”.

Eric is a talented artist and in his life he has sketched many rugby league stars including Noel Kelly, Harry Wells, Johnny Peard, John Sattler, Arthur Beetson, Billy Smith, Graeme Langlands and Tommy Raudonikis; many of which have been excellent fundraisers at local Men of League functions.

Today, when not working with the Roads and Maritime Services, he spends his time with Ann and their three sons Patrick, Rodney, Gregory and his ten grandchildren. He also spends most of his free time watching local and NRL rugby league matches.

We presented Eric with a Men of League polo shirt and wished him a speedy recovery to good health. Eric was most appreciative of our visit, which was a total surprise to him. He wished the Men of League every continued success and since he has returned home, he has sent some of his artwork to us, which is excellent.

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