Foundation members attend Dragons reunion
Two Immortals, Team of the Century members and Men of League Foundation members, Graeme Langlands and Johnny Raper, along with many former Test players, enjoyed the Dragons reunion at St. George Leagues club on Saturday afternoon, 1 July.
A formidable Test team with a strong bench could have been selected from the 80 or so who attended the happy function. How is this for a squad to take on New Zealand’s or Great Britain’s best?
Fullback Graeme Langlands (45 Tests),
Wingers John King (15 Tests) and Eddie Lumsden (15 Tests),
Centres Paul McGregor (4 Tests) and John Riley (1 Test),
Five eighth Billy Smith (26 Tests),
Half Steve Morris (1 Test),
Lock John Raper (39 Tests),
Second row Rod Reddy (17 Tests) and Ben Creagh (2 Tests),
Front row Craig Young (20 Tests) and Michael Weyman (1 Test),
Hooker Steve Edge (1 State of Origin for NSW).
On the bench Dean Young (1 Test), Graeme Wynn (5 matches for Australia on 1980 tour of New Zealand), Bruce Starkey (NSW 1979, 139 games and two Premierships with St. George), Roy Ferguson (around 200 first grades games with Wests then St. George), John Jansen (over 100 games with St. George, including 1977 Premiership win).
Steve Edge was the MC, while Mark Shulman interviewed Steve Morris, Billy Smith and Paul McGregor. Now 66, Shulman played in the 1977 9-all Grand Final draw with Parramatta and later coached minor grades at St. George and Cronulla. He now lives in Queensland.
Chairman of the St. George District RLFC, Craig Young, welcomed everyone to the function and added the club was keen to locate all former players and record their contact details on a data base.
St. George Illawarra Dragons coach, Paul McGregor, made a special effort to attend the function after his team played on the Gold Coast the previous night, and this gesture was greatly appreciated by all present.
Both Craig Young and Steve Edge gave thanks to the Leagues club for hosting the event and providing the food, while they also thanked Graeme Wynn and Carlton United Brewery for providing the beer, along with Neil McGuiggan for the wine.
In other St. George news, long term trainer, Ken Boothroyd is sharing a room with Immortal Graeme Langlands at their Sydney nursing home.
A physical education teacher, Ken, now 86 and his wife Patricia, migrated from Manchester in 1966. He then taught at Kogarah Marist Brothers for more than 25 years from 1969.
Soon after settling in Australia, Ken became St. George trainer and did this job for more than 15 tears, including the Premiership winning teams in 1977 and 1979.
There is a well publicised photo of Ken assisting Graeme Langlands from the field, wearing the white boots, during the 1975 Grand Final. Ken also worked with the Illawarra Steelers and the referees, as well as the Illawarra juniors.
The couple retired to Kiama about 17 years ago and Ken moved into the nursing home early this year. Any of the duo’s friends are welcome to visit them.
By Barry Ross