John Perry – Eastern Suburbs (Sydney Roosters) Player No. 408
On Friday 13th March, Sydney Metro Welfare Officers Warren Thompson and Alan Webb visited John Perry at his home at Maroubra Gardens Retirement Village.
John was playing “C” grade for Clovelly in the Eastern Suburbs Juniors when he played a trial against Souths at Redfern Oval as a 9 stone 7lb half back or 57 kilo’s – he commented that he could have been riding in the Melbourne cup. The selectors on that day told him to go away and put some weight on.
In 1951 he played in the Easts President Cup team, and was then called into grade however he preferred to play with his mates at Clovelly and he told the club that. They informed him that he had to play with Easts. John then told them that he worked on an Ice Run and did not finish work in time to play 3rd grade, so the club suspended him for two weeks. After this time he was told that he had been selected to play Reserve Grade at North Sydney Oval he said that Darcy Lawler was the referee that day and that he scored a try in the corner.
John said that he was a Good Reserve Grader capable of filling in. He was selected in first grade as Halfback when Col Donohoe was selected to tour with the Australian Team along with Ferris Ashton in 1952.
John was given copies of old team lists from programs that were obtain from the NRL Museum.
In 1954 he was offered membership of NSW Leagues Club and he arrived at the club wearing a nice pair of slacks and business shirt but did not have a coat and was told that he needed a coat to enter the premises. At the time Dally Messenger was at the club and offered John a coat which just happened to be an Australia Blazer, so he gained entry and went to the bar and had a few drinks wearing the great man’s blazer.
John has Lung Cancer but is currently in remission. He and his wife Val have recently returned to reside in Sydney having lived for 25 years on the Central Coast at Lake Haven.
Our thanks to Sydney Roosters who were generous in providing a Roosters Polo shirt and cap which we presented to John.