John “Tim” Stuart – Nature’s Gentleman
Whilst Men of League Member Tim Stuart was a patient at the Mater Hospital, Crows Nest, Welfare Officers Norm Pounder, Ken Vessey (Northern Sydney) and Warren Thompson (Sydney Metro) paid him a visit.
Tim was born in Alexandra Sydney and had an interesting rugby league career. He commenced in the strong South Sydney Junior Rugby League Competitions playing in the front row for various grades with the Alexandra Rovers JRLF Club before playing in the victorious South Sydney President Cup Teams in 1962 (Warren was a team member) and again in 1963 (this time Ken was in the team) under the Master Coach Clem Kennedy. Tim then moved to grade rugby league with the South Sydney District Rugby League Club from 1963-1967 and again playing with Warren.
Like all aspiring young rugby league players then and now, Tim’s dream was to play 1st grade rugby league. Due to the number of existing international/experienced front rowers on the books at the South Sydney Club, he made the big decision to transfer to the Newtown District Rugby League Club, where his dream of playing 1st grade was fulfilled. He played 4 x 1st grade games and many grade games in 1968. Tim remarked he clearly remembered his last game for Newtown was at Brookvale Oval against Manly Warringah in which he marked none other than Norm.
Tim has a wonderful family comprising of his lovely wife Maree, 4 daughters Justine, Rebecca, Monique and Yvette, 2 sons Josh (ex Sydney 1st grade rugby league player) and Tim, plus son in laws including Jason Death and Ivan Cleary both prominent NRL rugby league identities. To round out the family he also has 19 grandchildren (10 boys and 9 girls); so one can imagine the conversations on rugby league in the Stuart household would be riveting stuff.
Having the current Head Coach of the Penrith Panthers Ivan Cleary in the family it was no surprise that Tim’s preferred NRL team was the Penrith Panthers. He did give us a tip to keep an eye on the progress of his 17 years old grandson Nathan (Ivan’s son), who scored 94 points in 7 games for the Penrith SG Ball representative team and was now playing in the Ron Massey Cup with the Windsor Club.
We wished Tim a speedy recovery back to good health and presented him with a Men of League polo shirt and cap, as a mark of acknowledging his long and continued support of rugby league. In return he was very appreciative for our visit, gifts and our best wishes and wished the Men of League every success.
Attached photo left to right Ken Vessey, Tim Stuart, Norm Pounder and Warren Thompson