Meeting Dempsey Joy, a former player from Manly
The sporting grapevine was working well and it was instrumental in advice being given to the Men of League Foundation Northern Sydney Wellbeing Team, that Dempsey Joy was in a local hospital. In no time at all, it was ascertained through Dempsey’s daughter Sam, that he was in the local Manly Private Hospital, awaiting treatment.
Consent was given to pay a wellbeing visit and Norm Pounder and Ken Vessey called in to see Dempsey on the 22 December 2017. Norm and Dempsey knew each other well through their playing careers with the Manly Warringah District Rugby League Football Club in the 1970s. Dempsey was pleased to see us as he explained he was in there resting, pending the replacement in January 2018 of a hip he had inserted over 30 years ago.
We had a great conversation about Dempsey’s playing career in rugby league, which commenced as a junior with the Manly Christian Brothers Rugby League Club before eventually changing codes to play rugby union for many seasons with the Manly Rugby Union Club, mainly as a lock forward, accumulating over 125 games in first-grade.
Followed by approaches from the neighbouring strong Manly Warringah District Rugby League Football Club, Dempsey decided to change codes again and in 1975 and 1977 he played numerous games in reserve grade including eight first-grade games, mainly in the front row.
Before retiring from playing rugby league he spent time as Captain Coach with the Tamworth City Rugby League Football Club and successfully won the premiership during his time there. We also spoke at length about the recent changes and skill levels in both rugby union and rugby league and the improved skills of many emerging national teams in the recent Rugby League World Cup.
We presented Dempsey with a Men of League polo shirt and wished him a successful hip operation and speedy recovery. In return, he thanked us for our visit/gift and wished the Men of League Foundation continued success in the community activities.
By Ken Vessey
Northern Sydney Men of League Wellbeing Coordinator