Reuniting John Heard with old mates

John Heard had been in hospital for over six weeks after having his right leg amputated below the knee. “Heardy” is a former South Sydney junior and grade player as well as competing as a professional runner in his younger days.

A product of Chelsea United JRL Football Club, he was a fast clever fullback or wingman in some outstanding teams. Growing up in Surry Hills with best mates Leo Toohey and Kevin (Bilko) Roberts he was born to be a Rabbitoh.

John also played for Kingsford in the 1963 Metropolitan Cup winning the premiership under the coaching of Clem Kennedy. All five of John’s visitors arrived at Wyong Hospital on 25 August in the Men of League Foundation bus to take John home and all were Chelsea United Old Mates.

Heardy’s amazing positive attitude and great sense of humour makes him a popular man with his many friends. A successful greyhound trainer, John is especially proud of champion dog “Forty Twenty” a prolific winner of many races. There has been visitors from the pro runners, the greyhound racing fraternity who recently named a race after John and of course many rugby league mates.

Heardy nominated Leo Toohey to push his wheelchair. The other old mates were Souths champion Bob McCarthy, Wellbeing Officers Ken Vessey and Warren Thompson and Chelsea United Club Historian Fred Hailwood. After stopping off for lunch and telling a few tall stories we arrived at John’s home to a welcome home group including John’s sister Kay Blake and her husband Frank, great friends Mike and Mary Segreto, and another Chelsea man Garry Murphy. All of these people have given John wonderful support to assist him in his recovery.

A polo shirt and cap were presented to John from the Foundation plus a Souths shirt and cap and also a cricket top from Fred Hailwood.

We, along with the local Committee Men of League Wellbeing Officers will be in regular contact with John and lend a helping hand whenever needed.

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