Ron’s new car is in a league of its own By LOUISE EDDY
Bathurst’s Ron Webb may have been left speechless yesterday when a group of league legends surprised him with a new car, but his shining eyes and brilliant smile said it all.
Mr Webb was just 21 when a head high tackle crushed his carotid artery, leaving him paralysed on one side.
Before his accident he played league for teams in Newtown, Willoughby and Hornsby. He played in premiership league and for Newtown in the President’s Cup.
He loved his girl and he loved his football. In particular he loved kicking goals.
But that all ended in 1969 with a stiff arm tackle to the neck.
Since then he has been doing it tough and Mr Webb, who is on a pension, turned to the Men of League for help.
His 1991 Nissan Pintara had so many things wrong with it he was afraid to drive it in case it blew up.
He had been turned down for finance on a second-hand car because he was on a pension, and didn’t know where else to turn.
“This came right when I needed it,” he said.
Bathurst’s Royce George and Orange’s Errol “Badger” Babbage, president of the Mid West branch of the Men of League, asked Orange Mayor John Davis, who is a sponsor, if he would be willing to come to the party and help them out in a joint effort.
Yesterday the trio were there to hand over the keys alongside one of the founders of the Men of League Foundation, Jim Hall, and fellow members John Peard and Leo Toohey.
They were thrilled to be in on the surprise delivery.
“With great support from John Davis we are able to give Ron something to make his life a bit easier. That’s what it’s all about,” Mr Hall said.
Mr Babbage had a few words for Mr Webb as the car was brought around.
“We can see you’re doing it a bit tough and, now we don’t want you to have a heart attack on us, but we want to thank you for being associated with the Men of League,” he said as Mr Davis handed over the keys.
“It’s a great little car for whizzing around town,” the mayor added.
The Men of League Foundation was founded in 2002 by former NRL players Ron Coote, Jim Hall and Max Brown. They believed helping out your mates is big part of rugby league and so, created the foundation.
When he heard the Foundation might be able to help him, Mr Webb went to get a quote for an engine from the wreckers and one for some new tires.
“I am so grateful for this. This is truly fantastic,” he said.