Splinter Woods – The Man from Hay

Northern Sydney Welfare Officers Norm Pounder and Ken Vessey paid Raymond “Splinter” Woods a visit whilst he was in Sydney for further progress tests on his recent bone marrow transplant; he had previously had at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

Splinter was born and has lived in Hay NSW for much of his life and he told us some interesting facts about Hay and the surrounding district. From a young age he commenced playing rugby league for the Hay “Magpies” RLF Club in their famous white with 2 black V’s jersey and after playing senior grades for the Club, he successfully coached teams during the struggling days in the early 2000’s. He also played rugby league in Adelaide for 2 years before returning to Hay and provided us with a valuable insight into the previous Country Group 17 competitions of which many are now in the Group 20 area. He spoke proudly of his involvement in teaching younger people in his area the language of the Wiradjuri Nation.

He was due to return to Hay in a few days to be with his wife Kirsten and sons Liam and Lachlan until his next medical check up back in Sydney. Splinter spoke highly of the attention and care provided to him by the Medical Staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital, the Leukaemia Foundation and the staff of Angel Flight Australia who convey him to and from Hay to Sydney.

As a mark of respect and his contribution to Country Rugby League we presented Splinter with a Men of League polo shirt and cap plus a Sea Eagles supporters cap and wished him a successful recovery and return to good health. In return he thanked us for the visit and praised the work of the Men of League.

During our visit he spoke about his close friend the late Mick Huntly “The Modern Day Mossgiel Man” and we recalled Mick was another Hay Magpie, who we had the pleasure to visit in July 2013, whilst he was in Sydney receiving chemo treatment. Mick was a real character and a legend in his own lifetime, who is dearly missed by many people in the Rugby League community.

Ken Vessey

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