Steve Gearing – Prolific Point Scorer
The old grape vine was working well when we informed that Steve Gearin, ex-rugby league player for Canterbury Bankstown (1976-82 and 1985), St. George (1983-84) and Manly Warringah (1986) was in The Mater Hospital, Crows Nest recovering for surgery on his hips. Welfare Officers Norm Pounder and Ken Vessey wasted no time in visiting Steve, who we found to be recovering extremely well and he was right into his rehab treatment.
Image (left to right): Ken Vessey, Steve Gearin, Norm Pounder
As a youngster he lived in Earlwood and we spoke about his illustrious rugby league career which began in his school days at Christian Brothers, Lewisham where he was spotted by the famous Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, Secretary Manager Peter “Bullfrog” Moore and was graded in 3rd grade in 1976 before playing 1st grade at the age of 18 years old for the “Bulldogs”, described as a baby-faced winger and a point scoring machine. He stayed at the “Bulldogs” until 1982 returning briefly in 1985, in what he described as wonderful years of rugby league experience. In 1979, as a traditional style goal kicker he eclipsed George Taylforth’s club points by scoring 242 points (12 tries, 103 goals).
He agrees his career was blessed by a golden moment in the 1980 Grand Final against Eastern Suburbs, when he scored one of the best tries ever seen at the Sydney Cricket Ground when he caught on his fingers tips a well-placed kick from his fullback Greg Brentnall, in the dying minutes of the Grand Final, plus he tallied 15 points in an 18-4 victory.
In 1983-84 he transferred to the St. George club to link up with other new recruits Steve Rodgers, Michael O’Connor and Graeme O’Grady, where he was the Club’s top scorer in each year (overall total 15 tries,161 goals total 382 points). In 1985 he returned to Canterbury Bankstown for a short time before gaining a mid-season release to Manly Warringah, where he retired after only 1 game.
Steve spoke modestly of his great rugby league career and his achievements; he told us he played for many good Coaches but the best was Ted Glossop, Steve Mortimer was his best player who along with his brothers Chris and Peter he enjoyed playing with. Away from rugby league Steve became a School Teacher for the about the last 35 years.
He lives with his wife Merette, 2 sons Jake, Ryce and daughter Kerri on the Northern Beaches area, where he is still involved in rugby league as President of the highly successful Sydney Shield team Peninsula Seagulls and his son Jake plays in the team. We presented Steve with a Men of League polo shirt/cap in acknowledgement of his past and present contributions to rugby league and wished him a speedy recovery from his surgery. He was most appreciative of the gifts and our visit, wishing the Men of League continued success.
By Ken Vessey