Vale – Barry Ayshford

Men of League Foundation Member Number #11589

Barry Ayshford was a rugby league tragic who gave more than 50 years to the game.

Growing up in Sydney’s inner city suburb of Paddington, he joined the Paddo Colts soon after they formed in 1949 and played with this club until he was called up to grade with Easts around 19 or 20 years of age. In the mid to late 1950s, he played some minor grade games with the Roosters and when not required, returned to the Colts A grade side.

In 1961, he moved to the Illawarra competition where he had a couple of seasons with the Wollongong club as a hard running backrower. After that he moved to the Central Coast to play with Woy Woy for two years and was a member of the 1964 Grand Final winning Woy Woy team. After this, a stint of national service slowed him down but then he returned to the Colts  where he captain/coached and then just coached for nine seasons.

In 1967, he guided the Colts to their first ever A grade Premiership. He had five grand final wins as a Paddo coach, including three in succession.

Most of Barry’s working life was as a friendly garbo with the Woollahra Council and in the late 1990’s, he and his wife Jean, retired to Mollymook on the NSW South Coast. Barry had some health problems this year and was admitted to Wollongong Hospital in mid-July, where he passed away, aged 81.

Barry and Jean have a daughter Kylie and a son Craig. His nephew, Blake, has played 167 first grade NRL games with the Tigers, Sharks and Warriors, mainly as a centre.

Rest in Peace, Barry.

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