Vale – Doug Cameron
Doug Cameron, a gifted former NSW and Easts half back, has sadly died.
Doug Cameron will be remembered as an inventive, clever and talented player who showed flair and a capacity to direct the game. ‘A smart attacking half, quite solid in defence and by the way, watch just how well he passes the ball’ stated The Rugby League News in 1958. He was described as a ‘Brilliant scrum half and a strong defender.’ He represented Country in 1954-56. Played against Great Britain 1954, 1958 and 1960; France in 1955 and 1957 and New Zealand 1956’ noted the French Souvenir Game Programme.
Doug Cameron was born on Gamilaraay Country in Coonabarabran and came to Chippendale as a five-year old when his father enlisted in the Army in World War 11. Doug attended St Benedict’s school on Broadway and was always talented in all sports. In 1950 his rugby league team won the Division Championships, and he went on to become a Souths Junior.
Doug’s professional football career spanned over a decade from the mid 50s and inspired and influenced many country rugby league players and supporters through the spirited and creative way he played as well as his dedication and support for the game and players of rugby league. He was imported from Souths Juniors at just 18 years old for the Young Cherrypickers from 1954 to 1956 where he played in many Maher Cup games and led Young to victory in the Claytons Cup in 1955.
From 1954 he was selected in several representative teams; Country Firsts, Riverina and Southern Districts and in 1956 was selected to represent Australia against Great Britain but a broken ankle prevented him from taking his place in the Australian side. He returned to Sydney to play for Easts Tricolours (481), and notably played for the NSW team (507) against Great Britain in 1958. After this momentous year he returned to the country again as captain, coach to Crookwell and in 1960 was again selected for representative honours as captain of the Monaro side against France at Manuka Oval. Doug continued his country playing career at the Wagga Kangaroos, where he played with and against many of his former team-mates and opponents, such as, Greg Hawick, Col Donohoe, Leo Trevena, Bob Honeysett and Arthur Summons. He continued his involvement with Wagga Kangaroos coaching Kangaroos Juniors teams and players, such as, Peter Sterling and Steve Martin.
After his playing career Doug moved into the hotel business with his wife Marlyn, whom he met and married in his early years at Young. They were successful publicans in Tumut and Wagga for 40 years. In Tumut Doug also maintained his connection to rugby league through his coaching of the Tumut Blues First grade team and becoming involved with the Tumut Old Boys rugby league. He was a strong supporter of his rugby league community and his many local communities, from rugby league to the local Aboriginal Land Council and Chamber of Commerce. Even in recent years he attended games and would often work on the gate and assist whenever he could. He was a member of the Men of League and was supported by them on his visits to Sydney with Marlyn to attend the Blues Dinners in recent years.
Doug Cameron’s funeral will be held at the Tumut Catholic Church, Capper St, Tumut on Monday, 17th January 2022 at 1pm. Past players and officials are invited to form a guard of honour for Doug.