Vale – Greg Mackey
Vale – Greg Mackey
Born- 20 October 1961
Passed Away- 24 September 2014.
Greg Mackay played 17 years of top class rugby league, after beginning with South Sydney as an 18 year old in 1980. A happy, personable and friendly man, Greg had four years with Souths and at the end of his 1983 southern hemisphere commitments, he flew to Paris to sign with Paris Chatillion, under Tas Baitieri, for a season. When he returned to Australia, he joined the Illawarra Steelers, where he played 105 first grade games in five years. He then had one season with the Canterbury Bulldogs before playing in England for seven years.
Altogether he played 147 matches in the NRL, scoring 39 tries. In England, he went to Warrington in October 1989, but only played nine games with the club before signing with Hull after receiving an excellent financial incentive. The Airlie Birds, as Hull are known, made him captain and played him at five eighth. He made 95 consecutive appearances for Hull during his three seasons, with the highlight being the 1990/1991 premiership final 14-4 win over Widnes at Old Trafford on 12 May 1991. Although it was a strong Widnes side, Greg dominated the game and won the Harry Sutherland Trophy as the best player in the final.
In the 1992 English summer, Greg returned to Warrington and from 30 August 1992 to 25 February 1995, he made 98 consecutive appearances, which is still a club record. Add to this his 94 successive games with Hull before rejoining Warrington and this gives him 192 games in a row which is quite an achievement. On 9 November 1994 at Wilderspool, Warrington’s home ground, Greg played against the touring Australian Kangaroo team. The Kangaroos won this match 24-0. He finished his stint in England with one season with Huddesfield in 1996, which was the first year of the English Super League.
Along with his family, Greg returned to Australia in November 1996 and settled at Figtree in the Wollongong area. He played one last season with Shellharbour in 1997, in the Group 7 competition. In 1998, he was non-playing coach of the Wollongong University Books first grade team and guided them to the Illawarra Grand Final. He also coached the books in 1999 and 2000.
Sadly, “Bluey,” as Greg was known, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2011. He courageously fought against this illness since that time but sadly lost the battle at just 52 years of age.
Greg is survived by his wife Amanda, three children, Kane, Ebony and Tom, along with his identical twin granddaughters, Grace and Lillian.