Vale – John Fahey
Born – 10 January 1939
Passed Away – 12 September 2020
As Patron and later national board director, from creation of the Men of League Foundation in 2002, John leveraged his stellar network to ensure the foundation’s success. He was the most generous of men and understood immediately the unbreakable link between rugby league and its communities, and the need so evident in many of them. His rugby league credentials within the game demonstrate a devotion to the game and his desire to serve it at all levels. He played Group 6 NSW country football and was a graded player for Canterbury Bankstown and John has been patron of the Bulldogs since 1993. He captain-coached Group 6 (Camden Rams and Oakdale Workers Club) and later served in Group 6 administration as club president, group vice-president and member of the Referees Appointment Board. After retirement from politics he served as Chairman of Australian Rugby League Development Limited, then the governing body for junior league development nationwide, and was a member of the Rugby League Centenary Committee The Men of League Foundation board will miss him enormously. We are grateful for his invaluable guidance and unfailing support, and our most sincere condolences go to Colleen and his family who he loved so dearly and so well. John’s contribution to the Men of League Foundation, of which he was so proud, will carry forward in the lives of the thousands of recipients who ultimately benefited from his time, care, intellect and compassion.
In John’s words: an excerpt from his Tom Brock lecture 2010
“Later in 2001 I was asked by a teammate from my Bulldogs days, Jim Hall, and my good friend and Kangaroo legend, Ron Coote, to help establish the Men of League Foundation. I became, at inception, the patron of Men of League and later a director. It was an admirable and unique concept that has blossomed into an extraordinary success. It has reached out to thousands of league supporters and provided a link to reconnect them to the game. Those who need financial help due to illness or other misfortune have found practical and financial support through a national network of committees. No other sport in this country has demonstrated the same level of care and thoughtfulness for its extended family that rugby league gives through this foundation. Men of League has helped countless individuals who have rugby league in their veins. Few organisations that I have been associated with have given me the same level of personal satisfaction as Men of League.”
For the entire speech click here.