Vale John Graham

Born 22 February 1940. Passed Away 23 April 2017.

Well known Illawarra Rugby League man, John Graham, passed away in Wollongong on Sunday 23 April aged 77. As a teenager in the late 1950s, Jack, as he was known, began a long career with the Wollongong club and then joined Collegians. He could handle any position in the forwards but was best known as a tough prop.

As a first grader with the Wollongong club in 1961 and 1962, he was a team-mate and close friend of Immortal and Team of the Century member, Graeme Langlands. Towards the end of his playing days, Jack moved on to Berkeley in the Illawarra second division and after retiring, he coached the Port Kembla reserve grade team in 1980 when Chang was in charge of the first grade team.

A strong supporter of the Men of League Foundation, Jack was a committee member of the Illawarra branch when it was first formed. The Illawarra branch was the first branch to be established outside Sydney. He was also a passionate Steelers supporter and a long term member of the North Wollongong Surf Life Saving club, where he established himself as a high quality surfboat sweep. As mine host of Wollongong’s Harp Hotel for 17 years, Jack loved swapping sporting tales over a beer while propping up the bar. He is survived by his long time partner, Cheryl, children Ian, Lisa and Steve and Joanne and Paul, as well as his sister Jacqueline and former wife, Judy.

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