Vale Kevin Honeybrook
1929 – 7 June 2012
The Illawarra Rugby League lost a long time servant on 12 June, when Kevin Honeybrook passed away, aged 83. Born in Rozelle, Kevin established himself as a talented junior hooker from the Codocks club in the late 1940s. He played four first grade matches with the Balmain Tigers in 1954 and among his team-mates were Kevin Humphreys (former Australian and NSW Rugby League President), Billy Marsh ( 8 Tests) and Tom Tyrrell (2 Tests).
Kevin and his wife Joan came to the Illawarra region in 1955, where he joined the Dapto club for four seasons. After retiring at the end of the 1958 season, Kevin became club secretary in 1959. He became the Dapto reserve grade coach in 1960 and 1961, guiding this side to the 1961 Premiership.
Keen to contribute something to the game, Kevin obtained his referees card in 1965 and controlled junior matches. He was graded as a first grade whistle blower in 1966 and remained in first grade for the next 10 seasons before retiring. In his first year in the senior refereeing ranks, he was selected to control the major semi final and then the Dapto-Collegians Grand Final. This was the first of his five Illawarra First Grade Grand Finals, the others coming in 1971, 1973, 1974 and 1975. He also refereed two International fixtures, Western Division versus New Zealand at Lithgow in 1967 and Western Division versus Great Britain at Orange in 1974.
As well as this, he was the man in the middle for several important Country Divisional clashes, such as his first representative game, Western Division versus Southern Division at Orange in 1967, Southern Division versus North Coast in 1971 at Gosford, Riverina versus Western Division at Griffith in 1972 and the 1974 semi final, between Northern Division and Southern Division at Tamworth. He was also a Touch Judge at the SCG for the City Firsts-Country Firsts match on two occasions.
Away from the refereeing ranks, Kevin worked hard for several years with the Berkeley Junior Rugby League club and did a lot of the spadework in establishing the Berkeley Sports and Social club.
Kevin is survived by his wife Joan, their two daughters Suzanne and Karen and son, Graeme, as well as seven grandchildren. Joan, now 82, is ill and is currently in Wollongong Hospital