Vale – Mark Harris
Born: 22 August 1947 Passed Away: 15 January 2020
Men of League Member #4.
Exciting try-scoring winger, Mark Harris, passed away on Wednesday 15 January, aged 72. A gentle and personable man, he was very popular both on and off the field. A Brisbane Brothers junior, he went to New Guinea as a 20-year-old in 1968 and had two very successful seasons with the Kone Tigers club in Port Moresby, before signing with the Roosters in 1970. In his 10 seasons at Bondi Junction, he scored 88 tries and played 190 top-grade games. He finished his playing career with two seasons at North Sydney where he collected five tries in his 33 matches. Altogether, Mark played 223 first grade games scoring 319 points from 93 tries and 20 goals.
He broke into representative football during his first season, scoring two tries for NSW in the 34-8 win over Queensland at the SCG on 5 August 1970. From 1970 to 1978, he played 11 matches for NSW, scoring nine tries, as well as four games with City Firsts, in which he collected six tries. His Test debut was in the 1970 World Cup in England in the 11-7 loss to Great Britain at Leeds on 24 October. He also played in the final when Australia defeated Great Britain 12-7 at Leeds on 7 November. His next Test was at the SCG in the 36-11 win over New Zealand on 8 July 1972 That same season, he won the Sun-Herald 1972 Player of the Year Award. He played in the 1970 and 1972 World Cups as well as the World Series in 1975 and 1977. His last Test was the final of the 1977 World Series when Australia beat Great Britain 13 -12 at the SCG on 25 June 1977. In his 11 Tests, Mark scored six tries.
In 1973, Mark turned down a place on the Kangaroo tour to have a season with the Montreal Alouettes, for whom he played seven games in the Canadian Gridiron Grey Cup competition.
Back in Australia with the Roosters in 1974, he was a member of two successive Premiership winning teams under the coach, Jack Gibson. He scored one of Easts tries in the 1974 Grand Final and although he missed the 1975 Grand Final because of an injury sustained in the final the week before, he did score 14 tries during the season. In 2000, he served on the NRL judiciary. Mark and his family lived for many years in the French’s Forest area. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mark’s wife Maureen and her family. Funeral arrangements are not known as yet but will be posted when available.