Vale – Ross Warner

Born 10 November, 1943 – Passed Away 2 August, 2020

Former North Sydney and NSW hooker, Ross Warner, passed away in early August, aged 76. Born in Tamworth, he played his junior football in this city and came to the attention of North Sydney President, Harry McKinnon, who was born in the same place. McKinnon and some other North Sydney officials were impressed with Ross’s performance for Northern Division against Great Britain at Tamworth on 22 July 1962. The 18 year old hooker had a strong game for the locals who were beaten 56-13. Ross joined the Bears the next year and made his first grade debut against Eastern Suburbs on 7 April 1963 in the 14-10 loss at the Sports Ground.. He was injured in this match and did not play again until coming back in reserve grade against Newtown on 4 May. His second season in Sydney football was very successful, as he played for Sydney Seconds against Country Seconds on 16 May, for NSW against Queensland in Brisbane on 27 June, was a reserve for Australia in the second Test against France in Brisbane on 4 July, although he did not get on to the field and for Sydney Colts against Other Nationalities at the SCG on 18 July. In 1965, he represented NSW in two more matches against Queensland, both in Brisbane. In the first of these games at Lang Park on 21 July 1965, he partnered Ron Coote in the second row, while Allan Buman did the job as hooker. Ross scored a try in this match which NSW won 30-9. Just three days later the two teams met again and Ross was back as hooker in the 22-15 win.

He also played for Sydney Seconds against Country in 1965 and 1966, while in 1967, he was the Sydney Firsts hooker against Country at the Sports Ground on 3 September. Earlier that year, on 3 June 1967, he played his fourth game for NSW in the tight 15-14 loss to New Zealand at the SCG.

His last season with Norths was 1974 and in his 12 seasons, he played more than 200 grade games of which 186 were in first grade, where he scored 14 tries. In his last few seasons with the Bears, Ross captained the side. After retiring he coached some lower grade North Sydney teams for a few seasons and also served on the club committee. He also worked at Norths Leagues club for several years. He was made a life member of the North Sydney Rugby League club and was named as the hooker in the club’s Team of the Century.

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