Bennett delighted to see legends of yesteryear honoured

Les Lane, Wayne Bennett and Paul Coote will be inducted into the Warwick Cowboys Wall of Legends on November 17.
Les Lane, Wayne Bennett and Paul Coote will be inducted into the Warwick Cowboys Wall of Legends on November 17. Gerard Walsh

NEWCASTLE Knights coach and Warwick Cowboys Wall of Legends inductee Wayne Bennett is delighted many of the legends of yesteryear will be honoured on November 17 from 2pm at Father Ranger Oval.

Bennett qualifies for the wall through playing for Queensland and Australia and rising to the status of the top coach in the game.

"It is long overdue," Bennett said.

"As a kid and adult, I felt people in the town were not recognised for what they have done.

"You don't talk rugby league without talking about names like Vic Armbruster, Syd Jones and Blondie Bell.

"Vic tried to get me to play for Huddersfield in England when I was 18. I would have gone if I hadn't been a police cadet."

Bennett said his uncle and under-18 coach, Eddie Brosnan, had the biggest impact on him during his time in Warwick.

"I remember Dan Dempsey and Mick Madsen as legends of the game, Cyril Connell and referee Billy Adams," Bennett said.

"Billy was great with the kids and told us to play as hard as we liked but said if we punched each other, we would be off."

Australian halfback Cyril Connell played in Warwick in the 1950s and three decades later Bennett was inaugural Broncos coach and Connell his recruitment guru.

Connell played for both Collegians and Eastern Suburbs during the two seasons he spent in Warwick, which was the deal when he came to coach the representative side.

Paul Coote, who played for Queensland in 1970, said it was important to recognise legends rather than waiting for the tributes after they died.

"I am a big fan of (inductee) Dr Joe Baker who coached me up north. Eddie Brosnan was definitely an inspiration."

Les Lane loves the history of the game. He said he always spent 15 minutes looking at clubhouse walls - at photos of players who were household names when he grew up.

Coote recalled the good advice given to young players.

"Boxing trainer Pat Wilson would pull you aside and tell you to pull your head in if necessary in the 1960s," he said.

Legends event organiser Glen Whitton said the wall would be unveiled by former Warwick and District Rugby League president Fr Hal Ranger and former Warwick Cowboys president Greg Carey after U7 and development games.

All welcome, more information from Whitton on 0429 342143.

Wall of Legends inductees

Australian/Queensland players

Dan Dempsey, Mick Madsen, Duncan Thompson, Billy Thompson, Vic Armbruster, Rohan Hancock, Wayne Bennett, Cyril Connell, Dale Shearer, Eddie Brosnan, Ray Higgs, Grant Rix.

Junior Kangaroos/NRL

Michael Coorey, Simon Scanlan, Brett O'Farrell.

Australian/Qld women's team

Jo Barrett, Stephanie Hancock.

Australian universities or Army

Michael Ellis, Jordan Atkins, Scott Morton, Adam Fisher.

Queensland players

Les Lane, Peter Eastwell, Paul Coote, Joe Baker, Syd 'Porky' Jones, Billy Thompson, Colin Thompson, Mal Muirhead.

NSW player

John Mogridge.

Internationals - other countries

Matt Elara, Michael Coorey.

NRL/AFL players

Jim Cowell, Damian Gibson, Mark Meskell, Jordan Atkins, Ewan McGrady, Jason McGrady, Mark Tookey, Justin O'Neill.

Officials

John Barrett, Frank Barrett, Bob Bennett, Peter Nolan.

Referees

Leo Cronin, Jack Casey.

Topics:  rugby league, wayne bennett




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