Member Profile - Graham Leary
Friday 28 June 2013 10:00 AM
There’s no questioning the fact that NRL clubs rely on a whole host of people and funding to operate and survive in today’s sporting landscape, but the one thing that has held true over the years of our game going from amateur to professional is its Members.
Members have been there since the start of rugby league. Sitting in the stands, reading the papers and in today’s game; Tweeting or just having their voice heard however it may be that they REPRESENT.
And in honour of our great Members here at the Sydney Roosters, each week, from now until the end of the season, we will be profiling a Member.
From those that have been wearing the Red, White and Blue for 1, 2, 10, 20 or 50 years, we will be chatting with a new Member each week to find out just why they love this great Club and just why, each season, they continue to REPRESENT.
In our second of the Member Profiles series we sit down with Graham Leary, A 20 Year Member here at the Roosters and a proud member of the Ron Coote Club.
How long have you been a Roosters Member?
What was it that saw you sign on to join the Roosters in the first place?
I just think, being from the Eastern Suburbs, it was natural for me to follow Easts. I live in South Sydney area now, but was brought up in Easts territory.
I’ve been a supporter since 1966 and then Jack Gibson came in ‘67 after not winning a game the season before. I‘m also a life member of the leagues club, which I’ve been a member of since 1971.
Who is your favourite player of all time and why?
Arthur Beetson. There’s been no one like him ever and he could get the ball away with five players on him.
A great leader, with a very good team too. But, he was a very good player when he first came from Balmain. They called him half a game Artie, but he played more than that I can tell you. He was just a special player.
Which Roosters moment stands out in your mind as the best you’ve been a part of?
For me, it was the winning the 1974 Grand Final. That was the first I saw them win and you always remember the first one you’ve seen. They won it in 1975 but ‘74 was the moment, having followed them from when they’d never won a game.
What is it that makes the Roosters better than every other NRL club?
I just think it’s a good club. I remember when it was the Surrey Hotel in Oxford Street and then they built the new club in Bondi Junction and it’s just got bigger and bigger and bigger and it’s a good place to go and take the family. Both of my girls are supporters and my wife – we’re all Roosters.
What does the Club mean to you?
For me it’s the camaraderie. We’ve had lean years here, but we’ve had some great years too.
These days our players are very good and easy to talk to.
Someone like Freddy is an absolute gentleman. At the recent 20 year function he walked into the room and introduced himself to everyone with a handshake or the a kiss for the ladies. That’s just special and you don’t see it much.
Where are the Roosters going to finish in 2013?
Hopefully they’ll win it. There’s a bit of work in front of them.
We’ll go close this year. I can’t say for sure, because you’re never over the line and fans of other clubs say it, but you never are. But I believe we can go close.