Bennett delighted to see legends of yesteryear honoured
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
Dan Dempsey, Mick Madsen, Duncan Thompson, Billy Thompson, Vic Armbruster, Rohan Hancock, Wayne Bennett, Cyril Connell, Dale Shearer, Eddie Brosnan, Ray Higgs, Grant Rix.
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.
Les Lane, Peter Eastwell, Paul Coote, Joe Baker, Syd 'Porky' Jones, Billy Thompson, Colin Thompson, Mal Muirhead.
Internationals - other countries
Matt Elara, Michael Coorey.
Jim Cowell, Damian Gibson, Mark Meskell, Jordan Atkins, Ewan McGrady, Jason McGrady, Mark Tookey, Justin O'Neill.
John Barrett, Frank Barrett, Bob Bennett, Peter Nolan.
Leo Cronin, Jack Casey.