Franks memories form part of footy history

CHIP 'N' CHASE By STEVE SPINKS ACCORDING to rugby league sources, Frank Scarrebelotti was the last of his kind.

The beloved Bangalow identity, who died recently just short of his 110th birthday, was the last man after the rugby league and rugby union split at the beginning of last century to play rugby and then go on to win a premiership in rugby league

In his last years, Frank submitted a hand-written note to The Northern Star sports department with his memories of that time. It is reproduced below.

Prior to World War I, rugby union was the football code played in the Byron area.

My brother Larry was a first-class footballer who played fullback with the Newrybar team.

The war terminated football in 1914. After the war (1919) a rugby league competition was formed in Byron Shire with two first grade teams in Bangalow (the Rob Roys and the Royals), and one each from Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Billinudgel.

The Royals were a very strong team who won the competition the first year.

It was a strong team dominated by six Nudgee College players.

I was a player in the Rob Roys team which won the competition in 1922 and 1924.

I have two beautiful gold medals which were given to players in the winning team.

Tom Slattery, captain of the Royals, was an outstanding player at five-eighth.

When the English team was out here captained by Sullivan, he said at a presentation dinner that Tom was the finest player he met in Australia.

The match was won by England by just a small margin. Rugby League was very strong in those days.

Interdistrict teams captained by Tom Slattery travelled the southern areas with great success Frank Scarrebelotti Kurt's on track MULLUMBIMBY sensation Kurt Mulcahy has decided to give athletics his full attention.

The 18-year-old, who left home earlier this week to join the Australian athletics squad for the world championships later this month, had been on contract with the Sydney Roosters.

The Roosters swooped on Mulcahy when he was selected in the Australian Under-15 League merit squad a few years back.

However, Mulcahy told Chip 'n Chase that he sees his future in athletics.

"Footy is a domestic sport," he said. "Athletics is everywhere."

While Mulcahy has the athletics bug, league would surely welcome him back with open arms should his running career not go the way he wants. Milton on the move NEWS filtered through over the weekend that former Lismore Workers and Ballina Seagulls player Milton Thaiday has retired from the National Rugby League.

The Knights fullback decided he wanted to be a full-time Indigenous youth worker with Allied and Coal, Newcastle's major sponsor.

The program is run by former Knights winger Ashley Gordon, but he could take on the role only if he gave up the NRL.

Thaiday has had a wretched run with injury this season, playing only a handful of games.

While he may not have had the longevity of some, the livewire can live in the knowledge that he's reached an elite standard in two sports.

He was plucked from Workers to play for the NSW Waratahs rugby union team in the then Super 12 in 2000.

After having a public falling out with the Waratahs following his admission of an alcohol problem, Thaiday moved back to Lismore and started playing league with Ballina.

Halfway through the season he was picked up by the injury-ravaged Knights.

His elite career may have been short, but think of the calibre players he's played with and against ... Andrew Johns, Danny Buderus, Stephen Larkham, Darren Lockyer, Daniel Carter etc etc. Mitch on fire FORMER Ballina player Mitch Aubusson will almost feel at home this Saturday night when his Sydney Roosters take on the Titans on the Gold Coast.

Aubusson has been in great touch the past month, even scoring a try to level the scores with only minutes remaining in last Friday night's match against the Tigers.

It meant the game went into golden point extra-time, the second week in a row for the Roosters.

Who said rugby league first-graders don't earn their pay? No love lost THE stage is set for a humdinger of a match between Mullumbimby and Byron Bay at Red Devil Park, Byron Bay, this Sunday in the Retravision Northern League.

Let's face it, both sides don't really like each other at the best of times.

Unfortunately, this season has not been good to the relationship following the scheduling debacle which led to Byron forfeiting their first round match against the Giants.

Add the fact that Mullum is hunting their first minor premiership since 2004 and the chance of hosting a major semi-final, and the stakes go even higher. It should be a cracker. Flying high BALLINA have jumped on the Marist Brothers bandwagon ... to an extent. Brothers offered free entry to their last home game last week for anyone wearing an old Marist, Workers or South Lismore jersey.

Well, the Seagulls have trumped their arch-rivals. Anyone wearing an old Ballina Seagulls shirt to Kingsford Smith Park on Saturday for the match against Casino RSM could win a helicopter flight.

All supporters who wear a club shirt, no matter how old it is, will go into a draw for a joy flight with Air T and G.

The match on Saturday will be Ballina's last home game before the semi-finals, and it will be a big day of league, with Under-7s kicking off about 9am and junior matches played in all divisions.

The first grade will kick off about 4.45pm.

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