Theyre in league for charity
LONG-TIME rugby league fans may get a surprise at who they might meet at a fundraising dinner to be held in Ballina on Saturday night.
The dinner at the Ballina Bowling and Recreation Club is part of a Men of League bowls weekend, which is raising money for the Ballina Shire Healthy Community Futures Fund.
Bob Abbott, of Tintenbar, who was general manager of the Australian Rugby League in the late 1980s until 1996, is organising the weekend, which was instigated by Ballina's Denis Meaney, who played with Manly in the late '50s and Western Suburbs from 1960-67.
Men of League is a charity made up of former players and administrators which supports members who have fallen on hard times.
Abbott said many former players would be at the dinner you don't know who you might meet.
And they'll be telling a few stories of their playing days.
Abbott reckons some of the tales get taller as the years go on.
John Peard, who played for Parramatta in the early 1970s, has had to pull out because of another commitment presenting trophies to junior players in Sydney.
Former Premier of NSW and Men of League patron John Fahey will be the guest speaker.
While the Ballina Shire Healthy Community Futures Fund has reached its $150,000 target to buy X-ray equipment for Ballina District Hospital, money raised by the dinner will still go into the fund to go towards other equipment for the hospital.
"There's other equipment required for the future of Ballina hospital, it's important to keep raising money," Abbott said.
One of the auction items to go under the hammer will be a limited-edition autographed print of six grand final-winning captains St George's Norm Provan, Souths' John Sattler, St George's Ken Kearney, Canberra's Mal Meninga, Parramatta's Steve Edge and Brisbane's Allan Langer.
Tickets to the dinner cost $60, which includes a three-course meal and drinks.
The dinners starts at 6.30pm for 7pm on Saturday, and tickets are available from the Ballina Bowling and Recreation Club.
On the greens, the mixed bowls tournament on Saturday is open to the public, and a State of Origin bowls tournament will be played on Sunday.