Stal­wart Pete a man for all jobs

Rugby league club cel­e­brates its pres­i­dent’s 40 years of ded­i­ca­tion

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Doug Con­way

PETE Martin started coach­ing the un­der-14s at Coly­ton ju­nior rugby league club 40 years ago and he’s still there.

“Peo­ple made me feel wel­come and I just sort of hung around,” the 63-year-old said.

Now he’s pres­i­dent of the club, which is stag­ing a 40year cel­e­bra­tion and trib­ute to him on Sun­day at Cec Blinkhorn Oval.

The Rooty Hill builder, who has been bat­tling can­cer for the past year, has done ev­ery job at the club: player, coach, man­ager, trainer, ground man­ager, com­mit­tee mem­ber, spon­sor, bar­be­cue cook, can­teen server, field marker, dress­ing room cleaner — and, of course, pres­i­dent.

“I’ve met a lot of good peo­ple and made a lot of friends,” he said.

“It’s been a good ride, with a lot of ups and downs, but mainly good times.”

He is af­fec­tion­ately known as Shag be­cause when he joined the club he couldn’t re­mem­ber all the names so he called ev­ery­one Shag. They called him Shag back and it stuck.

His big­gest thrill has been watch­ing fu­ture stars emerge from Coly­ton’s ju­nior ranks, in­clud­ing Pen­rith and Kan­ga­roos star Craig Gower; Pen­rith, New­cas­tle and Ori­gin player Tony But­ter­field and Pen­rith, Par­ra­matta and Manly player Dave Lid­di­ard.

He is proud to say Coly­ton has six or seven play­ers in Pen­rith’s un­der-17 and -15 de­vel­op­ment teams. “It’s all about help­ing them,” he said. “Win­ning is a bonus.”

Mr Martin helped start a Coly­ton A-grade team in 1980, for which he played un­til the age of 40.

Along the way, he lost an eye af­ter be­ing ac­ci­den­tally el­bowed in the face.

He played with Pen­rith’s third-grade team as a teenager but ul­ti­mately pre­ferred to play and hang around with his mates.

His wife, Jan, has been ac­tively in­volved with run­ning the club for al­most as long as him and is still wash­ing the team jer­seys.

“We just do what­ever we can,” she said.

Sun­day’s cel­e­bra­tion starts at noon, con­tin­ues with the A-grade match against Broth­ers at 2.30pm and will wind up at the Wagon Wheel Ho­tel.

Mr Martin is most look­ing for­ward to “catch­ing up with the old peo­ple and hav­ing a yarn”. Nom­i­nate: ju­nior sports star.com.au

I’ve met a lot of good peo­ple ... It’s been a good ride, with a lot of ups and downs, but mainly good times Pete Martin

Pete Martin is cel­e­brat­ing 40 years with the Coly­ton rugby league club and (be­low) be­ing hon­oured with a NewsLo­cal Ser­vice to Sport award in 2013. Main pic­ture: Carmela Roche

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