Stalwart Pete a man for all jobs
Rugby league club celebrates its president’s 40 years of dedication
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