SAD DAY AT ST MARYS
THE game of rugby league is a bit poorer following the recent death of St Marys Rugby League Club stalwart Tony Mitchell. An inaugural board and life member, Mr Mitchell died on July 16 following a battle with cancer. A funeral service was held in Moss Vale.
Such was the esteem in which he was held that St Marys teams wore a black armband last Sunday week in his honour and the Ron Massey Cup team held a minute’s silence before the main game.
St Marys Rugby League Club CEO Rod Desborough said Mr Mitchell, fondly known as “Bluto” or “Mitch”, was “much loved, admired and respected and considered a mate by all who knew him”. “His passion for rugby league and his beloved Saints was infectious and St Marys Rugby League Club probably wouldn’t be where it is today without the likes of Mitch,” Mr Desborough said.
Mr Mitchell suited up for St Marys in 1962-1963, 1967, 1969-70 and 1972-81.
In 1967-68, he spent 12 months with the infantry platoon in Vietnam.
One of his many memorable moments was as the captain-coach of the 1977 Agrade team, kicking the winning goal after the fulltime siren in a 12-10 win over Richmond. He also took the team to back to back premierships the following year.
While his feats on the field were legendary, Mr Mitchell was also a dedicated clubman off the field.
He joined the board of directors in the 1970s, won the Life Members Trophy in 1975 and served as club president from 1986 to 1989.
The St Marys Ron Massey Cup team stopped for a minute's silence before their July 17 game to honour former player and board member Tony Mitchell (inset).