Vale Ron Massey

1930 — 2016

Rugby League Week - - News - SHAYNE BUGDEN

WHEN YOU HEAR THE TERM “SU­PER COACH” NOWA­DAYS the name Wayne Ben­nett most likely springs to mind. Prior to him, Jack Gib­son fit the moniker like a glove. But both of them were deeply in­flu­enced by another man who should be syn­ony­mous with the ti­tle.

As­sis­tant coach doesn’t do Massey’s con­tri­bu­tion jus­tice; right-hand man is a bet­ter de­scrip­tion of his role along­side Gib­son as the Roost­ers won the com­pe­ti­tion in 1975 and ’76, and as Par­ra­matta beat all be­fore them from 1981 to ’83.

Renowned for hav­ing one of foot­ball’s sharpest and most cre­ative in­tel­lects, Massey broke new ground with Jack by fly­ing to Amer­ica to study and adopt the meth­ods of top grid­iron teams, prov­ing they were years ahead of their time.

Later he went on to forge a deep re­la­tion­ship with Ben­nett, one that lasted more than 30 years. And that was just the tip of the ice­berg; when the Men of League Foun­da­tion — the body of which he was a found­ing mem­ber — held a fundraiser for him in 2012, the guest list spoke vol­umes for his in­flu­ence and stand­ing in Aus­tralian rugby league. Ron Coote, Bob Ful­ton, Eric Grothe and Mick Cronin were just a few to at­tend.

Very few peo­ple can claim to have had any­where near Massey’s in­flu­ence over the great­est game of all.

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