Vale Ron Massey
1930 — 2016
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.