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In 2011 Cessnock rugby league celebrated 100 years of formation as a rugby league club, playing in the newly formed Hunter River Rugby League. Cessnock played against teams from Kurri Kurri, Weston, Greta, West Maitland, Central Maitland, East Maitland, Morpeth & Hinton. Cessnock played in this competition with great success until 1930 when they moved into the Newcastle competition, although our 1st year was one of learning and becoming competitive it was our club that started to prosper through hard work and intelligent leadership.

A Selection panel was formed and after several meetings it was decided that 2 teams be selected, one that is selected from everyone that played for Cessnock and one that is comprised of local juniors. The qualifying rule was that they must have played for at least 2 years and were of in the outstanding category.

In the following pages you will see some people who given Cessnock great service and have been outstanding footballers. It has given us great pleasure to nominate these players.

 



TEAM of the CENTURY

Fullback Dave Parkinson Played 1941-1943, 1944-1948 played with Balmain, 1950-1959 Played back in Cessnock - 211 games. 1946 played 3 Tests for Australia against England, Premiers 1955.

Winger Doug Tanna Joined Cessnock 1979 and retired 1986, played 129 games and scored 93 tries. Represented Newcastle 1980, 1981 & 1982, 1982 played against the touring French team.

Lester Batey Played 1947-1965, 247 1st grade games and scored 182 tries. Represented Newcastle many times playing against England (2) Kiwis (2) France (1) and the American Allstars (1). Premiers 4 times in 1950, 1954, 1955 & 1960.

Centre Ross McKinnon Played for East Suburbs & Australia before joining Cessnock in 1939 as Capt/Coach for 4 years, winning the competition in 1941. Played 64 games for Cessnock and continued to represent Newcastle & NSW until he retired in 1943.

George Ambrum Joined Cessnock in 1975 from North Sydney, had previously played for Australia in 1972, 2 tests against the Kiwis. Member of the 1977 winning side. Played 123 games for Cessnock.

Five Eight Frank Stanmore Came into grade in 1945 at 16 years of age and played 34 games for Cessnock, 1948 played with Western Suburbs Sydney till 1953. Played 31 times for Australia.

Half Back Bill Sneddon Came to Cessnock in 1950 as Capt/Coach from Balmain & won the comp in 1950, 1954, & 1955, retired in 1959 playing 123 games. Won the comp 1960 as Coach.

Lock Barry Levido Played 1947 & played his last game for Cessnock in 1970, 232 games. 1956 played 15 games for North Sydney & represented NSW Premiers 1950, 1955 & 1960.

2nd Row Robert Alexander Came into grade 1940 and retired in 1951 103 games. From 1945 till he retired Bob played many times for Newcastle, also played against the touring English & played for NSW.

Don Schofield Came into grade in 1949 & played 269 games, played 34 times for Newcastle including games against Great Britain, France & New Zealand, represented NSW 5 times & in 1957 represented Australia in the World Cup. Member of winning side 1950, 1954, 1955 & 1960.

Front Row Willy Tarry Joined Cessnock in 1981 and played 113 games, retired 1985. 1981, 1982 & 1983 represented Newcastle. 1982 played Country 1st and was named Country player of the Year.

Bruce Starkey Came from St George in 1984 as Capt/Coach and played 57 1st grade games for Cessnock. Retired in 1987 after taking his team to the grand final in 1985 & prelim final 1986.

Hooker Norm Henderson Joined Cessnock in 1972 as Capt/Coach and had immediate success winning the comp that year. Played another 2 years before retiring in 1975, played 61 games.

  1. Bob Everson Came to Cessnock 1976, represented Newcastle 1977, 1978, 1979 & 1980. Played against England in 1979, was Country player of the Year 1980. Member of the 1977 winning team, retired at the end of 1981 and played 99 games for the Goannas.

Kane Bradley Came into grade 1988 and is the clubs highest point scorer (1474). Played 201 games and retired in 2009, has represented Newcastle several times. 2003 made the Country team. Member of the successful 2003 side.

Bill Peden Came into grade in 1989 and played 101 games for Cessnock, also represented Newcastle before joining the Knights in 1994. Played 190 1st grade games and won 2 premierships in 1997 & 2001.

Andrew Taylor joined Cessnock in 2003 and had immediate success winning the comp in 2003, also represented Newcastle from Cessnock. Retired in 2008 after playing 61 games.

Coach Bert Halverson




Local Junior Team of the Century

Fullback Dave Parkinson Played 1941-1943, 1944-1948 played with Balmain, 1950-1959 Played back in Cessnock - 211 games. 1946 played 3 Tests for Australia against England, Premiers 1955.

Winger Rod Whittaker Played 1982-1986. 112 games for Cessnock, represented Newcastle 1985-1986, Country 2nds 1986, scored 116 tries. Joined Newcastle Knights in 1987.

Chris Pyne Played since 2002 and has played nearly 150 1st grade games, is yet to play in a winning premiership side has represented Newcastle in 2004 and again in 2011, has scored over 130 tries.

Centre Lester Batey Played 1947-1965, 247 1st grade games and scored 182 tries. Represented Newcastle many times playing against England (2) Kiwis (2) France (1) and the American Allstars (1). Premiers 4 times in 1950, 1954, 1955 & 1960.

John (Pommer) Hemsworth played 145 grade games for Cessnock between 1948 and 1962 and scored 58 tries premiers in 1950, 1955 & 1960.

Five Eight Matthew Johns Cessnock junior who was given an opportunity at the Newcastle Knights and went on to play for Australia 9 times, NSW State of Origin 4 times and Country Origin between 1995 & 1999. Was a vital member of 1997 grand final side. Played 176 games for the Knights.

Half Back Andrew Johns Joined the Newcastle Knights after playing junior league in Cessnock. Went on to play 249 games for the Knights, winning competitions in 1997 & 2001. Played State of Origin 23 times & Captain NSW winning series in 2003, played 21 times for Australia.

Lock Barry Levido Played 1947 & played his last game for Cessnock in 1970, 232 games. 1956 played 15 games for North Sydney & represented NSW Premiers 1950, 1955 & 1960.

2nd Row Robert Alexander Came into grade 1940 and retired in 1951 103 games. From 1945 till he retired Bob played many times for Newcastle, also played against the touring English & played for NSW.

Don Schofield Came into grade in 1949 & played 269 games, played 34 times for Newcastle including games against Great Britain, France & New Zealand, represented NSW 5 times & in 1957 represented Australia in the World Cup. Member of winning side 1950, 1954, 1955 & 1960.

Front Row Gavin Stevenson Played 1943 1956, played for Newcastle in 1946 & 1940. 1950 played for Country 2nds, was a member of winning teams 1950, 1954 & 1955. Played 177 games.

Mark Watson came into grade in 1978 and played 255 grade games until he retired I 1989 never played in winning 1st grade final, losing in 1981, 1983, & 1985.

Hooker Neville Crosdale Played his 1st game for Cessnock in 1950 and played 165 games, member of victorious sides of 1954, 1955 & 1960. Retired in 1961.

Bench Michael Schofield Came into grade 1978 and played 186 games, 1982-1984 played with Balmain. Returned in 1985 representing Newcastle & Country 1st, never played in a winning grand final losing in 1979, 1980, 1981 &1985.

Daniel Smailes Came into grade 1993 and joined the Knights in 1996, played 1997-2000 in Newcastle and returned 2001. Was Capt/Coach 2002, 2003 winning the comp 2003, Played 139 games for Cessnock.

Bill Peden Came into grade in 1989 and played 101 games for Cessnock, also represented Newcastle before joining the Knights in 1994. Played 190 1st grade games and won 2 premierships in 1997 & 2001.

Troy Petrysen Played with the Newcastle Knights 1991-1993, 1994 with Canberra Raiders. Returned to Cessnock 1995 &1st grade coach 2002, 2003 played for Newcastle & Country, member of successful 2003 side. Played 219 games for Cessnock.

Coach Todd Edwards

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