On Thursday 1 February, John Peard, Warren Thompson, Ron Pomering and John Harris spent a very enjoyable and entertaining couple of hours visiting former Sydney Roosters (1960-64) centre, Doug Ricketson in the Bupa Sutherland Retirement facility.
Doug, father of Roosters stalwart Luke (1991-2005), was in excellent spirits despite serious health issues and recovering from recent surgery. His mind is as sharp as a whip and his memory of incidents throughout his life were recalled with amazing clarity.
He regaled us with recollections of his playing days including attempting to tackle a flying immortal Reg Gasnier that left him grasping at thin air in a match against St George and having been monstered by huge Great Britain winger Billy Boston in a game for Sydney in 1962.
Following his time at the Roosters and a couple of seasons at Penrith, Doug spent 12 years playing and coaching throughout NSW. This included stints at Temora, Foster-Tuncurry and South Lismore. He represented NSW Country in 1964 and retired aged 37. He then spent 10 years coaching athletes at Waverley College.
As usual, John Peard had plenty of humorous anecdotes about league personalities and reminiscences of old Roosters players and coaches.
Doug was presented with a Men of League Foundation shirt and cap and he thanked the volunteers for the visit and said he would love to attend future Foundation functions if his health allowed.
Report submitted by John Harris – Southern Sydney Committee Wellbeing Officer