Western Suburbs 1984 Squad

Back Row: Mark Harrigan, George Ghosn, John Cogger, Steve Ghosn (Third Grade Coach), Herb Smailes (Trainer), John Brooks (President), Rick Wayde (Secretary), Ken Gentle (First Grade Coach), John Jacobs (Second Grade Coach), Wayne Fahy (Trainer), Andrew Cox, Craig Neil, Leo Epifania
Second Row: Scott Rigney, Darryl Turner, Michael Duke, Mick Pinkerton, Peter Worth, Paul Gearin, Ian Freeman, David Stafford, Charlie Khalifeh, David Hall, Peter Lamb, Eddie Flahey, Greg Cox, Alan Fallah
Third Row: Bruce Clark, Jeff Earl, Greg McElhone, George Katsogiannis, Steve Broughton, Craig Madsen, Craig Ellis, Paul Edwards, Geoff Spotswood, Wayne Smith, Garry Webster, Matt Carter, John Coveney, Karl Shelley
Front Row: Geoff Sutton, John McArthur, Danny Smith, Michael Neil, John Donnelly (Club Captain), Steve Kerr, “The Magpie”, Gerald Celarc, Allan Geelan, David Spencer, Grant Fyvie, Brett Clark, Trevor Cogger, Steve Ewer, Pat English
Bottom Row: Jonathon Smailes (Sand Boy), Matthew Fehon (Ball Boy)
Absent: George Fahd, Terry Donnellan

1984 looked on paper to be a disastrous year; only one win from 24 matches and the Wooden Spoon again. However, a lot of those matches were close, hard-fought battles and considering the adversity of the season it was a commendable effort.

There was a mass changeover of playing personnel, with the 1983 exodus continuing. Brian Battese and Terry Lamb left for Canterbury, Paul Beavan to Balmain, Mark Beaven, Brett and Scott Gale and David Greene signed with Eastern Suburbs, David Harris to Cronulla, Peter Burgmann and Robert Muirhead to Penrith. It was an exhaustive list of losses. Notable new players were Gerald Celarc, Pat English, Geoff Spotswood and Mark Harrigan from Canterbury, Alan Fallah (Country Firsts), Craig Ellis and Gary Webster from Newtown. There were impressive debuts also from Leo Epifania and John McArthur.

Mark Harrigan was voted Best All-Round Player

Late in the season the NSWRL Board simply refused Western Suburbs’ application to play in the 1985 Premiership. No explanation was given. Once again, the legal team was summoned to put up the fight. The result; Western Suburbs 2, NSWRL 0. The fight, however, drained a lot of resources from the club, making it vulnerable to continued player poaching.

Remarkably, the Thirds, despite all the drama, were able to make the semi-finals, where they defeated Canberra 22-16 before going down 12-7 to Balmain in a very close match. Ian ‘Herbie’ Freeman was the mainstay of the team.

John ‘Dallas’ Donnelly was given Life Membership of the Club and was later inducted into the Hall of Fame.

John ‘Dallas” Donnelly – Life Member and Hall of Fame Inductee

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