2023 Life Membership Inductees

7 months ago

Randwick Rugby Life Membership – Announcement

At the 101st Randwick District Rugby Union Football Club Annual General Meeting (AGM) held last night at the Crowne Plaza, Coogee Beach last night, one of the all-time greats of both Randwick and World Rugby, plus two of the Galloping Greens finest players and men were bestowed with Life Membership of our Football Club.

We heartily congratulate David Campese AM, Denis Cleary AM and Tony Purdy who all received the requisite number of member votes to be awarded with this honour.

Randwick DRUFC President John Tuxworth said "As a club we feel privileged to have had some of the greatest players in world rugby play in our famous colours. David Campese certainly falls firmly into that category and hugely contributed to one of the most successful eras in our history. He played an exhilarating brand of attacking football that had Coogee Oval packed whenever he ran around in myrtle green for us”

I’m proud that we can celebrate the deeds of one of the all-time greats of the game like David, but equally recognise other hugely respected Randwick clubmen like Denis Cleary and Tony Purdy who have given their heart and soul to us, on and off the field. Both were outstanding players in their own right and have also contributed to our success in other areas of the club.” Tuxworth concluded.

A high-level summary of each of men’s contributions to Randwick Rugby is as follows.

David Campese AM

Simply David, was the most exciting rugby player of his generation, and amongst the most brilliant of all time in all forms of the game.

Originally from Queanbeyan, David joined Randwick in 1987 and played 98 First Grade games with us from 1987 to 1999, scoring 67 tries, kicking 27 goals and 18 penalty goals for a total of 407 points.

David was a hugely influential member of seven First Grade premiership winning teams from 1988 to 1992, in 1994 and finally in 1996. He was an original inductee into the Randwick Hall of Fame and Team of the Century in 2010.

He played his early rugby as a fullback, the position he always preferred, but will best be remembered as a winger, where he was free to roam the field to display his magic. He possessed electric speed coupled with a dynamic change of pace, exemplified by the "goosestep" which was his hallmark, and was a brilliantly instinctive and elusive runner with the ball.

David played his first test for the Wallabies in 1982 as a 20 year-old debuting against New Zealand in Christchurch and he went on to play 101 test matches in total and scored a record 64 tries, in a phenomenal 15-year international career. He was the first Australian player to be capped 100 times and was a pivotal member of the famous 1991 World Cup winning side and was voted player of the tournament

He was capped 56 times for NSW between 1987-1998, also captaining the State, plus he represented Australia in Sevens from 1987 to 1989, 1993 and 1994.

In 2002 he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to rugby, was inducted into the Wallabies Hall of Fame and in 2013 he entered theWorld Rugby Hall of Fame, to name but a few such accolades awarded to him over the years. It’s almost impossible to do justice to his rugby resume and achievements.

‘Campo’ was one of a kind and it is quite possible that we will never see his like again. All of his incredible achievements have reflected enormous credit onRandwick Rugby on an unprecedented global scale.

A proud David said “Thanks to everyone who nominated and supported me for Life Membership of Randwick Rugby - it is a great honour and I’m very proud. Most of my life has been all rugby, but my time at Randwick was a very special period of it, particularly playing with all my mates and having guys like Jeffrey Sayley, Bob Dwyer and the Ella’s around. That’s what makes this club what it is.

“It was great to see Randwick back this year winning the Shute Shield and some old Wicks coaches at the helm. Driving the history and culture of what makes this club tick is so important for the new generation to understand. Again, it means so much to be honoured in this way by the Club. Up the Wicks!” he concluded.

Denis Cleary AM

A product of our traditional nursery at Waverley College, Denis Cleary joined our club in 1960 and spent his first two years playing Colts.

Denis commenced his Grade career in 1962 and played in 130 Club games from 1962-68, of which, 102 were in First Grade. He was an extremely hard-working and tough lock forward who was very conspicuous in the tight play. Along with the late John Weber, the pair provided a very formidable line-out combination for Randwick in the mid-1960s and he was a member of the 1965, 1966 and 1967 First Grade premiership sides. He also represented NSW twice.

After a hugely successful business career, he succeeded Jeffrey Sayle as the Randwick DRUFC President in 2003 and held that post until the end of 2005. In this role he quickly revealed his depth of understanding of management and governance focussing on key responsibilities such as policy development, strategic planning and resource management.

His skill in liaising with stakeholders, particularly special ones such as the NSWRU, ARU and the UNSW were of immense value to the Club. So, too, was his work as an articulate and influential advocate in the promotion of Randwick Rugby. He has continued to provide that great support to the club over the many years since.

Denis is also a 60 year member of Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club and the link between Randwick Rugby and our partner in sport has always been a close one. In fact he coached their Subbies rugby teams in the early 70’s who were a feeder club to us back then.

Denis was deservedly awarded an Order of Australia Medal (AM) in 2008 for his service to business, sport and the community.

Unfortunately Denis is currently in hospital and was unable to attend the AGM, but said “ My deepest thanks to the Randwick Rugby Club for affording me the honour of being appointed a Life Member of the world’s greatest Rugby Club. The club’s achievements are legendary and I like many Randwick players had the privilege to play alongside many of Australia’s greatest players at the famous Coogee Oval.

“I too enjoyed the crossover between the Wicks and the Coogee Surf Life Saving Club and the lifelong friendships that were generated from that powerful and enduring partnership. Thank you to all at the Wicks - my time as a player, administrator and supporter at the club have been some of the best times of my life” he concluded.

Tony Purdy

Originally from St Stanislas College in Bathurst, Tony ventured to Sydney and joined our club in 1976. He was a fast, reliable and consistent winger who played a mammoth 239 club games for Randwick in his 15 seasons until 1990.

Overall for the club he scored 112 tries and 2 goals for a total of 452 points. In his 113 games in First Grade, he scored 50 tries and 200 points. In First Grade he was equal leading try-scorer in 1983, and leading try-scorer in 1984. He is also second on the all-time list for most tries scored for Randwick in the history of the club.

Tony played in First Grade in 12 of the 15 seasons with us and was member of two First Grade premiership winning sides in 1979 and 1984. He also played in the1985 2nd Grade premiership winning side.

He also played in two other Grand Final teams that lost in 1981 (1st Grade) and 1985 (2nd Grade). In 1976 he was awarded the Ron Don Trophy for the most improved club player.

After retiring from playing with 3 premierships under his belt, he then coached Randwick lower grade sides with great success for many years, which included 2 premiership wins in 3rd Grade in both 1999 and 2000.

‘Purds’ as he is simply known to everyone was an extremely popular clubman and remains an avid supporter of the club despite moving to Canberra many years ago.

A very proud Tony addressed the AGM and said, “Firstly, it was a great shock to be nominated at all, but particularly so in the company of an absolute legend of the game like Campo and a Randwick man of the stature of Denis. I am absolutely thrilled to be honoured in this way by the Club and it means the world to me.”

“Whether I was playing First or 6th Grade - it didn’t matter to me. It was always a privilege to pull on that myrtle green jersey and represent this club” he concluded.

On behalf of all at Randwick DRUFC we thank these three men for their immense contributions to our famous club and congratulate them on this richly deserved honour of Life Membership.

AGM - 2024 Club Officers Bearers & Board Members Appointed

Aside from the Life Memberships awarded, another important order of business of the 2023 AGM, was to appoint Club Officers Bearers & Board Members for 2024.

A vote was not required as the number of candidates who nominated, matched the available positions. Therefore, all Board nominees received were appointed.

The full make-up of the 2024 Randwick DRUFC Board is as follows:

Office Bearers:

  • John Tuxworth – President (Life Member)
  • Frank Back - Secretary
  • Ian Bonnette - Treasurer (Life Member)

Board Members:

  • Stuart Brown
  • Anne Clerc-Johnson
  • Patrick Hodgetts
  • Brian O’Sullivan
  • Simon Poidevin (Life Member)
  • Morgan Turinui

The Director of Rugby and Club General Manager will also sit on the Randwick DRUFC Board as per the Club’s Constitution as non-voting members.

We congratulate all the Office Bearers and Board Members on their appointment and look forward to their strong leadership of the Club in 2024. We also sincerely thank them for volunteering their time and expertise to do so.

Up the Wicks and Merry Christmas!

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