A BUMPER crowd of 250 packed the Macksville Ex-Services Club on Sunday to hear from one of the toughest men to ever don a footy jersey, Tommy Raudonikis.
And the keynote speaker at the Macksville rugby league club’s centenary celebrations didn’t disappoint – with an entertaining and candid chocolate box of yarns from his playing and coaching days.
The humour wasn’t always politically correct and some of the jokes might have been tut-tutted in high society, but this was ‘Tommy uncut’ and the Macksville locals wouldn’t have had anything else.
Raudonikis, who grew up as a child at a migrant camp near Cowra and later lived in a two-bedroom fibro cottage at Blacktown in Sydney’s west, was a Western Suburbs icon with a DNA-ed dislike of the Manly Silvertails.
He spoke of his playing days with the Magpies and the Newtown Jets, and as a representative for NSW and Australia.
And he gave insights into some of the legends of the game: the late Arthur Beetson, Alfie Langer, Steve Mortimer, Bob ‘Bear’ O’Reilly, Steve Menzies and Mark ‘Spud’ Carroll.
* Full report, photos in a two-page commemorative feature for the Macksville footy club in today's Guardian.