Heroes of Yesteryear, Interview 4 - 5 March 2016 - Marty Gurr
Where did you grow up?
Coogee, in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney
Did you collect footy cards as a kid ?
Yes, the old Scanlens cards were great currency in the playground at school. I remember 1 year, if you collected the full set on the other side of the cards it formed a photo of the SCG on Grand Final day, very cool.
What was your first football experience?
Under 6’s at OLSH Randwick in South Sydney Convent Schools Competition, used to be played at Moore Park opposite the SCG.
Who were your footballing heroes as a kid ?
Billy Smith and Arthur Beetson.
Do you remember your first game in first grade, and what were the highlights and lowlights?
In those days you got a taste of 1st grade by playing Under 23’s and sitting on the bench for Reserve and 1st grade on the one day. After a couple of 10-15 minutes stints at the end of matches, my 1st full game in 1st Grade was v Newtown at the Sydney Sportsground in 1979. I remember a lot of bombs in both halves and being lucky enough to win a new Citizen watch as an award.
Greatest memories of playing rugby league?
I played with many great players and great people at some unbelievable venues and we had a lot of fun. You form great friendships and a bond that is always there, even if you have not seen each other for a long time and then get together, it is like you saw them yesterday and have plenty of laughs.
Who was your most respected rival?
When did you know it was time to give the game away?
I finished playing when i was 30 and every player will tell you, you just know. I was lucky enough to be able to choose when I retired.
What followed after football?
I coached at Manly for about 10 years and we had some great players in the 90’s. Also I was working with Des Hasler and Cliff Lyons in Coaching & Development at the time, so I was able to give something back to the game. I was grateful to be a Director at Classic Sportswear and now live on the Gold Coast working in the Golf Department at RACV Royal Pines.
How has the game changed since your playing days?
The game now has lot of explosive athletes and with so many interchanges we have lost the impact of the small players and the 80 minute players. The game is so regimented now and the interchange covers too much for the explosive player getting tired and this is why we have so many tries scored from kicks now.
I just hope we don’t keep reducing the percentage each year of the skillful, creative footy players in the game or we will get a game that is over choreographed and rigid.
Did you keep a scrap book?
Yes, I have a few photos and clippings in a box.
What is your favorite restaurant?
We enjoy the atmosphere and Food at our local Surf Club at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast.
What are your hobbies?
Obviously, I enjoy playing some Golf at RACV Royal Pines.
Have you managed to collect your own footy cards?
I have had a couple sent for me to sign and they gave me a copy.