Heroes of Yesterday, Interview 11 - 14 May 2016 - Ray Blacklock
Where did you grow up?
What was your childhood like ?
There was one football between the 7 of us boys. We cut trees down to make your own football field and goal posts in the bush. Tree stumps were still sticking out of the ground and that's where we played football with friends. Mostly aboriginal kids.
Did you collect footy cards as a kid ?
No footy cards, lately I realised how good they were, I wished I had collected them. I remember I had a1981 Newtown card. I have got them now but didn't collected them at the time.
What was your first football experience?
We used to race as brothers and my brothers would most often beat me. I was a Balmain supporter and I remember my favourite player was Kevin Yow Yeh.
Who were your footballing heroes as a kid ?
Kevin Yow Yeh, Arthur Beetson and Bob Fulton
Your first time in the top grade?
My first game in top grade was against Arthur Beetson. He stiff armed me and I tried to talk the ref out of sending him off because he was my hero.
Greatest memories of playing rugby league?
Winning the Under 23s Grand Final, I was the captain with Penrith in 1978. This was our first Penrith premiership. It was great because I knew all the local boys. They took me off in the second half because of a broken arm, it actually brok in the first half. They knew my arm was broken from the way I was tackling.
Who was your most respected rival?
Terry Fahey, hated him running at me. He was a powerful and fast runner.
What made you leave Penrith to go to Newtown?
Warren Ryan, talked me into it.
What was it like playing Parramatta in the 1981 Grand Final?
Parramatta were an awesome side, very professional.
Which club did you prefer to play the most
Newtown, just a bit more professional.
I have got to ask about the big brawl in 1981 against Manly? what do you remember about that?
It was incredible, just exploded, players left their wing to get involved. Terry Randall ran 10m to belt someone. Bring back the biff is what I say.
When did you know it was time to give the game away?
I was playing at Canberra. Then the Dolphins in QLD, I dislocated my shoulder and I felt I had nothing to prove anymore and it was just time to give it away.
What followed after football?
Moved to Mackay, same place as my good mate Terry Wickey
How has the game changed since your playing days?
It is a lot faster, it's made for fast blokes, not as a hard as it used to be, just a lot fitter.
Did you keep a scrap book?