Heroes of Yesteryear, Interview 16 - 01 August 2016 - Mick Delroy
Where did you grow up?
Lalor Park in Western Sydney and Quakers Hill
What was your childhood like ?
Basically footy and playing with mates after school, they spend more time inside these days.
Did you collect footy cards as a kid ?
Not really, remember you could make a picture on the back when Cronulla were in the Frand Final
What was your first football experience?
A fellow from Primary School asked me to go down and play. I don't remember the first game or season, I was about 6 years old at the time. The first game I remember going to watch was the 1977 Grand Final Replay, I was in the Bradman. I also wrote a letter to Johnny Kolc asking him how to tackle and he wrote back to me.
Who were your footballing heroes as a kid ?
Virtually all the Parramatta side especially from 1981. When I was 9 or 10 I followed Ray Higgs as a footballer as well.
Your first time in the top grade?
My debut was in 1986 against Souths at Redfern Oval. We didn't take the Minor Premiership off them until the final round. Souths had some good players in that side including Phil Gould and the Rampling brothers.
What was the culture like at the Eels in 1986?
A bunch of good blokes, very humble, normal people very close. Ray Price lead by example along with The Crow. We had a pretty simple game plan, stop them scoring and do it on the back of that.
Greatest memories of playing rugby league?
The 1986 Grand Final is the highlight. I also enjoyed playing Reserve Grade and Third Grade at Parramatta.
What made you switch to Easts?
I thought I needed to do something different, all of my relatives come from Bondi Junction, I actually regretted within hours of making the deal. I Always wanted to go back to Parra but I became a father and that's when my priorities changed.
Who was your most respected rival?
Noel Cleal, I tried to tackle him a few times and he just brushed me off. Michael O'Connor was great as well. I respected the whole backline of the Eels as well
Who was the best team you played against?
The Dogs during the 80s, they played a tough / hard game of football. They pushed the physical side to the very limits. Farrar didn't miss at all. I played with Steve O'Brien and Paul Langmack in SG Ball.
How was the lead up to the grand final?
I remember everything until I was knocked out in the game. I started coming around, I was there subconsciously, but I wasn't really there. I was fine after the match, Andrew Farrar apologised to me after the game I didn't know what for. My first year we won the Third Grade Grand Final.
When did you know it was time to give the game away?
When my first son was born, I wanted to spend more time with my family. I ended up having two boys, they are the best thing that has happened to me.
What followed after football?
When I stopped playing I became a full time dad
How has the game changed since your playing days?
The old Canterbury side would struggle with todays rules. 10m rule makes things different and the game is faster overall. I miss the arm wrestle, big guys had to play a lot minutes and the little bloke could take advantage of the tired old blokes.
Did you keep a scrap book?
My mother did, photo albums put away at house
What is your favourite restaurant
All you can eat bistro, Blacktown Workers.