Jay meets Provan
BALLINA'S Barbara Meaney admitted she shed a tear or two at last Sunday's NRL game between Wests Tigers and St George- Illawarra at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
But it had nothing to do with the 13-12 scoreline in the Dragons' favour.
Mrs Meaney is the wife of Western Suburbs legend, the late Denis Meaney, who passed away in 2011, and she was invited to the SCG for the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Wests-St George grand final.
"I was very emotional," she said of representing her late husband at the event.
"It was a real honour to get an invitation."
She was included in the parade around the SCG and attended a lunch before the game, where she was able to catch up with people she hadn't seen for a while.
She calls them "acquaintances", but league fans would consider them greats, with the likes of Wests' Noel Kelly and St George's Graeme Langlands among the 26 former players or their representatives attending.
Mrs Meaney was accompanied by her grandson, 18-year-old Jay Meaney, who said it was "overwhelming" to be mixing it with legends.
Jay and his grandmother shared the lunch table with St George forward Norm Provan and Wests halfback Arthur Summons, who have both been immortalised in the NRL's trophy.
The trophy was made from a famous image of the pair taken after the 1963 grand final played at a muddy SCG, which St George won in what was considered controversial circumstances.
Jay, a promising athlete who has given away football to focus on sprinting, said Provan was keen to talk to him more about athletics than football.
"Just sitting there with these legends - it was overwhelming," he said.