Trophy honours Bob’s work
GOLFERS playing in the annual Northern Rivers Men of League golf day at Ballina will now compete for the Bob Abbott (AM) Trophy.
Bob, who turns 86 in December, is a former Australian Rugby League general manager. He also was a foundation member of the Cronulla club, of which he is a life member.
Bob now lives at Tintenbar and was instrumental in the establishment of the Northern Rivers branch of Men of League. He is the patron of the branch.
Northern Rivers president Phil Chesham said it was decided to name the trophy after Bob as a way of honouring his achievements in the sport and his work with Men of League on the Northern Rivers.
Bob says he is "very honoured" by the gesture.
"We were battling at the start (setting up Men of League on the Northern Rivers) but now our committee is great and doing a great job," he said.
"We have a good future."
Bob says his legacies from his time as ARL general manager from 1982 until 1993 include establishing the ARL as an independent body and fostering the international development of the game.
He pays tribute to the work of former ARL chairman Ken Arthurson in achieving those goals.
"Our achievements are evidenced by having so many countries competing in the World Cup," he said.
He rates the establishment of the Men of League as being one of the best things he has seen in his 60 years of involvement in the game.
"In all my years, I've never seen anything more progressive than Men of League," he said.
"The care that is being given will live long in my memory."
As a foundation member of the Cronulla club, a Sharks grand final win would be the icing on the cake for Bob.
He says the Sharks' first-grade side did well this year "considering all the trauma" and has high praise for Shane Flanagan.
"The coach did an excellent job," he said.
He is also quick to point out that Cronulla has contested three grand finals, so a major premiership could just be a matter of time.
"I live in hope," he says with a laugh.
And, "if the good Lord does the right thing", Bob will still be around to cherish the moment.
The Men of League fund-raising golf day will be held at the Ballina Golf Club on Sunday, October 27.