Almanac Rugby League: Sorting out the Cronks

 

 

Five years ago, I wrote an Almanac post extolling the consummate skills of the then Melbourne Storm half-back Cooper Cronk (April 3, 2013). I titled it “Honk, honk, here comes Cronk”, attributing the phrase to a Courier Mail article from the late 1960s which was written about a Past Brothers player named Cronk. It’s one of those phrases that struck me as a 14-year-old and has stayed with me for over fifty years. At the time I wrote that piece, John Leahy commented that the player referred to was Grahame Cronk, ‘a lanky centre with a good turn of pace’. Greg Mallory chimed in to suggest that the caption (circa 1968) was actually “Honky tonk, here comes Cronk”.

 

Five years passed by. Then, earlier this month I was sitting at my desk doing my footyalmanac editing shift for the week when an email popped up on the screen from, you guessed it, Grahame Cronk! Over the next hour or two we traded emails, finally progressing to a chat on the phone.

 

It seems that several weeks ago, Grahame’s friend, a librarian, somehow stumbled across my 2013 Almanac piece and, noting the reference to Grahame, brought it to his attention. Further research unearthed my email address and ‘ping’, there he was in my Inbox.

 

John, if you’re out there somewhere reading this, Grahame was indeed involved with Teachers North rugby union club as well as Past Brothers rugby league club. Greg, we were both correct about the newspaper references: Grahame forwarded two photos, one with the caption from your memory and the other with the caption from mine. The year was 1967.

 

Grahame and I are catching up for coffee tomorrow. It won’t be too difficult to do – it seems we live just four kilometres from each other! Coincidentally, we’ve both retired in the Noosa area and share a favourite local coffee shop, Gibson’s. Who knows – I may well have seen him there before without even knowing it.

 

I can’t wait! I’ll tell you more of his story next week but I can quash one story now – Grahame is not Cooper’s father.

 

 

Ian Hauser made a great tackle on an opponent just after half-time in a match at Harristown State High School, Toowoomba in the winter of ’69. He remembers it well – it was possibly the only one he ever made. These days he plays with words. You can check out his editing services here.

 

 

 

About Ian Hauser

A happily retired ex-teacher with a (very) modest sporting CV. A Queenslander through and through who looks for those beautiful moments in sport (and life) that capture the spirit rather than the law of the game. Love reading and good wine. I run my own editing service for aspiring writers. Check me out at writerightediting.com.au

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