Almanac Rugby League: Vale Fonda Metassa, ‘The Golden Greek’

One of the greats of Brisbane ’60s and ’70s rugby league, Fonda Metassa, ‘The Golden Greek’, a Norths Devils legend, passed away over the weekend. A six-time premiership player, Brisbane and Queensland representative and later a media personality, Fonda was a mercurial winger, larger than life character and genuine ‘personality’. He was 80 years old. His funeral will be at 10.00am on Friday, 1st June at the Greek Orthodox Church, South Brisbane. If it matches the exuberance of his contribution to the game, the wake at Norths Leagues Club in Nundah should be quite something!

 

Legends about Fonda abound. Perhaps, given his Greek background, some of them are myths worthy of the ancient gods but don’t let that ruin some very good stories. Reputed to carry a comb in his football sock to maintain his immaculate grooming throughout matches, the greatest story of them all revolves around a Lazarus-like reappearance from the back of an ambulance after he was knocked out during a match and loaded into the ‘yellow taxi’. Read Phil Lutton’s story in the Sydney Morning Herald here.

 

You can also read an extended profile of Fonda in Greg Mallory’s excellent Voices from Brisbane rugby league (Brisbane: Boolarong Press, 2009).

 

Vale, Fonda. Sadly, they don’t make them like you anymore. RIP.

 

 

Ian Hauser remembers listening to the 1969 BRL Grand Final in the Senior Boys Common Room at boarding school in Toowoomba. Fonda Metassa scored a try that day in Norths’ win over Valleys. These days Ian plays with words. You can check out his editing services here.

 

About Ian Hauser

A happy, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A Queenslander through and through, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. I appreciate those beautiful moments in sport (and life) that capture the spirit rather than the law of the game. I enjoy travel, good coffee and cake, reading, and have been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. I offer a comprehensive editing service for both new and experienced writers. Check me out at www.writerightediting.com.au Queenslander!

Comments

  1. Paul Arthur says:

    I remember the 1969 Brisbane Rugby League Grand Final at Lang Park. It was the first time that I had been to a grand final. I was 12 years old at the time and was seated just below where Ross Lawson did his radio broadcasts. My lasting memory of that game was Fonda Metassa. He was a fine footballer but also a great showman. Each time Fonda received the ball he created great excitement in the crowd. It is difficult to convey to people today just how big he was as a player. Brisbane in those days was a big country town. Fonda had a great personality and would play up to the crowds. He was a greatly loved footballer. Today young kids look up to players like Jonathan Thurston but in the 1960’s I marvelled at players like Fonda Metassa.

  2. Chriss Vlahos says:

    Fonda Metassa – a footy legend and a larrikin. Knew him well as a good family friend. R.I.P Golden Greek.

  3. Greg Mallory says:

    Fonda would always play on the Grandstand side and after he scored would walk slowly back to his mark and listen to the applause which was very loud

  4. Linda Kane says:

    Fonda. Sad to hear of your passing. True Gentleman. Great joke teller. Many laughs, lunches and drinks shared through the 70’ ,80’s,90’s Best Advertising Rep ever. Vale the Golden Greek Fonda.

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