Albert Clift, George Treweek & Eddie Root

Albert Clift, George Treweek & Eddie Root (image courtesy of Col Whelan)

On Friday 26th June 2020 an image was posted in our newly created Facebook group ‘Rabbitohs Radio Podcast Listeners’ by legendary photographer Col Whelan.

Beneath the photo Col asked the question “Any idea who these blokes are”?

The next day we had our answer thanks to Chris Isouard. In the picture stood three Rabbitohs legends Albert Clift, George Treweek & Eddie Root.

“Albert mentioned this day in a couple of his interviews over the years” said Chris. “Treweek and Root visited him in the early 80s and presented him with some of their playing memorabilia. Like many, Albert was a hero of mine and inspired me as a kid to collect everything Souths”.

Albert Clift

Albert Clift was a former player for South Sydney, former official and director, was the Club’s first mascot back in 1968, held an amazing collection of Rabbitohs memorabilia including the famed timekeeper’s bell from the first game in 1908 & is a Life Member of the Football Club.

Albert Clift
Albert Clift & Russell Crowe ring the famous timekeepers bell in 2002
Russell Crowe purchased the bell for $42000 to ensure it stayed in red & green hands

Eddie Root

Eddie Root (first grade player #139) 109 games & 34 tries was a starting forward in the Rabbitohs golden era of 7 premiership wins between 1925-32. Root had a brilliant career & is rightly regarded as one of the greatest ever Rabbitohs.

Eddie Root

The 1931 Rabbitohs

The 1931 South Sydney Rabbitohs defeated the Eastern Suburbs Roosters 12-7 in the NSWRL grand final. Eddie Root was the hooker & George Treweek played second row.

Second row: Eddie Root, Jack Morrison, Frank O’Connor, George Treweeke (vc), Frank Curran, Harry Eyers, Benny Wearing.
Front row: Jack Why, Jim Tait, Carl Eggen, Paddy Maher (capt), Albert Spillane, Jim Deeley, Perce Williams.
(Picture courtesy of SSR Almanac)

George Treweek

George Treweek (first grade player #153) 119 games & 40 tries was a starting forward in the Rabbitohs golden era of 7 premiership wins between 1925-32. He is a legendary attacking player who was rated as the finest second row forward the game has produced.

George Treweek was once described as “all arms & legs”
George Treweek played 7 tests for the Kangaroos
George & Eddie visit Albert

South Sydney Rabbitohs Victory Song

The South Sydney Rabbitohs broke their 3 game losing streak on Saturday afternoon 13th June 2020 at Bankwest Stadium, Sydney with a 32-12 victory over the Gold Coast Titans.

This victory song has traditionally been sung by the team for decades dating back to the Bunnies glory days. We can’t give you the exact date it began to be used but perhaps there’s a Bunnies historian reading this now that could enlighten us. Mavo & Browny love singing the tune because it brings back memories of wins with their mates.

The songs lyrics are-

“Now that we’re all around the bar
And the captains declared it a quorum
We’re drinking our way through the night
And we’re having the time of our lives
Throw the empties away start again, start again
For the boys of South of South Sydney are together
And we’ll drink til the dawn breaks again
May the sessions of South Sydney last forever
Up the Rabbitohs!”

Keaon, Cody, Pati & the Jet

On this weeks show we talk to our newest Rabbitoh, first grade player number 1157 Keaon Koloamatangi & welcome back Cody Walker & James ‘Jimmy The Jet’ Roberts. We also look forward to the debut of another rising star in our forward ranks Patrick ‘Pati’ Mago.

Keaon Koloamatangi

Keaon Koloamatangi Wikipedia

Keaon “Big Mac Daddy” “Koala” Koloamatangi – South Sydney Player Report

Keaon Koloamatangi Official Profile

The family connection Souths fans can thank for Keaon

View this post on Instagram

🚀

A post shared by @ keaonnn_ on

Rabbitohs v Titans 3pm Saturday 13th June Bankwest Stadium, Sydney

Rd 5 team analysis: Cavalry arrives for battling Bunnies as stars race the injury clock

Patrick Mago

Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski

Ziggy is one of the touch judges in the Titans clash, lets hope he listened to our Ziggy podcast last week!

Remembering A Rabbitoh

This weeks Remebering A Rabbitoh is first grade player number 153, 5 time premiership winner the legendary George Treweek.

George Treweek Wikipedia

George (Albert George) Treweek – South Sydney Player Report

South Sydney Rabbitohs First Grade Players – By Debut Year

Malcolm Richard Spencer – South Sydney Player Report

Malcolm Spencer Rabbitoh number 411

Rabbitohs Dream Team

  • Fullback Clive Churchill
  • Winger Harold Horder
  • Centre Herb Gilbert
  • Centre Paul Sait
  • Winger Ian Moir
  • Five-eighth Jim Lisle
  • Halfback Bob Grant
  • Lock Ron Coote
  • Second row Bob McCarthy
  • Second row George Treweek
  • Prop John O’Neill
  • Hooker Elwyn Walters
  • Prop John Sattler (c)
  • Reserve Greg Hawick
  • Reserve Ray Branighan
  • Reserve Ian Roberts
  • Reserve Les Cowie
  • Coach Jack Rayner

Rabbitoh Of The Week

Matthew Cheeseman

Mikey Siciliano nominated his mate Matthew Cheesman (Cheese) “without this guy I wouldn’t be the mad Rabbitohs fan I am to this day. I met Matt by chance as I was walking my dog down the street and he was walking his. We went to the same school together back in the day but were never really close. Anyway, as I started to chat with him it turns out we had something in common, we were both massive Rabbitohs fans. He told me that he made it to pretty much every Rabbitohs game each year with his family and invited me to join. Ever since then we’ve become best mates and haven’t missed a home game in Sydney since, even traveling to the Central Coast for home games and Mudgee for the Charity Shield. I owe Matthew my passion for NRL and the Mighty South Sydney Rabbitohs to him”. Mikey also credits Cheese for making him a Rabbitohs Radio podcast listener so thanks for that Cheese!

Beanies For Brain Cancer

RIP Toni Mavin

Les Bridge, Chris Smith, Ash Harrison, Kye & the Rabbitohs RABBITOHS RADIO

On our final show for the season we recap the loss to the Panthers, speak to The Everest winning trainer Les Bridge, radio personality Chris Smith & super fan Kye Porrier, our Remembering A Rabbitoh is Ashley Harrison, we preview the NRL Grand Final & name our Rabbitoh Of The Week. #RabbitohsRadioPodcast https://rabbitohsradio.com.au/2020/10/18/les-bridge-chris-smith-ash-harrison-kye-the-rabbitohs/
  1. Les Bridge, Chris Smith, Ash Harrison, Kye & the Rabbitohs
  2. Jed Cartwright, Freddy, Bernie & the Panthers
  3. Damien Cook, Michael Cleary & The Eels
  4. The Rooster Demolition, Jaydn Su’A, Jaxson Paulo, Les ‘Chicka’ Cowie & The Knights Sudden Death Showdown.
  5. Luke Curry, Ken Stewart & the Chooks

Blake Solly speaks about his life as a Rabbitoh

A View From The Stands

Round 3 Rabbitohs V Roosters – Mavo Dives In

Preface

The Rabbitohs have certainly been through a tumultuous time of late. We lost Sam & George Burgess, GI & Sutto leaving us with a depleted roster. Richo goes but not before we gain Latrell & a couple of surprise forwards in Sele & Mago.

Then it’s one drama after the next. Latrell, Jimmy & Cody put the team in the headlines then GI drops a bombshell. If ever we needed some footy to get us back on track it’s now!

Beaten by the Broncos

It’s been a long time between drinks thanks to the dreaded Covid shutdown. When the Bunnies run on the field this Friday it will be 10 weeks to the day since their last game when they were rolled by the Broncos at Suncorp on the 20th March.

This is a loss we’d rather put behind us, it was frustrating to watch & a Stagg hat trick spoiled any chance the Bunnies had of winning the game.

The Broncos lost Croft in the 11th minute & were down to 16 men so we had them on the ropes but didn’t land enough blows to put them away.

Latrell chimed into the back line early with a class quick hands ball to Graham who just failed to score but then the Broncos took charge.

Stagg exposed some brittle defence on the left edge then the Milf carved us up in the middle making it all look too easy. The Broncos forwards were rolling, they were cruising at 10-0.

To their credit the Rabbitohs steadied the ship. A super Cody Walker cutout pass to Graham put us on the board & then a Latrell short pass to Jimmy The Jet saw Cody back up to level the score. A penalty goal handed us a surprise 12-10 halftime lead.

The 2nd half started like the 1st with Stagg finding the stripe with too much ease then Herbie goes bananas to help Stagg bag a treble.

AJ injected some spark off the bench & we somehow found ourselves with a late chance to score & produce an unlikely comeback. This of course didn’t happen & we’ve had an extra long wait to lament where we went wrong.

Friday night v the Chooks @ Bankwest

I only have fond memories of clashes with the Chooks when I was playing for the Rabbitohs in the late 80s. In 7 games we won 5 & I scored 5 tries. I couldn’t tell you one thing about the losses but the wins & tries remain embedded in my brain in my happy place as a pleasant highlights package. My favourite is round 2, 1988 when I scored a try on full time to seal the Rabbitohs first win at the the new Sydney Football Stadium. Scoring a try for Souths is great, scoring against the Chooks is unreal, scoring a try to win the game against the Chooks is the ultimate (just ask Adam Reynolds).

Roosters supporters are a different breed, they have this inferiority complex & feelings of envy that will never go away when it comes to the mighty Rabbitohs. It must be tough to be forever in the shadow of the pride of the league & the banter I enjoy with my numerous Rooster mates will never get old.

The most fantastic news from the early 2020 NRL season is that the back to back premiers suffered back to back defeats & that leaves them with an 0-2 start.

The loss of Cooper Cronk & Latrell Mitchell had an immediate effect as did the absence of Boyd Cordner. No Cronk has pointed the spotlight on the Roosters new halves pairing & whether their kicking game is up to scratch. Alarm bells are ringing at Bondi & if the Bunnies can extend their losing streak to 0-3 panic may set in.

My predicted scenario for this game is Latrell Mitchell to play well & we win. The bear has been poked so I’d love to see him go out & ravage the opposition. This would rub salt into the wound. Even better would be a try from Latrell in a win or if I dare to dream a Latrell match winning try (think Adam Reynolds/Steve Mavin).

We’re going to miss Cody Walker but there’s big wraps on Troy Dargan so here’s hoping he has a blinder on debut, we definitely need it against a Chooks team frothing to bounce back & get a win on the board. The Morris twins reunite & the return of Cordner strengthens an already ridiculously talented Roosters team.

The key to victory for the Rabbits lies in a tightened defence & our forwards laying the platform for our backs to shine. We saw some good signs in the first 2 rounds from Burgess, Knight, Tatola & Sua. We know what Cook & Murray can do so they just need to go out there & produce. Magos return is a further boost, his early form before he tore his pec was encouraging.

The new 6 again ruck rule might allow Cook to explode into action with more regularity. There’s no better sight than seeing our Kangaroos hooker darting into the clear. I think we can win but we’ll need to be at our best & get all the little things right. Complete sets, control the ball & play disciplined footy. Get to our kicks & don’t give away penalties. It’s a simple formula but if they can manage to achieve that then we have the squad to compete with anyone.

Bankswest Stadium

I went with the missus to Souths first game at the new Parra Stadium aka Bankwest in round 12 last year when we lost to the Eels 26-14. I was curious to check out the arena & now that it’s the Rabbitohs new home ground for a while, here’s a summary for when the crowds can return.

We decided to stay overnight at the Mantra which is only about a mile away from the ground. There’s limited parking at Bankwest Stadium but there’s quite a few parking stations in the area & we parked at the hotel car park.

We went to Parra Leagues before the game, went upstairs & found a great table overlooking the stadium at Pablos Cantina Y Cerveza. The food was alright but the highlight was the beer brewed on site by Jacks Brewery. I do love a good craft beer, there’s something special about a pint or 3 of freshly brewed pale ale before kickoff.

We decided to check out the rest of the club & this turned out to be a mistake. On this busy evening the sports bar was packed, the auditorium is now filled with pokies so it was standing room only. We left & went to the ground.

The amenities at Bankwest are quite good, we bought higher category seats & the view of the action was great. You can also walk down & watch the game around the 20 metre line behind the disabled seats. It’s standing room only but it’s an awesome view there. The variety of food is nice but even though there’s plenty of bars we still had to line up too long for my liking & it wasn’t a sell out crowd (21645). My other gripe is that they only sell mid strength beer which I’m not a fan of. This trend across stadiums in this country is ordinary as far as I’m concerned. If they want people to come to games then let them drink quality beer not the watered down stuff. Anyway I found a loophole, the cider & red wine is full strength so that’s what I tucked into.

After the game we drowned our sorrows in Church Street which was surprisingly vibrant on a Friday night. There’s some decent pubs & eateries along this strip & its just a shame that we weren’t celebrating a win.

Conclusion

The betting is Roosters $1.35 Rabbitohs $3.20 so yet again the evil empire is favoured to win. I say bring on the Chooks, Souths by 4.

A bright note before I go is that the leadership structure at the Rabbitohs looks solid now going forward. With Blake Solly at the helm, Wayne Bennett in charge & Jason Demetriou waiting in the wings we are in good hands. The club is also as closely aligned with the Juniors as it’s ever been & once this Covid fog clears that partnership will continue to flourish.

On Rabbitohs Radio podcast this week we speak to Souths CEO Blake Solly, if you haven’t listened yet please give us a go.

Steve Mavin

Blake Solly, the footy is back & Dargan debuts in the Bankwest blockbuster

On the podcast this week we speak to Souths CEO Blake Solly, check out our debutant Troy Dargan & look at the moster clash with the Roosters at Bankwest Stadium.

Blake Solly

Newly appointed Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly is a fine administrator & in our dealings with him he has only ever been welcoming & friendly. We spoke to The Juniors Chairman Keith McCraw about Blake. Keith has put a lot of work into building a close relationship between the junior & senior clubs. Keith said “Blake is an absolute champion & a good operator, we are in good hands”.

South Sydney Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly’s life in rugby league

Blake Solly Wikipedia

Blake Solly appointed Rabbitohs’ CEO

Super League’s revolutionary format is matter of pride to Blake Solly

Last week the Rabbitohs announced Menulog as a sponsor

Troy Dargan

Troy Dargan is a 22 year old former Australian Schoolboy and NSW U20s representative as well as representing Cook Islands at Test level. Dargan played for the Guildford Owls, Wentworthville Magpies, Parramatta Eels, Brisbane Broncos & Norths Devils before arriving at Souths. A highly-regarded junior coming through the ranks at the Eels, Dargan played in the 2014 Australian Schoolboys team alongside the likes of Latrell Mitchell, Brock Lamb and Jayden Brailey and in 2016 was the Eels’ NYC Players’ Player and halfback in the NYC Team of the Year.

In 2018 it was reported that Dargan was considered for the starting half role in Round 1 for the Broncos but his NRL dream wasn’t realised. Dargan said at the time “My dad played footy and I just grew up with a football in my hand. Mum and Dad always say one of the first steps I took as a child was walking to try and kick a footy”.

“Mum and Dad said I used to sleep with a ball under my arm every night so I just grew up with a footy and then when you turn 6 and 7 that’s when you start playing and never looked back.

Take a look at his highlight package in the 2019 QLD Cup (below) & you can’t help but be impressed. Dargan is quick, runs the ball, has magic ball skills & a great left foot kicking game. If he can bring that form to the Rabbitohs he’s going be a star in the NRL. On the podcast last year in Season 1 Episode 12 Grand Final Heroes, Scott Sattler praised Dargan, saying he is a speedy halfback & Wayne Bennett is a big fan.

Troy Dargan Official Profile

Troy Dargan Norths Devils

Troy Dargan Brisbane Broncos

Troy Dargan Junior Career

Troy Dargan ready for makeshift halves role for South Sydney, Rabbitohs captain says

Dargans’ highlights package showcases a young gun that could be set to explode on the NRL scene

‘We’ve seen more violence over toilet rolls’: Crowe defends Walker, backs Bennett’s ‘leadership’

Ken Smith from NG Farah on the 3rd hole at the Coast
Give Gav a call if you want to get fit

Rabbitoh Of The Week

Michael Gibson

Mick & Blake at Bourke Street Bakery Kirrawee
Rabbitohs fans Chloe & Blake

We spoke to Michael ‘Gibbo’ Gibson about his life as a Rabbitohs supporter. Gibbo is a regular at Bourke Street Bakery & says “If you like mochas and hot chocs you will love the Bourke Street Bakery ones because they use real chocolate buds in there instead of chocolate powder, hardly any joints do that”.

“I’m an inner city boy fell & in love with Rabbitohs in late 80’s while living at Woolloomooloo. I grew up in The Rocks/Millers Point (Ex Rabbitoh Chris Caruana is from same area).”

“My mother and family are Carrions & grew up in Douglas and Mount Streets in Redfern. My uncles Ray and Roy Carrion were Souths fans.”

“My favourite Souths players over the years are Phil Blake for his individual brilliance and Tugger for his craftiness in the late 80’s. I also loved watching Tricky Trindall in the 90’s, he was probably my favourite player to watch of all of them, he was a standout when we were doing it tough. I liked watching John Sutton come through mid 2000’s especially at 5’8, I loved his skill set and left hand offload & more recently watching Cam Murray in attack and defence has been amazing.”

“I haven’t got a favourite moment but just having a quality team to follow each year is my highlight and one that my kids are excited to follow especially after those dark years we had, that’s what I’m happy about. I predict another grand final win before Wayne retires.”

“My kids Chloe and Blake are now mad Rabbitohs fans even though we moved out of the Souths area 2 years ago. My son Blake loves Cody Walker and wants to be him all the time, even my daughter pretends to be John Sutton when they are running around tackling each other.”

“I walked out to my first amateur fight with Reggie Rabbit leading me out to the sounds of Glory Glory. This was a highlight of my sporting life by far.” Michael Gibson

Watch Charlie rabbit lead Mick into battle
Gibbo sparring Luke Burgess
Gibbo making his big entrance with Charlie Rabbit

The Juniors is opening its doors on Monday 1st of June 2020

SPECIAL MOMENTS IN SPORT – Showdown at Richmond – The day the legend, the lady & the kid from Redfern went to battle on the track.

It’s a miserable windswept rainy Tuesday afternoon in 1987 at the Richmond Race Club harness track in Sydney.

A race is about to start & Newbridge Boy driven by the 17 year old kid from Redfern Darren Brown is raring to go with his ears pricked. Newbridge Boy is a long shot to win, its a strong field with most of the other runners more fancied.

The Atlantic Star has the legend John E Binskin at the helm & Sunlit Path, the odds on favourite has the lady Leanne Beynon in the sulky.

This isn’t the group one Inter Dominion Final or the Miracle Mile, it’s the Intermediate Handicap at a mid week meeting but the legend, the lady & the kid from Redfern are about to go to battle on the track. This is a special moment in sport.

The first harness race in this country was held in Parramatta in 1810 & was won by a horse named Miss Kitty. I’m going to tell you a story about a harness race win that took place 177 years later. It isn’t a famous victory, there’s no record breaking margin or notoriety other than for the people involved. It is however an important milestone in the life of one man, a man who will forever remember the day he took on a challenge & won. That man is Darren Brown.

This story describes a special day in the Brown family. It’s the day that Darren Leslie Brown drove his one & only harness race winner trained by his dad Leslie William Brown at Richmond in Sydney.

Darren Brown drives Newbridge Boy to win by 10 metres

Darren Brown steered Newbridge Boy to victory by 10 metres in a time of 2 minutes 43.4 seconds at odds of 33 to 1 in the Intermediate Handicap from a standing start over 2020 metres. Odds on favourite Sunlit Path driven by Leanne Beynon was 2nd & The Atlantic Star driven by the late John Binskin was 3rd. Newbridge Boy was owned by W. Stolzenbach.

Watch the closing moments of the race here

So Darren drove a winner at big odds but there’s a few of reasons why this should never have happened. Here’s a summary-

  1. Newbridge Boy hadn’t won a race since 1985 & in its last start at Gosford it ran 10th beaten by 20 metres.
  2. The majority of the 9 other horses in the race were better performed than Newbridge Boy & 2 of those were driven by proven harness racing stars. Sunlit Path was the odds on favourite & was handled by Leanne Beynon who was Sydneys’ leading female trainer/driver of the 80s & 90s. The Atlantic Star was driven by group 1 winner John Binskin, a man regarded as one of the finest horseman ever in the sport. To this day there is a Binskin Lounge at Bankstown Paceway. Its named in honour of the Binskin family racing trio of Johns’ father Jack & his son Darren. All of whom are harness racing stars.
  3. Darren Brown was a kid with limited experience so his presence in the race was assumed to be ‘making up the numbers’.
  4. Roughies don’t usually lead all the way, they sometimes go to an early lead but more often than not capitulate & stop like they’ve been shot with a gun way before the winning post.

There is however more than one reason why Darren did win-

  1. He grew up in Great Buckinghham Street Redfern where they breed them tough. Darrens’ will to win would see him play over 200 first grade rugby league games in both Australia & England.
  2. Darren was a naturally gifted driver, Darren Binskin said “Darren (Brown) from the get go sat in the gig well & looked like a harness driver. He also took his opportunity.”
  3. The horse liked the wet & had previously won a race at Richmond.
  4. A horse that was challenging for the lead James Dee broke & galloped handing Newbridge Boy an easy quarter in the lead as they heard the bell for the last lap.

THE STORY OF THE RACE & THE MAIN PARTICIPANTS

Les Brown & Darren Brown

Les Brown was born in Redfern in 1949, is a Rabbitohs rugby league supporter & played halfback in the lower grades for the Bunnies. Les was a successful harness trainer/driver who tasted Group 1 success in 2006 with his horse Bold And Regal. The Brown family were all fighters, 3 of Les’ uncles fought at the Sydney Stadium one night. Les’ uncle Darby Brown was a champion boxer who held the welterweight title & was inducted in the Australian National Boxing Hall Of Fame in 2015. Les’ son Darren Brown was born in 1969, is a Rabbitohs supporter & played 208 first grade rugby league games in both Australia & England.

“When Darren was 14 or 15 years old you couldn’t keep him off the horses” Les said. “So if I didn’t let him drive he used to blow up all the time. So he began driving for me occasionally & on the day of the race I had to work. Darren took charge, he took Newbridge Boy to Richmond, geared it, drove it & drove it good too.

“I was only 17 years old & there was a bit of pressure on me to take the horse there” Darren said. “I had to do everything, it was a wet day pouring rain. The horse wasn’t a great one but he used to go well on this track. He liked the grass surface, a wet track & the way of going so everything was in his favour on this day.

“Newbridge Boy was 33 to 1 but we thought he had a big hope. There was an odds on favourite in the race (Sunlit Path) but I was quietly confident. I knew we were going to lead and early in the race the driver of the favourite loomed up to pressure me but then she backed off & I got a couple of easy quarters. Around the home turn I kicked away but back then Richmond had a 300 metre straight & the winning post took forever to get past. Half way down the straight I got a little bit excited & hit the horse a few too many times with the old cane whip & copped a fine from the stewards.

“In the end I won the race & beat a couple legend drivers in Leanne Beynon & John Binskin, it was a great thrill. I drove Newbridge Boy in his next start at Penrith & he had run a quick time at Richmond so he was the favourite. We started from the back & he was a pretty fierce horse & used to get on the bit. Once we were away I couldn’t really hold him so I had to go around the field & sit in the worst position in the race in what is called the ‘death seat’ which is just outside the leader. Anyway the horse faded in the run, ran last & the punters booed me off the track.” (Ironically the winner of that race was My Triumph driven by John E Binskin)

Watch the Les & Darren Brown interview plus our visit to Bankstown Paceway here.

Leanne Beynon

Leanne Beynon was a successful female harness trainer/driver. Beynon won races at Sydneys’ Harold Park & was also victorious in the time honoured feature PJ Hall Memorial (Perc Hall) in 1998 with Our Big Monte over 2420m at Penrith Paceway.

In 1987 Darren Brown was dating Leannes’ sister Michelle & Darren stayed at the Beynon house the night before the race. The Beynons were a harness racing family & the girls father John Beynon was highly regarded in the industry.

“They were talking their horse Sunlit Path up” Darren recalled, “They said their horse was flying (it had won 5 races previously including a win at Richmond) & they were going to rip into me & attack me if I took the lead & that I would eventually have to hand up to them (give them the lead). I said we’ll see on the day then in the race she attacked me early but I got the bikkies & had the last laugh so to Leanne thanks a lot!

“Leanne was talented from the start & was good with the horses” said Darren Binskin. “She was one of the first ladies in the sport & did exceptionally well. Leanne also had a lot of friends at Bankstown who had her back & would look out for her”.

We also heard that Leanne had a fiery side that would flare up when she was crossed. This passionate trait was no doubt an asset for a lady making her way in a male dominated sport.

Leanne Beynon
4 weeks after running 2nd to the Darren Brown driven Newbridge Boy, trainer/driver Leanne Beynon piloted Sunlit Path to victory at Bankstown.
Leanne Beynon drives Keringle Classique to victory at Harold Park.

John E Binskin

John E Binskin
John Binskin pilots another winner

John E Binskin was the leading harness driver (36 wins 1978-79) & trainer (30 wins 1980-81) at Harold Park in Sydney. Johns’ son Darren was also top trainer (42 wins 1995-96) at the same venue which was the home of harness racing in NSW until it was closed in 2010 & relocated to Menangle in western Sydney.

In 1988 John Binskin drove Our Maestro to win the group one Inter-Dominion Final at Harold Park. In the same race Johns’ son Darren drove Karalta Gift to 6th place & shook hands with his dad after they both had passed the winning post. Also at the track was Johns’ father Jack who was celebrating his 81st birthday.

“There’ll be a lot of tears shed around this course because (Binskin) has been a very poplular driver over many years” said ABC caller David Morrow. “I’m sure his father Jack will be shedding a little tear because his son has finally cracked it for an Inter Dominion championship”,

The Binskins are a famous racing family. There is a Binskin Lounge at Bankstown Paceway named after John, his father Jack & son Darren (As told to me by Chad Bentley son of the late Les Bentley former longtime Bankstown Paceway President). Tragically John passed away in 1999 after he collapsed in the Binskin Lounge. Darren Binskin says that he takes comfort in the fact that his dad died with friends around him & didn’t die alone.

“JE was a great reinsman who just had an aura about him’ said Darren Brown. “He had a distinctive style, his famous silks were black with green stars & he wielded the whip in his left hand. After I won the race on Newbridge Boy, John lent over the sulky & shook my hand, it’s a moment I’ll never forget”.

The Binskin family at a trotting function. From left – Garry, Rita, John, Darren and Greg Binskin
Jack, John & Darren Binskins’ images behind the bar in the Binskin Lounge at Bankstown Paceway
John Binskin drives Our Maestro to victory in the 1988 Inter Dominion Final at Harold Park in Sydney
John Binskin shows Action Advice the whip with his left hand at Harold Park, Sydney 1980

Richmond Racetrack

The Richmond track, based at Londonderry, was first opened as a thoroughbred and harness track and held its first meeting on December 17, 1912. Aside from four years during the depression, the track has continually held race meetings until the present day.

The gallops ceased racing at Richmond in 1952 and the Club then operated solely with its trotting licence until October 1955 when greyhound racing was introduced on the straight track on site on Saturday afternoons. The Richmond trotting track was grass & with a straight of 300m long which was the longest in NSW.

On December 30, 1997, the last harness meeting was held at Richmond is now used solely for greyhound racing.

Bankstown Paceway

We visited Bankstown Paceway & Darren took us to Ellis Street which is a short walk from the track. Almost every house in Ellis Street once had stables in the backyard & it was here that the Browns, Binskins & Beynons all lived in 1987. In this era the sound of horses walking to & from the track all morning was the norm. These days many of the houses have been developed into housing blocks including Les Browns’ old home. Only a handful of trainers remain in the area & only 22 meetings are held per year at Bankstown.

Whilst at the track we were given a tour by operations manager Steve Thurlow. Steves’ son Ricky drove his first harness winner in his first ever drive for Les Brown.

Chad Bentley recalled fond memories of weekly family visits the track. “It was what all the local families did” said Chad. “We’d all go for a night out & have a great time”.

Harold Park

John Binskins’ wife Rita was a regular at Harold Park on Friday nights & would sit in the same seat every week with her friend Shirley. Rita was loved by all. Former Sydney race caller John Tapp described her as “a special lady”.

“My mums a very classy lady & always dressed immaculately” said son Darren. “People loved to talk to her because she was a bit of an entertainer”.

Long time Harold Park bookie Billy Trotter owned Bold And Regal, the horse that Les Brown trained to win the Group 1 Sires Stakes. “Billy took everyones money” said Les Brown. “and hes still got it”.

The Harold Park Immortals

Harness Racing History

GALLERY

Les Bridge, Chris Smith, Ash Harrison, Kye & the Rabbitohs RABBITOHS RADIO

On our final show for the season we recap the loss to the Panthers, speak to The Everest winning trainer Les Bridge, radio personality Chris Smith & super fan Kye Porrier, our Remembering A Rabbitoh is Ashley Harrison, we preview the NRL Grand Final & name our Rabbitoh Of The Week. #RabbitohsRadioPodcast https://rabbitohsradio.com.au/2020/10/18/les-bridge-chris-smith-ash-harrison-kye-the-rabbitohs/
  1. Les Bridge, Chris Smith, Ash Harrison, Kye & the Rabbitohs
  2. Jed Cartwright, Freddy, Bernie & the Panthers
  3. Damien Cook, Michael Cleary & The Eels
  4. The Rooster Demolition, Jaydn Su’A, Jaxson Paulo, Les ‘Chicka’ Cowie & The Knights Sudden Death Showdown.
  5. Luke Curry, Ken Stewart & the Chooks

Written By Steve Mavin

Ian Roberts, Johnny Lewis and the return of the Rabbitohs



On the podcast this week we interview two legends, Ian Roberts & Johhny Lewis plus we take a look at plans to kick start the NRL.

Ian Roberts

Ian Roberts Wikipedia

Rugby league legend Ian Roberts discovers permanent brain damage after testing

Ian Roberts speaks about being an openly gay man in the NRL, the tragedy that made him come out

‘I would be so deeply offended and hurt’: Ian Roberts says no to NRL return for Folau

The Year that Made Me: Ian Roberts, 1984

Legend Q&A: Ian Roberts

Johnny Lewis

Johnny Lewis Wikipedia

Australian trainer Johnny Lewis inducted into Boxing Hall of Fame

Legendary boxing trainer Johnny Lewis talks boxing, rugby league and Kostya v Fenech

Back row – Terry Hill, Geordi Peats, Johnny Lewis, Manoa Thompson
Front row – Nat Wood, Jeff Fenech, Darrel Trindall, Kostya Tszyu

Darby Brown

On the show we talk about boxing legend Darby Brown the uncle of Les Brown, Brownys dad.

Darby Brown Wikipedia

Darby Brown Boxing Record

George Barnes v Darby Brown
Rabbitoh Of The Week is Scott Singles

Glory Glory – Calling All Rabbits

Video created by Steve Mavin

This song is by Rod Keady & Steve Smith. It’s track 5 from the CD ‘Glory Of South Sydney’ & is presented here courtesy of Laughing Outlaw Records. #RabbitohsRadio #GloryGlory