| COMMENTS FROM
A summary of comments posted on the Dragons
forum at LeagueUnlimited and
Jubilee Avenue NineMsn forum.
I think I mentioned it here before but my main impression
I got from Stone was from an R2K night a few years ago when
he fronted a packed hall and played the devils advocate
by putting the clubs view forward.
Stone at R2K forum and information night. Kogarah
RSL, May 2002.
Pic posted by Gorilla
I think we where all very frustrated by what he had to say
but I remember thinking how good it was of him to show up,
say it, and then field all the supporters questions with
a straight bat.
- Follow Me Up To Carlton - 1 August 2005
told me that, 'we haven't got the lights installed yet,
but the place has never looked better.
- 1 August 2005
to live 2 doors down from the Stone family and they have
been treasured friends of my family and all those on our
street since we have known them. Growing up with Robert
Stone's children as a youngster, I would often find myself
at their house having Robert throw me into his pool in
a humorous attempt to teach me to swim. We all have very
fond memories of Robert in our street in Yarrawarrah.
He was a kind compassionate man who looked out for the
other neighbours. As I look out my front window now I
see a parade of cars coming to pay their respects to Robert,
which gives a good indication of the great effect that
he had on people. We are all very saddened by the news.
I visited the Stone family with my mother last night to
offer our best wishes. His wife Anne and family by his
side. He looked very peaceful and Anne jokingly remarked
that she expected him to jump up at any momment and yell
"Sucked in, I had you going didn't I?"
For he was a strong man with a big heart.
RobertSz - 2 August 2005
I will give a funeral report for those whom are interested
but were unable to attend.
St John's Bosco was packed to the rafters. Those who arrived
late were able to hear the audio of the funeral from outside
the church. I was one of the people stationed outside. From
what I gathered people arrived from about 10:30. The ceremony
actually began at 12:00 noon.
A number of people spoke on behalf of Stoney. First up was
Randall Barge- an ex Dragons player and Stoney's best friend.
Randall also attended Kogarah Marist Brothers with Robert.
Randall gave us an insight into Stoney's early years. A
Next up was Stoney's First Grade captain- Stephen Edge.
A man that needs no introduction. Edge spoke about Robert's
league career. He spoke wonderfully- and was able to deliver
it with humour which we all appreciated. Some of the highlights
of his speech was the "Pass the Salt, Fat Albert"
story which was mentioned on a previous thread. He also
spoke about the "Cattle-dog" call which signalled
an all in brawl in State of Origin 1. Edge, Stone and Young
were part of that match lining up against Rod Reddy for
I really enjoyed Edge recounting how whenever Stoney introduced
Edge to people he would say: "This is Steve Edge- he
is a traitor". This happened for years! Classic Stoney
Jorge Knoflack a primary school teacher, spoke next. He
worked with Stoney at Engadine Public School for a number
of years and is now at Burraneer Bay PS. For those of you
who were unaware, Stoney ended his teaching career at Engadine
PS as an Assistant Principal. He took up a job at the Dragons
in 2000. Prior to this he worked at Baldface PS, Marton
PS, Padstow Heights PS and Engadine PS. Jorge spoke a lot
about his teaching career and his involvement in the Primary
School Sports Association (PSSA).
The last to speak were Stoney's daughters who were able
to give a family's perspective. It was quite emotional,
but again a great tribute to a great man.
Outside the church perhaps one of the strongest scenes I
can recall was seeing Dragon's Immortal Craig Young, in
tears weeping like a child. What a powerful and emotional
moment it was!
It was really a "who's who" of Dragon's Greats
who paid tribute to Stoney. A roll call was mentioned in
a previous thread but here is who I saw: Craig Young, John
Dowling, Randall Barge, Rod Reddy, Grahame Buckley, Robert
Finch, John Jansen, George Grant, Michael Sorridimi, Billy
Noke, Steve Funnell, Mark Shulman, Roy Ferguson, John Chapman,
Steve Butler, Col Bramley, Brad Buchanan, Steve Rogers (Who
even donned a Red and White Dragons Tie), Tony Trudgett,
John Raper, Billy Smith, Lord Ted Goodwin, Brian Johnston,
Michael Beattie, Mark Coyne, Steve Morris, Graeme Wynn,
Bruce Starkey, Jeff Hardy, Colin Ward, David Barnhill, Kurt
Wrigley, John French, Max Ninness, Ricky Walford, Nathan
Brown, Ian Walsh, Sean McVean, Brad Mackay, Michael Potter,
Perry Haddock, Harry Eden, Harry Bath, John Bomber Peard.
(I'm sure there are a lot of others who I was unable to
recognise or have forgotten about- but it's a decent list)
If I have forgotten anyone please identify them.
Other "notable" guests were Tom Raudonikis, Graeme
Eadie, Roy Masters, Steve Mortimer, Michael Stone, Graham
Annesley, Stuart Raper, Reece Williams, Keith Galloway,
Laurie Daley, David Gallop, Wayne Smith, Robert McClelland,
Brett Finch, Joel Reddy (Again I may have missed some)
Stoney's alumnus Kogarah Marist Brothers sent some students
to form a "guard of honour"- a nice touch.
The entire 2005 Dragons squad were there. Barrett, Gaz,
Mat Head (limping slightly) ,Greenshields, Thommo, Young,
Ryles etc. Including Willie Manu!
The coaching staff- Brownie, Wrigley, Ninnes, Barnhill etc
where in attendance as were the majority of the Dragons
Board/Committee- Lockwood, Doust etc.
The service at Bosco was followed by the cremation at Woronora
Cemetery. The wake was held at St George Leagues. Stoney's
family were able to mix with guests. The Leagues club put
on drinks and food for all the guests. In the end it turned
into a party that Stoney would have been proud of!
John Riley former PSSA President, turned to John Raper and
asked him if he had ever been to a bigger funeral? Chook
replied only one- Clive Churchill's.
I was also able to meet up with some forum members- Dragonstav,
The Phantom Biter, MC and father, Rex C Hunt, Willow, Bakerp,
RedV6. Who else was there?
Anyway that's about it. I got home at about 8:30. The Phantom
Biter and myself were able to usher Roy Masters into a cab
at the end of the night.
Thanks for supporting Stoney. The day was really a wonderful
tribute to a wonderful human being!
Go The Mighties
- 2 August 2005
best thing I can say about him is how he actually evolved
as a player, starting his career as a hard running back
rower and developing into a tough uncompromising prop, not
without great ball skills.
And whilst the 1977 GF replay is an obvious standout,
I'll try my best to descibe what I thought was his best
home and away game, which was at the back end of his career.
Last Round 1983. Saints were nowhere midway through
the year with a big injury toll. But they rattled home
to win their last 7 or so home and away games straight.
In this last Round they played eventual premiers
Parramatta at Kogarah. The house full sign went up about
an hour before kickoff, such was the magnitude of the
occassion. Saints had to win against Parra who were running
second. They were 2 points out of the top 5, with Easts
holding fifth spot. Easts had to be beaten by Souths,
and Saints had to win for there to be a playoff for fifth
the following Tuesday night. No for and against differential
separating fifth back then.
Saints came out pumped from the outset and absolutely
smashed Parra all over the park. They were ably led by
two oldhand ex backrowers playing prop, Robert Stone and
John Jansen. Craig Young had a season ending injury many
weeks prior, and Stoney had basically taken on his role
of leading from the front - with great success.
In this game Parra had two big older forwards in
Geoff Bugden and Stan Jurd, and a great young in form
prop called Paul Mares who had been cutting them up for
weeks. Every time he got the ball early he was smashed
by Stoney. And if Stoney didn't get there in time he'd
make sure he got there late - even real late. He gave
away a few penalties - but what the heck. The result?
Let's just say that all three went missing a bit. They
were given a real forwards lesson and Saints won the up
front battle thanks to Stoney, JJ and Chris Walsh.
My two favourite plays from the game from Stoney.
Early in the first half their tiny halfback Bradley Garrett
received a poor pass from dummy half and dived forward to
catch it. He successfully caught it but had to surrender
the tackle because someone was standing over him. That someone
was Stoney. Instead of just putting a hand on him, he just
bent over and dived full bore into him with his shoulder.
The little bloke got the shock of his life as Stoney gave
every rib a severe touch up. The crowd loved it - it was
the type of game where in every tackle there was a message.
But better still midway through the second half,
Saints were up 20-2 and whilst comfortable, the crowd
knew one more try and it was over. Stoney went into dummy
half about 10m out pushing away Johnny Dowling, took a
scoot with the ball, threw a giant dummy that fooled David
Liddiard and Steve Sharp, straightened up and plowed over
the line carrying two defenders. The crowd went mad with
about 10 or so jumping the fence and running onto the
field trying to embrace Stoney, who in turn was being
embraced by teammates. Game over. Just as a sidelight
Johnny Dowling gave the Parra players the 2 fingered salute
as they were gathered behind the tryline.
By this time word had got around the ground that
Souths were giving Easts an absolute bath, so it was party
time on the hill with everyone buzzing. Fulltime and the
crowd couldn't contain themselves, with what seemed like
thousands of fans charging onto the ground to embrace
the Saints players. I can clearly recall the Parra players
and referee running for their lives. Some of the Saints
players did the same, but the forwards just hung around
savouring the win with the fans. Stoney was in there somewhere.
A great day indeed, and history shows Saints went
on to beat Easts on the Tuesday night, and then backed
up the following Saturday to knock Balmain out of the
semis. Three massive wins in the course of six days -
and they reckon they do it tough these days. Unluckily
knocked out the following week 24-22 by Canterbury with
plenty of dubious refereeing decisions thrown in - a sign
of things to come.
That 1983 team laid the platform for the great 1984/1985
sides who both should have won comps. And that platform
was laid by Stoney and co.
- SmithtownSaint - 2 August 2005
I saw the coverage on channel 10 & they zeroed in on
the big 'V' as the hearse pulled out - you are a legend
for doing that.
Also showed the ballons going up & Craig Young.
Someone told me at my father's funeral that the real measure
of a man's greatness is how many other men cry at his funeral.
- PoppaClay199 - 4 August 2005
admit it was pretty emotional even seeing footage of the
service on tv last night. Seeing Craig Young with a tear
summed it up.
I have little doubt what will be on the players
minds before the game tomorrow night, the black arm bands
on for Stoney. There will be real emotion for this one.
- Ribs - 4 August 2005
was a legend. A gentleman both on and off the field. Ihad
the pleasure of meeting Robert in the early eigthies when
I was President of the local club and he flew out here with
Brad Buchanan and John Jansen.
He was a lovely bloke, a true Saint and a credit to the
old St George and the game of Rugby League. Farewell old
- parra pete - 4 August 2005
great to meet you and Phantom Biter as well. I ended back
at the club after missing my flight. lol
To add a couple more to your huge list of notables guests:
Greg McCallum, Mark Riddell... I'm sure there are others.
Plus some may recall there were six Saints coaches there:
And it was pretty late when Rex C Hunt and I heard a surprise
message over the PA system:
"a taxi-cab is waiting to go to Engadine..."
- Willow - 5 August 2005
one game he was accused of biting. His girlfriend contacted
the papers to say: "He couldn't be the biter, he hasn't
got enough teeth left!"
Knowing Stone, he was probably trying to gum them into submission.
is not only a Saints legend, more importantly he is an absolute
know there are quite a few of us that are Primary School
teachers; Red and White Martin and Dragon Lady to name a
couple. Stoney of course was a Primary School Teacher as
well. I first got to know Stoney pretty well through teaching.
That's what made him such a warm guy. He always gave without
thought of reward. That is a wonderful quality and our mate
Stoney had it in spades. He was and still is a great teacher,
a great leader of men and an all-round top bloke.
of my close relatives works in the offices of a prominent
doctor & Stoney was in the waiting room, waiting to
see the doctor in his ongoing fight against the cancer that
eventually killed him. Being the friendly bloke that he
is, Stoney got to talking to the lady sitting next to him,
the mother of a kid who was also in to see the specialist.
She had no clue who he was but when the talk got around
to footy she confessed that her son was mad about the Dragons.
Soon after they went their separate ways as one of them
was called in to see the specialist.
A few days later, a large basket filled with Saints
gear lobs at the doctors office with a note attached saying
that it was for the little boy from the waiting room a
few days before.
- Dragons-Is-Their-Brand - 2 August 2005
Edge told the story how he and his wife, the Starkeys, and
the Stones had dinner to welcome Craig Young joining the
club. Craig's wife said at the table, "thank goodness
Craig has joined St George so we can leave his awful nickname
Fat Albert, behind" , to which Robert Stone replied
"Pass the salt .... Fat Albert".
C Hunt - 3 August 2005
Saturday there was a minutes silence before both games for
Robert Stone. The JF first 13 were on the field forming
a circle when someone called the bench players to be included
- a very good move. I think the RG bench players stayed
off the field when it was their turn.
After the game Stoneys son was in the players' race and
shook hands with all the Flegg boys. Carried himself extremely
well. Obviously his father's son.
- 8 August 2005
the one printed on the handout at the service.
It was explained, when Robert got sick, this is
what Stoney and his famiy said out loud every night. I
don't think you have to be religious to get something
out of it. Thanks to RobertSZ at leagueunlimited.com for
A prayer for today
Everyday we need you, Lord, but this day specially. We
need some extra strength to face whatever is to be. This
day more than any day we need to feel you near, to fortify
our courage and to overcome our fear. By ourselves we
cannot meet the challenge of the hour. There are times
when human creatures need a higher Power - to help them
bear what must be borne And so dear Lord, we pray - hold
on to our trembling hands and be with us today.
- Rex C Hunt - 9 August 2005
has moved on, yet a number of days after his funeral, he
is still teaching and we are still learning from the courageous
way in which he lived his life.
- REDV1 - 9 August 2005
|As a young
kid, having a mad Saints supporting father ensured that
by the tender age of ten I had already tasted a great deal
of rugby league. I was well and truly red and white eyed.
So when my parents transferred me to Bald Face
Primary School in 1982 I was ecstatic to find that my
new Year 4 teacher was none other than Robert Stone. Having
recently been part of the first NSW Origin team, Stoneys
reputation, as far as a ten year old was concerned, was
that of a very big, tough dude. I wasnt a huge ten
year old either.
Suddenly my attention to school changed and for
the first time in my life I actually looked forward to
it. By the end of that year, I topped the class easily
(sadly it was all down hill for my grades after that,
and from ten, thats a long fall). Anyway, Mr Stones
reputation and superstar status wasnt the only reason
he was able to get the best out of kids. He had one of
those enormous wooden chalkboard triangles that he called
The Bermuda Triangle. Now the real Bermuda Triangles
mystery wasnt quite as scary as the wooden version
for the sole reason that when you misbehaved, it came
down on your fingers. Of course he didnt do this
hard, no damage was ever done to any fingers but the sight
of Robert Stone and a big chunk of wood towering over
you was enough to make you sit down and listen quietly.
Except one kid. There is always one kid.
This kid was a Roosters supporter and an obnoxious
little bastard too, much like me the year before I met
Robert Stone. If Saints lost, we knew to shut up. Dad
told me so. But this kids dad didnt tell him
so he always piped up and reminded Mr Stone that Saints
lost. Talking in class meant the Bermuda Triangle. We
got of lot of laughs that year.
The other reason why we, to the most part, behaved
was our Physical Education sessions. We had two buildings
with grass between the two and our way to get fit was
to run between them before Mr Stone knocked us flying
with a half inflated volleyball. That Roosters kid should
have shut the hell up, honestly. Bang. The best bit was
as soon as you were flogged you helped him flog the others.
I did feel the wrath of the Bermuda Triangle once
for something or other I did and of course I figured I
was harshly done by, given my grades. I shouldnt
have been victim so I joined forces with the Roosters
kid. They played the Roosters at Kogarah that week and
I borrowed his jumper for the teams entrance to
the ground. I reached over the fence and yelled GO
THE ROOSTERS! He saw it, shook his head and went
and did his thing. I had to work hard that following week
and the volleyball wasnt kind to me.
Now my dad was never going to get through the year
without a chat to my teacher about just how my grades
were going (yeah sure) and along comes Parent Teacher
Night. Imagine it, Im stoked anyway because why
the hell not, hes a Saints player and Im out
after dark. But dad was pumped. He had a few things he
wanted to say about how Saints were traveling that year
and bugger it, given the chance so would I (Rylesy, its
a 10, not a 7). So we go to Parent Teacher Night and its
a raging success. Im killing it at school so that
part of the conversation lasted about 30 seconds. Then
it was: Stoney, its a 10, not a 7. Kidding,
he never said that and to be honest I cant remember
what was said. But Saints lost the next week so whatever
it was didnt work.
It was a shame I didnt suck at school and repeat
Year 4 because that was the only year I ever had as far
as enjoying school was concerned. Robert Stone, amongst
his talents at keeping us all quiet, was a sensational
teacher and a gentle giant. He had my respect as a ten
year old kid but gained so much more over the years that
followed. To me, Robert Stone will always be a true legend
and I admit to shedding more than a few tears at his tragic
loss. RIP Stoney.
Ribs - 26 March 2008
(Forum Sevens artcle - link)