Home - Robert Stone Site

1962 First Victory Lap
1974 Third Grade Title
1975 First Grade Debut

1976 Reserve Grade Title

1977 First Grade Title

1977 That Grand Final Try

1977 The Phantom Biter

1980 State Of Origin

1982 School teacher

1984 Captaincy

1985 Final Season

1985 The Kogarah Factor

1986 Picton
2000 Return To St George

2003 Return To Kogarah

2005 Dragons In Grief

Media Articles

Comments From Fans

Players Since 1921


  Unofficial Dragons Site

Since 1921
Our Proud History

History of the Dragons

Find out all about the history of the Dragons since 1921

A summary of comments posted on the Dragons forum at LeagueUnlimited and Jubilee Avenue NineMsn forum.
Robert Stone at R2K forum and information night. Kogarah RSL, May 2002.
Pic posted by Gorilla
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.

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
He told me that, 'we haven't got the lights installed yet, but the place has never looked better.
- R2K - 1 August 2005

I happen 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

Hi All

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 wonderful tribute.

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 Queensland.

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 humour.

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
- BigD - 2 August 2005
The 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

Thanks BigD. 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
Have to 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

Robert Stone 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 mate.
- parra pete - 4 August 2005
Cheers BigD, 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:
Roy Masters
Craig Young
Nathan Brown
Harry Bath
Ian Walsh
Johnny Raper

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
After 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.
Robert is not only a Saints legend, more importantly he is an absolute gentlemen.
I 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.
One 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

Steve 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".
- Rex C Hunt - 3 August 2005
On 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.
- Yuly - 8 August 2005
This was 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 the transcription.

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

Robert Stone 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, Stoney’s reputation, as far as a ten year old was concerned, was that of a very big, tough dude. I wasn’t 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, that’s a long fall). Anyway, Mr Stone’s reputation and superstar status wasn’t 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 Triangle’s mystery wasn’t quite as scary as the wooden version for the sole reason that when you misbehaved, it came down on your fingers. Of course he didn’t 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 kid’s dad didn’t 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. Awesome.

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 shouldn’t 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 team’s 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 wasn’t 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, I’m stoked anyway because why the hell not, he’s a Saints player and I’m 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, it’s a 10, not a 7). So we go to Parent Teacher Night and it’s a raging success. I’m killing it at school so that part of the conversation lasted about 30 seconds. Then it was: “Stoney, it’s a 10, not a 7”. Kidding, he never said that and to be honest I can’t remember what was said. But Saints lost the next week so whatever it was didn’t work.

It was a shame I didn’t 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)