The sport of rugby league in Cobar has a history dating back to 1921 and local author John Collins has collated all 96 years of ups and downs of the Cobar Roosters in his latest book, The Crowing of The Roosters.
Hot off the presses and due to be released next week, The Cobar Weekly has been given a sneak peek of the 417 page book which details the history of rugby league in Cobar from the first match played in 1921 up until the Under 18s and Ladies League Tag premiership wins this year.
In addition to his extensive research through old newspaper reports, visits to the Cobar, Bourke, Nyngan and Sydney State libraries, John has also carried out a lot of online research and done countless interviews with former greats of the game.
“I’ve talked to guys from Bourke, Brewarrina, Goodooga, Walgett, Nyngan, Warren and locals,” John said.
“I really loved interviewing the Collins brothers, Tom and Bill who are now 90 years old.”
John said his book was “a huge team effort”.
“I’ve had so many people helping me, loaning photos, giving me anecdotal stories, doing interviews with me and then there’s my wonderful editors and my marketing director who have all helped to get this book to print,” he said.
“The book is a lot bigger than I expected, twice as big actually, but once I got going and set the format I couldn’t change things, I had to keep going.”
John’s book is filled with lots of humour as there have been a lot of characters and also some very talented players who have played for the Roosters over the past 96 years.
Talented players from the “modern era” in his book include Nik Kosef (who played
for Manly-Warringah and Australia and who John describes as ‘the Jewel in the Roosters’ crown); Peter Robinson (who began his career in the Cobar Under 8s under the watchful
eye of Peg Coughlan and Harley Toomey and finished his career in 2005 with the Melbourne Storm having played 75 games and scoring
10 tries); Tommy Good (who John describes
as one of Cobar Rugby League’s greatest warriors who played for 21 years and retired in 2006 at the age of 40 with a Group 11 Premiership and Man of the Match performance); and Darren Jackson (who went on to play NSW Country and captained NSW Country for two seasons).
Players and characters from the past include ‘Peewee’ Holmes, Ray Pike, Tommy Knight, Mervyn Mitchell, Bossie Mitchell, the Neale brothers, the Collins twins, the Martins, Alan Gilligan and the Armstrong brothers, Norm and Mick.
The Crowing of The Roosters will be officially launched on November 18.