1Eyed Eel

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I Just had word that Ex eel John Mcmartin has died unfortunately.

A bit before my time but played 167 games for us at hooker between 66-75 before going to the sharks for 4 seasons, from what ive read he was highly regarded on and off the park..

His brother Mal was also a rugby league player for Balmain.

RIP to john, thankyou for your efforts in the blue and gold jersey, may your next journey be a great one, and condolences to his friends and family.

Played strong, done good.....

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PT, agree with your comments about Macca.  A great ball winner when hookers were really hookers. 

I remember hearing him talk about getting penalised by a referee in the juniors.  Apparently out of frustration the referee said to him and his captain just before half time that if he isn't changed by another player in the scrum he will send him off for repeated infringements.  So at half time he and Mal swapped jumpers and nobody knew.


Yes my thoughts are with all the others on here.

He was probably the first of the modern day style of running hooker. The hookers up until then tended be stoic players from Dummy Half and tackle your arse off. 

Macca could run as well.....we were all a bit shocked back in the day that a hooker could do that.

He was a special Parra player!

Fark. I just told you to add him as the best hooker for the Eels yesterday and now this. <insert sad face>

I actually wrote this yesterday before the other 'best of all" post. Subsequently adjusted it on your advice "Badge"

Had a problem separating Billy Raynor, Steve Edge, Ron Hilditch and Macca.

My comment above fits regardless where he may fit on such an all time great list.

Pops, I don't recollect seeing much of Billy Rayner playing, no doubt I have though when going to games with my dad, as I was at school and then working from 62 onwards, Macca though really got my attention and consider him the best of them all.

I rate hitman in a big way also Steve Edge a lot,  Ron was huge in defence and always put his body on the line, too big size wise really for at top ball winner as we did not win the scrum count as much as with the others, but he made up for that in other ways.

Steve Edge though was a player I loved to watch, he brought the real pro attitude when he was signed to the eels, great hooker and captain, served the club well after retiring from playing, I believe that he could still help the likes of Kaysa in aspects of his game.

Would definitely be the hooker in my greatest ever EELS team. When hookers were paid to win the scrums he was the best. It was a stat published weekly in the paper and he was always on the top of the list.

Great defender and a good runner of the ball. When Parra won 4 sudden death games in week to make the minor semi final he was unfortunately hurt, it saw the debut of Kevin Webb.

Mal McMartin was John's twin brother.

Cumberland, I would agree that he was the best hooker I have ever at the eels, I did not see Billy Rayner but knew him quite well, lovely man and tough as teak, he also had big wraps on him, both would have matched it with any of those running round today at any club.

Sad news Snake. John Mcamartin was one of my favorite players. His younger bro, Mal was pretty handy too! RIP Johnny!!

Although I was only a nipper I always believed that John was far and away the best hooker in the game when he played. It was a travesty of justice that he didn't play for Australia. Wonderful tough player. ...one of my favourite players. Well done John.  

Sad news John McMartin was lighting fast tough as teak and the best hooker never to play for Australia


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