7 months ago

The Star: April 12, 2018

6 Thursday

6 Thursday April 12 2018 Latest Christchurch news at The Star Farewell Fergie Extremely combative – for Linwood, Canterbury rugby great Fergie McCormick died on Tuesday after a battle with throat cancer. In honour of the All Blacks legend, Gordon Findlater spoke to some of the people who new him best on and off the field WHEN CALLING a handful of Fergie McCormick’s former teammates and asking for memorable stories of their mate, you’ll receive one common answer. Anyone who knew Fergie well enough has plenty of great stories, just nothing that’s appropriate to print. He was celebrated for his fearless tackling and was one of the first running fullbacks, possessing a startling turn of pace in his 18-year career with Canterbury. However, after talking to many who played with him at the Canterbury level you learn he bled red and black, but on the inside he was a pure green and black Linwood man. “He’d play for Linwood before playing for the All Blacks if they were stuck,” former teammate Lionel Hunter said. Said former teammate Robin Cocks: “He’d played on Wednesday against South Canterbury and he came back for the Saturday game with Linwood. We were playing University who were very strong at that stage. I remember he had a row of stitches in his top lip. A lot of guys wouldn’t have played but he just put some sticky tape across the top of the stiches.” Said former teammate Ian Mallard: “He was always extremely combative, whether he was playing for Linwood, LEGEND: Fergie McCormick, pictured here in 2005, on his Canterbury farm before heading to work as a real estate agent of First National. PHOTO: PHOTOSPORT Canterbury or the All Blacks, he played the same in every game.” Said Alex Wyllie: “I’ll always remember we were playing Hawkes Bay, and Rod Abel, who’s a big lock, was running for the line. Fergie picked him up and took him back. That’s the sort of player he was. He wasn’t tall in stature but he was big in what he could do.” Said former teammate Ian Mallard: “Before a game in the changing sheds he would be very quiet and then the moment he stepped into the tunnel it was like you released a raging bull . . . I remember in one game we played Christchurch at Lancaster Park and down the back of the line in the tunnel there was a bit of biff between him and Roger Mahan.” Said Wyllie: “He’s a character within himself and some of his pet sayings would break you up and they probably can’t be repeated.” Said former teammate Brent Elder: “Going into the dressing sheds after a game you’d get into the showers and look at ‘Worts’ or ‘Fungus’ as we used to call him and see all the sprig marks on his back. He’d have a big grin on his face and said ‘mate at least they’re your sprig marks and not someone else’s’. So he didn’t mind having sprig marks if they were his teammates because it meant we were getting the ball back. If they were the oppositions we wore the brunt of it.” Said Wyllie: “He demanded a lot of himself and he demanded a lot from the people around him. He demanded a lot from the forwards as well. He was a big influence on any team that he played in.” Said Linwood Rugby Club president Bill McKnight: “A group of us had played under-19s the year before. We all arrived at trials at Linwood the following year. Fergie arrived and told us he’s coaching the under-20s so a group of us decided we’ll prefer to play a more social grade.” UC Science and Engineering Precincts Public Open Day Monday 16 April, 3pm – 6pm AUTUMN GOLF MEMBERSHIP DEALS 26 – 35 YEARS ONLY $591.00* = $11.37 p/wk 18 – 25 YEARS ONLY $493.00* = $9.48 p/wk Are you curious about what goes on behind the scenes at the University of Canterbury? STUDENT (U25 WITH ID) ONLY $326.00* = $6.27 p/wk U18 ONLY $197.00* = $3.79 p/wk U14 ONLY $99.00* = $1.90 p/wk UC Science and UC Engineering are inviting the public to explore our new state-of-the-art buildings, tour our labs, and see innovation in action. This is a free, family-friendly event – everyone is welcome! Contact Nathan on 03 3830307 or for more information on how to take advantage of these promotional rates More info at WAIMAIRI BEACH GOLF CLUB 460 Bower Ave, Parklands | Basic information: Promotional Pricing is (A) available to NEW members only (B) valid for a 12-month subscription only (C) non-refundable (D) available for a short time only (E) determined by birthdate at the time of joining

The Star Latest Christchurch news at Thursday April 12 2018 7 Canty or the All Blacks Fergie’s stats •Played 16 matches for the All Blacks and holds the record for the most games for Canterbury at 222 “I ended up being a bit of a spokesperson for the group so he looked at me and said ‘well, it’s like this, I’m coaching under-20s, you guys are playing under-20s and you’ve got the biggest mouth so you’ll be the captain.’ That’s what he was like and we ended up becoming the best of mates,” said McKnight. Said Elder: “We were playing Wellington at Athletic Park. Fergie was eyeing up Grant Batty and Batty told him he was going to run around him . . . just at the moment Batty had thought he’d got past him, Fergie bundled him into touch. He stood up and said not quick enough young fella. He was a special player. A true friend on the paddock and off the paddock. He didn’t take a backward step to anybody.” Said Mallard: “He was one of the greatest ever as far as I’m concerned. I think him and Richie McCaw are two of •Over his 18-year career with Canterbury, he scored a record 1297 points •Canterbury debut – 1958 vs Wellington •All Blacks debut – 1965 the best rugby players I’ve ever seen.” Said Hunter: “He was very knowledgeable on the game. If you were watching a game with Fergie, he would analyse it as it was going along. In fact he’d tell you how it was going to end.” Said Cocks: “There were some pretty big crowds in our days at club rugby. You often heard the comments from the crowd. People from other clubs hated him just because he was so good and incredibly tough.” Said Mallard: “If anybody was getting dealt to on the bottom of a ruck, he’d come charging in from the backs and there would be fists flying. He made sure he looked after his teammates.” •The service to celebrate Fergie’s life will be held tomorrow at 1.30pm at the Linwood rugby clubrooms, 56 Kearneys Rd, Linwood HARDMAN: Fergie McCormick played 16 tests for the All Blacks. NEW WINTER SEASON Rose Jacquard Fleece Robes by Essence • Zip • Shawl • Bed Jacket Black & White Rose Sizes to 2XL Many new styles in store Nites, pyjamas & robes Shop 48 Barrington, Barrington St Phone 03 337 6609 Last days to have your say Have you checked your underfloor repairs? This is the sort of ‘repair’ we are finding. What’s important for Christchurch over the next 10 years? Consultation closes on Friday 13 April. We will go under your house and give you peace of mind for free. NO WIN NO FEE Ph: 03 377 8855 | 130 Ferry Road, Christchurch E: | W: