Narrabri Rugby League Football Club legend and life member Frank Fish has been acknowledged for his achievement and dedication to the game in NSW, recently awarded a NSW Rugby League life membership.

About two months ago Frank was informed of his latest achievement in the game which came about after Country Rugby League merged with NSW Rugby League in 2019.

That saw all Country Rugby League life members, one of which was Frank, automatically became NSWRL life members.

“It’s a very good feeling to be a life member of NSW Rugby League,” Frank told The Courier.

“I’ve put a lot of time in to the game and I had a good run.”

A 28-year-old Frank Fish arrived in Narrabri in 1975 and signed on with the Narrabri Blues that year.

He captain-coached the club’s first grade side in the 75, 76, 77 and 78 seasons despite his intention to only stay in Narrabri for one year.

His reign was a successful one which included a premiership in 1976.

That year, the Narrabri Blues lifted the Marlboro Shield in front of a home crowd after winning the grand final 28-5 against West Tamworth at Collins Park on Sunday, September 5.

It was reported in The Courier on Tuesday, September 7, 1976, that Frank ‘was the mastermind of the win, playing a part in most of the team’s eight tries, and constantly opening up gaps in the defence’.

Frank said that victory was one of his best memories during his time in charge of the Blues.

“That 76 grand final is a great memory,” Frank said.

“That side was a real good side, a real polished side, from then to now I wouldn’t change any of my players that season.

“I don’t think I’ve coached a better drilled side, everyone knew their job.

“We were disciplined, if you didn’t train you didn’t play.

“Also that year we had a real good reserve grade side and real good under-18s too.”

Frank said that the Blues had a great committee and support in the 70s.

“We were all fairly lucky when I first come to town, we had a real good committee,” Frank said.

“They were very good business people.

“Ray Coleman and Col Druce were a big reason why I came over to Narrabri.

“We had good support from around town too in those years. There were always good crowds at home and when we’d go away we’d get heaps of people following us.

“You could raffle anything and they’d buy tickets.

“I come here for one year but I ended up coaching for four.

“The first year I was here we got beat in the final, the second year was when we won, the third year we got beat in the grand final and the third year we got beat in the final.”

Even after Frank hung up the boots he continued to coach and take on admin roles in the game.

In 1992 Frank coached Country NSW Firsts to a 20-10 win against a star-studded City team which included the likes of household names such as Jason Croker, Tim Brasher, Cliff Lyons, Geoff Toovey, Les Davidson and Mark Carroll.

That same year he also coached a NSW Country team that played against Great Britain in Parkes. He also coached the Northern Division team which defeated Great Britain in 1988.

Frank has also been a Narrabri Rugby League Football Club president and a president of Group 4 Rugby League.

He was a Country NSW selector well into the late 2000s and even spent one season as a NSW State of Origin selector.

Frank, a Narrabri Rugby League Football Club legend, remains a Narrabri Blues fan and said he always looked forward to getting down to Collins Park to watch all of the side’s home games.

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