Five Members were awarded Life Membership at today’s (Sunday) Annual General Meeting of the South Sydney Members Rugby League Football Club (Member Co.) at Redfern Town Hall.
Jason Clark, Raymond Furse, Mervyn Neave, Stanley Browne and Bernard O’Neil were all nominated and approved as Life Members for the significant roles they have played in South Sydney’s history.
Jason Clark, Rabbitohs first grade player 1072, played 216 grade games for South Sydney between 2008 and 2018, including 169 NRL games in the red and green.
A South Sydney junior from the Coogee-Randwick Wombats, Clark famously marched to Town Hall with his family during the fightback years, going on to represent South Sydney through the Junior Bunnies, Harold Matthews Cup, and SG Ball Cup teams.
He would become the Club’s first captain of the under 20s side in the National Youth Competition in 2008 and would make his first grade debut against the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2009.
Clark remains as one of the Members’ favourite sons and was greatly honoured to receive his Life Membership.
Jason Clark Life Members Message
“First of all I would like to thank the Juniors and Keith McCraw for playing a big role in my football career,” Clark said in a video message sent from Warrington in England.
“Also I would like to thank the Members and the Board for putting me up for this nomination. It’s not something I’m taking lightly and I’m very honoured to achieve it.
“Me and my family are all part of this and it’s something I will never forget.”
Raymond Furse, Mervyn Neave, Stanley Browne and Bernard O’Neil all served on the South Sydney Football Club Board in the late 1990s and unselfishly stood aside for ‘Group 14’, a collection of successful and high-profile, businesspeople, politicians and celebrities, to take a greater role on the Board of Directors in the lead up to the fightback from expulsion from the NRL competition.
Messrs. Furse, Neave, Browne and O’Neil all made significant contributions to the Club in both official and unofficial capacities over many years, however their selfless moves to help strengthen the Club’s Board during a tumultuous time in South Sydney’s history required special recognition.
“The Rabbitohs have always been at our strongest and most resolute when the interests of the Club are put before the individual,” Rabbitohs Chairman Nicholas Pappas said.
“In 1999, in some of the darkest times the Club has experienced, Mervyn, Ray, Stan and Bernard put the Club’s interests well before their own, and allowed Group 14 to orchestrate the fight to ensure the Club could re-enter the NRL competition.
“The award of Life Membership is a deserved reward for this sacrifice and contribution to the Club.”
Life Membership is the single greatest honour that can be placed upon a Member of the Club by the Members and the Board of Directors.
On behalf of everyone connected with South Sydney, we congratulate Jason Clark, Raymond Furse, Mervyn Neave, Stanley Browne and Bernard O’Neil on being awarded Life Membership today.