Former Canterbury Bulldogs and Newtown Jets prop Bill Noonan has faced many opponents throughout his career in rugby league but now he has come up against one that may have been harder to tackle if not for the generous help of Canterbury League Club and the Men of League Foundation.
Bill is suffering from dementia, but the rugby league community is a tight one and knows how to take care of their own in times of hardship.
Canterbury and Men of League recently ran a Fundraising Luncheon for Bill in Canterbury’s Paragon Room to raise much-needed funds for a trust fund to enable Bill to stand strong against this disease.
“The Men of League Foundation was established in 2002 with a desire to assist rugby league players, coaches, referees, officials, administrators and volunteers from all levels of the game and members of their families who have fallen on hard times,” said Jason Turik, Events and Community Engagement Manager for Men of League Foundation.
Jason said the luncheon was a great success and raised over $100,000 for Bill’s trust fund which will be administered by Men of League. Of that amount, Canterbury donated $25,000, a number of auction and raffle prizes and covered more than $5,000 worth of costs associated with hosting the event.
Bill Noonan joined Canterbury in 1970 and played 161 games for the club before moving on to play with the Newtown Jets until his retirement in 1980.
Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, Bill holds the historic achievement of being the first ever Kiwi to appear in an Australian Premiership Grand Final in 1974 with his teammates at Canterbury.
“The rugby league community has always been a tight-knit bunch and Canterbury is proud to provide assistance to special cases like Bill’s” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.