Sunday 24 September 2017 / 10:18 PM

Raiders appoint first NRL club historian

The Raiders Group is delighted to announce that it has hired Dr David Headon to be the Canberra Raiders’ in-house historian, an NRL first.

Dr Headon, who some years ago compiled the 800-page ‘Best Ever Australian Sports Writing’ for Black Inc Press, brings to the club a wealth of knowledge about Australian culture in general, and sport writing in particular.

Dr Headon has been engaged for six months, in the first instance, to do some preliminary research.  During this time, he hopes to interview a number of the club’s greatest players and coaches, as well as encouraging the many true believers in the Raiders’ fan base to get actively involved in the project by alerting him to their treasured private collections of material and personal stories.  This fund of ‘hidden’ primary source material, along with the club’s own substantial archives and oral history resources, will underpin the comprehensive club history to come.

Canberra Raiders Group CEO Simon Hawkins said the appointment of Dr Headon would assist in ensuring the rich history of the Raiders would forever remain documented, so the future generation of supporters could appreciate the roots of their club.

“Having Dr David Headon on board will allow the Raiders to gain a comprehensive array of documentation and material to ensure the history of our great club will always be recognised,” Simon Hawkins said. “This appointment allows us to embrace our history and ensure our members and supporters remember and appreciate the traditions and beginnings of the Raiders.”

The full project should take 2-3 years, during which time Dr Headon will assist in paying tribute to all those former and current players, staff and administrators who played their individual part in the impressive larger story.   

Dr Headon wrote his first article on the Raiders (for the ‘Canberra Times’) just before the club’s historic first Grand Final, against Manly in 1987, and continued to cover the Raiders’ astonishing success story that followed, including its three premierships in just six years.

With Australian actor and former ABC Rugby League colour commentator, Lex Marinos, Dr Headon put together ‘League of a Nation’ (ABC Books), which included contributions from the likes of Dave Middleton, John Singleton, Ken Arthurson, Tom Keneally, George Peponis, Tim Sheens, Brad Clyde, H G Nelson, Wendy Harmer, Tracy Holmes, Peter Wilkins and the late Peter Jackson.

Dr Headon will commence his appointment in the New Year based at the Queanbeyan Leagues Club and will be seeking input from members and supporters to provide information they may have which may be relevant to the project.

[YouTube – jmoul59]

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