Tommy Raudonikis - NRL Legend
Born in 1950 holding a football to his chest, Tommy Raudonikis came from Cowra, via Wagga, to the Wests. This rugged Magpie halfback, intimidating tough & strong would terrorise opponents in a career a full 13 years long.
204 games for Western suburbs from ’69 – ‘79 with socks around his ankles and murder on his mind. Then he went to Hensen Park to lead the Newtown Blues in 37 games, a close Grand Final loss, between ’80 –’82.
24 games for New South Wales in the decade from ‘71 and 14 tests in green & gold for this fiery ‘son of a gun’. Size meant nothing to Tommy, or the numbers on blokes backs, big or small…he hammered in defence and in attack.
A career spent in two battling clubs, no silvertail in him. The tougher, harder & dirtier it got, it just made Raudonikis grin whether playing in club games, Tests, World Cups, or for his State, “Tom Terrific’s” passion & guts always inspired his mates. He gave it away after 13 years, went north to Captain-Coach Brisbane Brothers, then Norths & Ipswich with his fierce approach was what NSW needed…in ’97 NSW turned to him and he responded & coached the Blues to a series Origin win.
These days you know that every year when Origin comes around, the media chase him for a quote and he never lets ‘em down. Multiple replacements, streaked hair, & nice guys make his gruff
voice rasp. For Tom there’s only been one way – “PUT ‘EM ON THEIR ARSE”
Well, there might have been a slicker halfback or two in history and there may have been faster ones on that we will agree, but there’s been few better and not one tougher since the code
began than Tommy Raudonikis, No 7, a legend in this land.
An original composition by Lindsay Young 2007.
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