By Peter (Parra) Montgomery
One of the blokes who helped establish the Hay Magpies into a successful Club, both on and off the field, was Jim Little - the man his mates call “Fat Harry”.
People who have known Jimmy through his twenties and beyond, could not believe the transformation of the quiet and shy young man, into an aggressive and fiercely proud adult on his return from National Service and a tour of duty to Vietnam with the Australian Army.
Before Jim's marble came out in the National Lottery to do his National Service, he was not involved in sport, just interested in his work as a telephonist (on the Hay Telephone exchange) a keen gardener and a wonderful cook who regularly won prizes with his cooking and flower arrangements at the Hay Show.
By the time finished serving his Country and came back to his hometown, he was a changed man.
Although he continued to win prizes at the Annual Show, he threw himself into the town sport - something he hadn't done before.
He helped create the Hibernian Cricket Club - a sporting Club that went on to become the most successful EVER in the Hay and District Cricket Association.
He started playing basketball, and wanted to get involved in football - Luckily he chose the Magpies to put his energy into.
With the Magpies, he developed into a ‘no nonsense’ style of winger, possessing plenty of pace, a fear of nothing, and a Kamikaze running style, close to the ground which made him a very hard target to stop.
His knees were up around his ears, and he was a hard as nails after his "jungle training'
He was continually able to make busts up the flanks, and punish any winger that dared to attempt to tackle him high, or make a straight charge at him in attack.
Jim didn’t get to play as many first grade games as his talent should have allowed – there were some pretty good wingers around the Club at the time – but that didn’t deter him, as he just wanted to be involved.
When you consider Jim has “Curtis bloodlines’ it is easy to understand why he was always going to be a handy player.
However, it was Jim’s fantastic work as an administrator and later as a supporter that really showed his value to the Club.
He was a perennial winner of the Magpies “Clubman of the Year”, winning the prestigious Award year after year for his outstanding efforts off the field ‘working for the Club’.
He has held every position on the committee from President down to committeeman, he is a Life Member (of course) and just a couple of season’s ago, was Presented with the Club’s No 1 membership for season 2009.
Jim and wife Sue, worked together for the Club on the committee for a long period of time, Sue taking on the Treasurer’s job, and holding it for several years – along with the late Gwenda Neill who was Club Secretary.
At the time, Sue and Gwenda were the first FEMALE administrators to hold executive positions in the then male dominated Club scene in Country Rugby League.
This ‘unusual’ circumstance at the time, featured in a story in the popular Rugby League publication “Rugby League Week”.
Sue and Gwenda were ‘trendsetters’ Well ahead of their time in League administration. Now, if it wasn’t for women administrators, there probably would be little sport played in Country areas.
Sue became involved because of Jimmy’s involvement. He goes out of his way to make ‘newcomers’ to the town aware of the ideals of the Magpies Club, and the ‘fun’ it generates by being a player, a member, or just a spectator.
His cheering and barracking FOR the Magpies (especially in the Grandstand at the Park Oval is legendary.
His MMmmmmmmmmmmmm Magggggggpies call to the Hay team has inspired the side to win games it probably was entitled to lose.
He never barracks AGAINST opponents, only for HAY and that makes a big difference.
He delights in challenging opposition supporters to support their team, and Sunday at the Park Oval is a ‘fun place’ to be when Harry is in action.
He has been crook for the past couple of seasons, and his visits to the Park have been few and far between…but we all know how much he loves the Club, and how much he would be missing his involvement.
The Magpies look to be building up into fielding a fairly handy side for the 2013 season. All the Club’s players, officials and supporters are hoping Jim and Sue can make their way over to the Park to see his beloved Mmmmmmagpies in action, and on the end of a few ‘winning results’.
If you asked Jim, he would tell you that winning is secondary to seeing the Magpies giving their all everytime they take the field. Winning would be - and is - always a bonus.
I reckon also if you asked Jim his favourite players in Magpies colours since the move to Group 20 – his answer would be Matt (Beaver) Price and the Thunderbolt Semisi Bale. He loved watching them play…
Well done Harry, you are a legend and a much loved figure of the Hay Magpies history.
Good things don’t just happen, people like Jimmy Little make them happen.