Farewell to a Nelson Bay league legend, Bob Heydon

The Nelson Bay rugby league community is mourning the loss of former player, coach, club president and committee man Bob Heydon.

Heydon had a stellar rugby league career, playing in the toughest position on the field at hooker in an era when every scrum was a brutal contest. He started his playing career as a Balmain junior and played grade with the strong Ryde-Eastwood club.

He moved to Boat Harbour in the mid-70s, playing with the Bay in 1977. The Reg Toby-coached side won the premiership the following year with Heydon as captain. He won the premiership with West in 1980, and coached the club's third grade team to victory on the same day.

He returned to the Bay as coach and made the grand finals in 1982-83 with a win and a loss record. Heydon returned to coach in 1988 when the Bay made history with a rare double A and B-grade premiership. He gave back to the game and joined the Sharks committee and was president in 2000.

In recent years, Heydon's health declined. He died on October 25 aged 73.

Heydon's funeral will be held in the north chapel of Newcastle Memorial Park in Beresfield from 10am on Friday, November 1.