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Doug Daley

After coming to Manly from Alstonville on the North Coast of NSW, second rower Doug Daley played seven seasons for Manly from 1955 to 1961 before pursuing a career in administration. He was Manly treasurer from 1969-84 and was made club secretary following the death of John Tennison in 1985. While the club won one premiership in Daley:s time as Chief Executive (1987), he had to oversee the troublesome 1989 season that led to the sacking of coach Alan Thompson and the departure of captain Paul Vautin. Daley resigned at the end of 1992 due to heath reasons and was replaced by Frank Stanton. He passed away in 1994 after losing a battle against cancer. [W&H 2002, p. 125]

A Tribute to Doug Daley by Ken Arthurson:

"Doug Daley was a very special pal. In 1994 I was to deliver the eulogy at Doug's funeral after his tragic, painful death. I remember Doug from way back, remember his first trial with the club in 1956*-a chunky bloke in a red and black striped jumper, playing with great vigour.

I commented to my co-selectors, 'Who is this bloke? ... he sure is having a go.' After the match I introduced myself to him. 'What's you name?' I asked.

'Oh,' said self-effacing Doug. 'You wouldn't know me. I'm Doug Daley, just a little battler from the bush.'

Doug duly signed with Manly, and went on to play 139 games with distinction in the maroon and white strip and prove himself to be one of the gamest footballers in the club's history. Doug, a second rower, played stones above his weight. Often he would take a terrific battering and I can remember saying to him a number of times at halftime in matches: 'Doug, are you OK?'

The answer would always be the same, 'Yeah . . . I'm as fit as a mallee bull!'

Being a city bloke I was never quite sure what a mallee bull was . . . but if they are anything like Doug Daley, then they are a brave beast indeed.

Doug became a great administrator with the club-as treasurer, then secretary (1985-92). We were the closest of friends and I still miss him badly. He went through a very traumatic period with the club in the late 1980s when Paul Vautin, such an immensely popular player, was in dispute, and coach Alan Thompson under huge pressure. Doug bore the brunt of most of the flak that was flying-and there was plenty of that. He was nature's gentleman Doug, and all the aggravation at that time sat heavily on him. He had been so proud a couple of years earlier when his son Phil won a place on the 1986 Kangaroos. Doug and his wife Gloria went to England and I was there too; I'll never forget the look of pride on their faces when Phil ran out for the first time in the green and gold.

When he contracted bowel cancer we watched Doug fade away before our eyes. It was so sad-he'd been such a fit, healthy, happy bloke. One of life's good fellows."

[From Athurson 1997, pp 162-163.]

*I have been told that this is an error and that Doug played in his first 1st grade match in the 1955 round 1 24- 26 loss to Balmain at Leichhardt.

With Bob Fulton at the 1987 Grand Final.