Rugby League



Matt McCoy – The Real McCoy of Rugby League



Matt McCoy (The Authentic Rugby League Legend)

The newspapers have said of Matt McCoy that:

“Matt was the greatest player ever,… the Real McCoy of Rugby League…”

In the Australian Sport World of champions; it is reported in “The Morning Bulletin” Newspapers, November 30 2007:

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Born on December 20th, 1923 to Matthew Phillip McCoy and Olive Ada Hill in Walumla NSW Australia. Matt left school at age 14 as there was no high school in the area at the time.

Matt enlisted in the Australian Army in 1943 to defend our freedom in the Second World War and was assigned to the Australia’s Last Line of Defence, serving in the 9th Anti – Aircraft battery in Darwin. Matt was a gunner, firing on the Japanese reconnaissance flights. The 9th Anti – Aircraft Unit saw heavy combat. Matt received a serious injury to his left eye, knocking his eye completely out of its socket, which later left him blind in that eye. In the Army he also played Rugby League for 4 ½ years.

Despite his injury Matt McCoy returned from the War and became undoubtedly the best center ever to be produced by the Australian Rugby League. Statistically he is arguably the best player to ever take the pitch in professional Rugby League.

In 1949 during the Australia vs New Zealand match, Matt McCoy scored the winning try for Australia by making an amazing 50 yard sprint to the line that stunned spectators and players alike. This play earned him the title of “McCoy War Hero” from “Rugby League Weekly even 56 years later in April 2005”.

Hero’s are made with a single play, but true legends are molded over careers and their statistics stand as a testimony to their greatness. Matt McCoy is one of those legends.
Matt McCoy taught:

“Love it when it hurts,
Press Harder When it hurts,
When you are getting tired,
the others are getting more fatigued,
So Press Harder,
Stick in there and Never Give Up…”

Matt McCoy was known as a Real CHAMPION in so many areas of life. In the Rugby League arena, which is considered the “Toughest Sport in the World” Matt McCoy was an all time superstar.

The Australian Prime Minister; John Howard was a knowledgeable fan of Rugby League and avid supporter of St George and was one of the many known to have said:

“Matt McCoy was one of the Greatest to Ever Play the Game…”

Matt McCoy was Awarded with The Australian Sports Medal in recognition for his service to Rugby League for The Australian Government – the Governor General – Government House:


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The St. George Dragons are one of the most famous rugby clubs in the world and Matt McCoy is immortalized in “larger than life” with Matt McCoy, “One of the 15 Legends of St George ” features in the: “Walk of The Legends” at the entrance to St Georges Jubilee Oval.


The 15 Legends of St George Rugby League: Matt McCoy in the Centre.

• From 1948 – 1952 Matt was the star of the St George Dragons scoring 26 tries over 65 matches, plus his sensational goal tally, and setting up his outside Wingers to score tries like never seen before in the game. Matt McCoy was the Highest Point Scorer in Australia and for St George that year with 258 points for the 1949 season.  Note: the “Tries” (touch-down) were only 3 points back then.

Matt McCoy was the Greatest Player in Australia in 1949 – 50 but injured his knee:


Many considered Matt McCoy the Greatest Rugby League Player in the World:


• Matt McCoy was honoured as: “Australia’s ANZAC Day Hero”  at the ANZAC Day Test between Australia and New Zealand in 2005 at Suncorp Stadium, to honour him  for winning the ANZAC Test in 1949, when he ran 50 metres to score the “Amazing Winning Try for Australia” in the Last Test. Matt McCoy -Top Point Scorer for Australia on their NZ Tour:



CHAMPION COACH: In 1947 even in his first year in charge as a young Captain Coach he lead his Bega team to win the South Coast Rugby League Premiership. Also broke a World Record in the process. Matt led his team to be the first team in Rugby League History and we believe the first team in ANY code of football in the world to have: “Every Member of The Team Score Points in The Same Game.
* All 13 players in Matt’s team score a try or kicked a goal. Sensational, it has never happened since.

• Matt was sidelined from International Rugby League in 1950 with a serious knee injury and doctors said: “Matt will never play again…”. But McCoy’s determination and never give up attitude saw him exercise his knee to get his leg stronger than the other leg, and Matt went on to played another 2 years with St. George. When Matt injured his leg knee he was expected to represent Australia against England. The English feared Matt as “their biggest threat to their Rugby League supremacy. …” Matt was “more talked about and better known then Australia’s Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition …“

• After 1951 when Matt left St George to take on higher paying offers as a Player, Captain Coach, until 1960 when he retired from Rugby League. Matt experienced success after success; winning Grand Finals in the Clubs he coached year after year.

• Matt McCoy retired from Captain Coaching at the age of 37 after scoring 30 points in the Grand Final to lead his Fitzroy team to come from the under dogs to win 78 to 9.

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In 2008, the 100 Year Anniversary of Rugby League in Australia, they chose the Greatest Players in the 100 year History of Game.  Matt’s son Douglas was honoured to receive the award for his legendary father, when Matt McCoy was listed in the “Team of The Century” for Central Queensland and named as the “Centre of the Century”.

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Matt’s Two Sons:

• Matt had two sons that played for St George Rugby Union Douglas and Matthew.

Matthew McCoy, Matt McCoy, Douglas McCoy at St George Rugby League Reunion, at St George Leagues Club.

Matt was an terriffic example of a Life Wel Lived

The Living Legend; Matt McCoy passed away on February 20, 2007 the same day Doug’s son Rhys was born. Matt has moved on to achieve even greater accomplishments’ in the next life. His son Doug, like his other children; Carol and Matthew have learned so much about how to think and act like a winner from their amazing father, who was one of Australia’s Greatest Athletes, Coaches and men. Matt McCoy was a man that achieved so much, but at the same time was so modest about his achievements. A truly incredible man with an outstanding life.

NOTE: Look in The Real McCoy of Cricket section.

Matt set up the Cambrdge Cricket Club to keep the kids of the street and coached them how to play cricket. Matt and his family were the Guests of Honour at their reunion to celebrate the young team he started – after their 13 year in a row of winning the Cricket GRAND FINAL. The kids were now men. Their mothers confessed:

“We pray each night thanking God for Matt McCoy and how he saved their boys.”

At the age of 42, Matt took up one of his childhood sports again: Cricket. In his first season, at an age he should have been well retired, Matt went in as Captain Coach and Opening Batsman and broke the: All Time Batting Record:



WOW  “The Greatest Batting Machine Ever to play in the Association…”

February 17, 1965:


The next year he broke his own record which stood for over 25 years.
Big Matt played open completion cricket with his youngest son Matthew until he was into his 70’s to keep his son interested and out of trouble as a teenager and young man. Matt son Matthew also became an excellent batsmen, bowler and cricketer.

Matt senior would usually belt the ball for boundaries of 6’s and 4’s to save himself from needing to run between the wickets at his old age, because even in his 70’s and needing two knee replacements, his reflexes were so good, the opposing teams wouldn’t allow him a runner.
In 2000, Matthew McCoy was awarded the “Australian Medal” and “Australasian Sporting Achievement Award” from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, The Prime Minister John Howard and Governor-General William Deane.
Yes, Douglas respected and learned from his amazing Superhero father who taught:

“No one ever kicks a dead dog, you have to be up and doing something to get criticised…”

and “The further up the ladder you get, the more of your bottom is showing. So if you are going to be successful you’ll have to learn to put up with criticism…”

McCoy’s are not the type that gives up, despite seemingly insurmountable odds, Matt McCoy changed direction and ReCreate Himself many times in his life.

You will discover some of the reasons Douglas McCoy has been labelled:“The ReCREATION KING” from what his father Matt McCoy has taught and lived.

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The Passing of a Legend
Matthew Phillip McCoy
20 December 1923 – 20 February 2007

By His Son Douglas McCoy

My Dad will never die!

My dad was a great but humble man and I did not know how great his successes were until I started studying his records and scrap books once we had lost him. I have cut back my comments to the bare minimum of this Great mans achievements.

I need to ask your permission to take some of your time to share just some of the successes of Matthew McCoy. People say set your goals to harmonies with what you would like people to say about you at your funeral. Matt McCoy is the best example!

– Born to Matthew Phillip McCoy & Olive Ada Hill in Walumla, South Coast NSW, Australia.
– He was the 3rd of 6 Children – 2 sisters, 3 brothers.
– Bought up on the “McCoy’s Dairy Farm” in Walumla.
– Rod a horse or sulky to school and football training.
– There was no High School — so he left school at 14.
– Shot and trapped rabbits of his farm to pay for his trip to Sydney.


Matt happily went off to fight for his country and our FREEDOM in World War II.
Matt was injured, knocked out his left eye which was hanging out on his chest.
Later in life he lost his sight in both eyes.
He was a Soldier that was honoured to fight for our freedoms:

Matt would remind us of the 1000’s of young men and women, that he referred to as his friends who gave their lives for our freedom and lifestyle we enjoy today. BUT we are giving away those freedoms they gave their lives for, with all the new made up taxes, fines, and penalties that the governments, councils and police have inflicted on our citizens. These taxes are against the Australian Constitution and all the freedoms our fathers and forefathers gave their lives for us to enjoy. He said we now have more laws, taxes and fines then Hitler had, that we fought to stay free from.
Matt was a very Proud Aussie who loved his country.



A Rugby League Legend, and at his peak was considered:
“…probably the finest in the World today…” he is one of the 15 Legends of St George Rugby League, the best known and most famous Rugby Leagues Club in the world today.

• first started at Wolumla, near Bega, on the South Coast of NSW, at the beginning of World War II.
• In the Army he played for 4 ½ years.
• Started playing in Sydney in 1944, Grahams – Eastern Suburbs, “…and registered his century of points.” – Won the Grand Final;
• So in 1945 – At the age of 21, Matt played for Eastern Suburbs Sydney City Roosters, in 1st & 2nd Grade.

Winners of the “C. C. Flowers Memorial Pennant. Club Championship 1945”
Both teams made the GF and 1st Grade WON Grand Final.

• In 1947 Matt was offered the job to be the player Captain Coach of Bega
Captain – Coached Bega to win the NSW South Coast Premiership.


Headlines read: “McCOY’S HUGE TALLY” : of 17 Tries and 33 Goals being 117 points in just 12 competition games (or 134 with today’s points scoring), “a really remarkable average.” Of 10 Points a Game.

  • Matt won selection to represent NSW Country against Sydney in 1947, where he was spotted by the St George selectors.
  • McCoy’s brilliant career with St George began in 1948.  “He did not kick … (much that) season, when he played with an ankle strapped.”
  • I found out reading news clippings on the wall at the West Tigers Club:  Dad was Captain in the 1948 Grand Final – which they just lost to give Balmain what they considered as their “Greatest Moment Ever.”43
  • “They used to call him “The Big Fellow” at St George even though they had tall players like 6ft 3 ½ ins Ron Roberts came from Newcastle in 1949.
  • In the 1949 Grand Final – In front of a rowdy crowd of 56,532, just before half time Matt dragged ‘The Little Master’, Clive Churchill, the Australian Captain, across the line and scored plus his goals, help defeat South Sydney to Win the Grand Final.


  • Gordon Johnston, at the age of 78 said:-  “Your dad almost beat us himself.  I was a South’s supporter and I was there at the game.”

St George paid the Highest Bonus in the history of Rugby League in 1949, with his bonus of over 300 pounds Matt paid cash for his 1 acre block of land in Blakehurst, Sydney to build a family home.  * So in perspective what bonus would you need to be paid to pay cash for your land in Sydney today?


  • Daily Mirror wrote July 23, 1949“McCoy is the ideal Centre.”  “He is in fact the outstanding centre Rugby League has had for years.”     “A Big powerful runner, he penetrates the defense every time he gets the ball.”  
  • Sunday Herald July 16 Headlines read:


MAT McCOY, who scored all 17 points for St George … against West’s.

  • Matt McCoy was the Highest Point Scorer in Australia and for St George that year with 258 points for the 1949 season.
  • Matt’s positional play ability to straighten a movement and just run over his opponents won him Interstate Honours being selected for NSW and also in The Australia Team.


1949 Matt kicked nearly 100 Goals for the Season.

Dad represented City against his Country cousins in “The Washout” at the Sports Ground, (we now know as “Aussie Stadium”).   “..McCoy scored 14 points of the total of 23…”

This was a game the Headlines called:


“McCoy’s Amazing Goals With Wet Ball Against Country”

“Playing on a water-logged field in rain driven by fierce winds.”

“Mat McCoy, St Georges 14 stone centre, gave a phenomenal exhibition of goal-kicking in the wet”.

“…in Blinding storm… the uncanny goal-kicking of Matt McCoy …who from 9 attempts kicked 7 excellent goals.”

“It was trilling to see the big fellow set the ball in a splash of mud for the kick,

“On yesterdays display McCoy must surely be:


With headlines:

“Real McCoy With Boot”  and


When I was 19, “25 YEARS AGO TODAY” articles were showing up in the 2 Sydney newspapers;


Daily Telegraph; SPORTIFACTS printed;

“MATT McCOY kicked 7 Goals from 9 attempts in Heavy driving rain on a water-logged field and earned

A “TRIBUTE FROM THE “MASTER”!  From the celebrated Rugby League’s pioneer, DAILY MESSENGER, for: “THE BEST GOAL-KICKING” he had ever seen”!

Doug McCoy only kicked for his team at the Sydney Cricket Ground once when Doug kicked 100% – 4 goals out of 4 attempts:  Doug would joke with him famous Goal Kicking Father, saying:  “I have a better goal kicking average then you at the Sydney Cricket Ground.”   Which was only said in jest, considering recent “25 Years Ago Today” articles in the newspaper about his dad Matt:



Matt’s Most Outstanding Goal Kick for “Guinness Book of Records”;    – Eastern Suburbs during / war, he kicked a Penalty Goal from his own 25 yard line.


“The Longest Place Kick in History” in completion – 75 meters Goal Kick.

In Matt’s typical humble way he justified this sensational 75 yard goal by saying:  “Well there was a howling wind behind me, so I thought I would have a go at it.”   

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  • 1949 – Represented NSW in their 33 – 3 defeat of Queensland, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, McCoy was Man of The Match scoring 15 of NSW’s points. 
  • 1949 High – point scorer for NSW against Queensland. 
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  • Like Darren Lockyer did 2006, Matt became the “Anzac Day Hero” in 1949 when Headlines read:


AUCKLAND, Saturday, —  A try by McCoy, after a 50 yards run late in the second half, today enabled Australia to beat New Zealand 13 -10 …”  “…6 minutes from full-time on the Anzac Day Test victory.  Back in 1949.

 “Australia’s ANZAC Day Hero”  –  the “Amazing Winning Try for Australia”    in the Last Test.

 Matt McCoy – Top Point Scorer for Australia on their NZ Tour :

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This was so spectacular that 56 Years after his achievement;  Matt was honoured in 2005 as: “Australia’s ANZAC Day Hero”  at the ANZAC Day Test at Suncorp Stadium (“Lang Park”), to honour him  for winning the ANZAC Test in 1949, when he ran 50 metres to score the “Amazing Winning Try for Australia” in the Last Test. by the ARL – Australian Rugby League picked Matt and his family up in limo’s to Brisbane  – Australian and New Zealand Teams.

Matt was honoured as the VIP Guest on stage: “McCoy War Hero”, as he stood for the National Anthem to be song at this Anzac Day Test.

The Headlines / Cover of  “Rugby League Weekly” Anzac Day edition 2005 read:

“Matt McCoy Test match war hero”


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Matt McCoy is the example “World Famous Athlete” used in this English newspaper as the example of the most talked about Australian athlete in England at the time, and Matt was quoted as a better ambassador for Australia then the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.

English newspapers including this one headed:

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  • Many teenagers including Garry Carden were great admirers of Matt. Garry became the Fitness Coach and Trainer for Canterbury Bulldogs.
  • When Bishop at Bankstown Matt helped the young men form a Church Rugby Union Team to play in the Colts – Under 20 Sydney competition – Matt had never played Rugby Union, neither had his team.  One of the player was Ralph Hannett who’s son is Ben Hannett.
  • Ben Hannett has played with Cantaberry, Bronco’s to help them win Grand Final, Played for Queensland and Australia was their Prop for several years.

    THE BEST         

  • In 1948 — early ’50, before injuring L knee
  •  Matt McCoy was considered the finest Rugby League Player in The World with news articles like this Headlines of the Daily Mirror April 1950 stated:

               “Rugby League Shock” 


     Mat McCoy, Australia’s greatest Rugby League footballer, will most likely be unable to play against England in the Tests, and there is a strong possibility he may not even play this season at all in club games with St. George.

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The Mighty Johnny Raper

This assertion has been told to me all my life from those that watch Rugby League, including The Mighty Legend Johnny Raper himself who is an “Immortal” of the game and considered one of the greatest in the history of Rugby League.


At a St George Reunion Johnny Raper sat me down at a table with all the greats of St George.  I felt like the young boy with wise men.

Johnny said:

“Your dad was the greatest ever.”  “He was the best Centre we’ve ever had: “Take Matt McCoy out of the St George team and they wouldn’t have won.     Yet take (“Puff – the Mighty Dragon” himself,) Reg Gasnier, out of the team that won 11 years in a row and St George would still win.  As we did one year;  Gasnier was injured and I took his place and I’d never played centre before and we still won the Grand Final.  Your dad was the Greatest Ever.”

  • Johnny Raper explained:  This proved to be true, in 1950 when Matt tore the ligament in his knee and some doctors were saying:

“he may never play again”.  “Matt’s injury kept him out of most of the 1950 season and St George the Raining Premiers never even made The Final 4, even though they had a better team that year.”


While I was at school, my Deputy Head Master and many teaches and people I met would tell me about how they saw my dad know out Bumper Farrell – The Captain of Newtown, the huge front rower Bomber Farrell, who had the reputation of: “The Toughest Man in Rugby League.”

Matt had missing most of the 1950 season after his last game against Newtown.  The Newtown players attacked his leg and tour the ligaments and Doctors said he will never play again.   Matt missed representing Australia against England.


Bumber Farrell was a huge mean forward who had bitten off the Ear of a St George forward McRitchy the earlier season.  Bumper was the Police Sergeant of Kings Cross

First game back after missing most of the season. Matt had scored 13 of St Georges 19 points against Newtown, before he was sent off:

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This was the only time Matt was ever sent off in a game.  Matt said:  “It wasn’t worth it, I missed a Representative games and club games.” 



On Matt McCoy’s “Walk of the Legends”; monument at St George’s Jubilee Oval

 Matt is called “KILLER McCOY”.

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  • In 1951 Matt got his knee right to represented NSW against Qld.


**Most footballers, even the greatest, would play out their whole careers without winning a Grand Final.   Matt McCoy won Grand Finals and Tests with whatever team he played with.

  • Matt McCoy was a True Winner –

He always thought there has to be a winner – so he believed he (Matt McCoy’s) should win.

The Newspapers did an article on: “Matt McCoy the Legend” and summarized his incredibly successful career of WINNING Grand Finals no matter what team he played with or Player Coached:



  • Since St George thought McCoy’s injured knee would stop his football career and Matt had just had a new baby girl, “Carol”.  The St George officials thought that Matt would stay on less money, but the Rugby League Clubs refused to let Matt retire.

So Matt accepted more lucrative Player – Coaching offers from around the country to become a Player – Captain – Coach, which he did for the rest of his Rugby League career.

  • Arncliffe Scott – Captain – Coach – A Grade Premiers in 1953, won 18 out of 20 games.
  • 1954 and 1957 As Captain – Coach he lead O’ld’s Rockhampton Fitzroys Club to a 19 -11 Premiership Winner; as he scored 9 of the points.86

1957  Headlines Read:          “Mat McCoy is Going Strong”

“Mat McCoy is still a powerful force on the football field, as his efforts in the Rugby League Grand Final at Rockhampton will show.”

“Mat led Fitzroys against , the favourites;  Mat’s fast-moving side ran its opponents into ragged impotence, and ran up 78 points to 9.”

McCoy “… was responsible for 30 of these…”  to win the Premiership.

  • McCoy selected in a Central Queensland side to play Great Britain –  Rockhampton in 1954 – England won 21 – 12  Matt scored half of Australia’s points.
  • 1955 – 1956 – Captain – Coach of Leeton, in the Riverina

Matt’s son Douglas McCoy was born on 2 Sept 1956, Matt’s Father’s Day present.  Doug was born while Matt was playing the Grand Final against Wagga Wagga.  Matt played a blinder.

  • 1958 – Captain – Coach of Rockhampton Brothers
  • A combined Central QLD team played the French team.  Two Frenchman held Matt while another Frenchmen can in and punched Matt and broke his nose.
  • Tom Goodman; the Sports Writer wrote:

“Mat mixed a little golf, cricket, and tennis, with his football.  But he doesn’t rush to tell you about his handicap, or anything about himself.  

Out at St George they know him as one of those “strong, silent fellows”  —  and they like him for it.”

  • Last club – 1959 Townsville:   Captain – Coach


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At Australian Reunion’s with the old Aussie, Britain and New Zealand champions of the past, plus also at the St George Reunion, that I went to with my dad, I was  astounded. These incredible champion who had represented the strongest Rugby League Countries of the world, these best players to ever, would talk to my dad and or to me and make comments like:

  • “Your dad would just run right over me…”
  • “Your dad was the toughest man I ever played against.”
  • “I’ll never forget, your dad hit me the hardest I have ever been hit in my life…”   (As his son, I can relate to that – I just wish – stories).
  • “Matt was a true gentleman on and off the field.”
  • “Your dad just through me like a rag doll…”

Neville Callaghan  –who had a Grand Stand erected and name in his honor at the Browne Park – Rugby League Club of “Comets”.

  • Nev said:  “Matt was the greatest man ever!”
  • Nev tells the story: One day Matt said, “I want you to play on the wing. 

Nev:  “Matt, I have never played wing in my life, I don’t have a clue what to do.  I can’t play on the wing.”

Matt said: “Nev, you can play anywhere.  You get out there on the wing and I’ll look after you.”

Nev:  Matt set me up for 5 tries.  I never scored tries; I was a front rower forward. Matt set me up for try after try.”

  • A Big 6’4” to 6’5” ex-footballer said my hands were nowhere near as big as Matt’s hand.  “Matt hands were the biggest hands I have seen.”
  • He said:  “The worst thing I ever did in my life was palm off Matt McCoy, who was off balance at the time.  The next time I got the ball, he pulverized me, he put me into so much pain and every time I got the ball he flattened me.  I was never in so much pain in my whole life.”
  • Sugar Ray Robinson from the Team of The Century – Central Queensland said:  “Everyone hated to play against Matt, he would hurt us. Whenever he tackled us or we tackled him we would get away from him as fast as we could because he hurt us.  But I loved to play against Matt, because I would learn so much from Matt each time I played against him.” 


One of his favourite The Great Legend and International Winger; Noel Pitting said:

“Playing outside Matt McCoy was like sitting in an armchair, when he finally hit you with the ball, the pass was right on your chest and I just had to run to the line.”

Each winger that played outside Matt had similar stories.  His St George wingers that played outside Matt became the Australia wingers, because they were the highest try scoring wingers in the competition.


  • “UNSELFISH”:  “Matt McCoy, St George centre is one of the game’s most unselfish players, but when he sees that none of his supports has a chance for a try he goes through for it himself.”  “He did it twice against North Sydney on Saturday.”


During the 1960’s St George introduced a new motivation idea to get the team worked up, fired up and ready to fight when they went ran on.  The team would slap each other in the face.   Huge Norm Proven the historic Captain for 12 year dominancy in Rugby League competition said:  

“Who would be game enough to try this with Big Matt McCoy?”

  • Matt played in a combine Sydney Team that beat the British Team.

The Greatest St George Team

 “FACER’S TOP SAINTS” and “The Sun”

on Sept 18, 1975 – announced the Greatest St George Team ever (from 1947 –  1975)  Matt McCoy and the Might Dragon Reg Gasnier were named as the Centers combination. Matt was the ONLY player before 1956 included in the Greatest Team.



In sports, Matt was a Champion Rugby League Star, became a Cricketing Star and Matt also did Boxing while he was in the Army, and could have been The World Champion Boxer according to this news report and statements included from the Newtown player that witness the almighty punch:  


Most people used to have one or two careers in their life:

Matt always like learning and challenges.

  • After retirement from Rugby League
  • Became a publican at Pambula – South Coast NSW
  • Set up Pambula Boys Cricket Club which is still going.
  • Set up Pambula Darts Cub (to stop the Youth Drinking so much at Hotel)
  • Mixed Business Shop at Cambridge Park –  to keep the boy’s off the street
  • Set up Cambridge Park Cricket Club which is still going.  When they Won the Cricket Grand Final some 11 years in a row the Team invited Dad to thank him and celebrate for all he did.

One mother told Matt’s wife Joan:  All the Mothers will tell you; “There isn’t a night that goes by that we do not thank God for Matt McCoy.”

“Because Matt McCoy has saved our boys.”


THE Real McCoy of Cricket

15 years after being named the Finest RL player in the World, Matt put together a church cricket team.


Newspaper Headlines Started again:


 “He gained the award for becoming the Highest – Scoring Batsman…”


1st year in Sydney Cricket completion the newspapers said 3rd Feb 1965: “Matt McCoy…became the highest scorer in any one season in any association competition.” “He took his aggregate … for the season to break Norm Sterling’s record of 944 runs set in 1951 -52 season.


­   The St George Leader said Dec 16, 1964:  “McCoy smashed 31 boundaries to partner Angus Ross in an opening record partnership of 242 runs.”   “Mat McCoy scored a brilliant 180 not out…”

­   St George Leader Feb 3, 1965:   “McCoy … totalling 1,128 runs, at an average of 75.2 and becoming the highest run-getter in the St George District.”

­   2nd year broke his own record at the age of 43.  Which has remained for over 25 years.

  • Matt’s old Head Master wrote him a letter after Matt represented Australia which said:

“I always knew you’d represent your country, but I thought it would be in cricket rather than rugby league”.


Matt left school at age 14.  but never stopped learning.

As a teenager he did a Trade as a Carpenter for a Sydney battery company.
Later he went back to Tech at nights to study and qualified as a:

­   Builder

­   Building Inspector

­   Clark of Works

­   Health Inspector

­   Meat Inspector

­   Real Estate Agent Licence.

­   Publican

­   Owner of Mixed Business – Post Master –  Petrol Station

­   Celibate

­   Minister of Religion

Once RETIRED :  Community Repair Man – to help people.


­   1960 – Matt, Joan and his two children joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with part of their teachings being to keep the Sabbath day holy, so Matt retired from his incredible lifestyle and football career, which was his employment.  Matt took on a new challenge in life.

­   Baptised in 1960.

­   Became High Priest

­   Bishop   (worked 45 hours a week in the service of others).


Matt also became a:

­   Stake Presidency (Stake like Parish)

­   Mission Presidency of Australia Sydney Mission.

­   A Teacher

** He wore his knees out Playing Football so hard, but even more so Praying for others.  Matt had two New Knees put in.


Matt McCoy was a Builder!

­   He helped build at least 3 Churches

­   Built Tanks

­   2 Houses for his daughter Carol

­   Clubs and Teams

­   Built People   —  with belief in themselves…

­   and an amazing Family with a posterity of 59 at the moment and growing…


­   Out of all achievement for most people to have a very happy marriage for 57 year, that is successful man.

­   Behind every good man is a Great Woman  — never is this truer then with Joan McCoy  — there is no woman so supportive and treats her man like a KING any more then Joan.  Matt deserved to be treated like Royalty and Joan felt honoured to carry out that role, as Joan adored Matt.  Joan was honoured to look after Matt and we all love her for it.  What an incredible woman and loyal wife and Matt honored, respected and treasured her.


Out of all of his achievements his greatest was his FAMILY.  Matt tried to model his life on this thought for his home and family:


Matt and Joan had:

­   3 children  –  Carol, Douglas and Matthew

­   25 grand children

­   35 great grand children….so far.

­   He loved and talked about his Grand Children, and Great Grand Children much more than football.


He worked on his Musical Talents and could play:

­   Guitar   — Learned when he was 38 years old

­   Piano – Learned when he was 54 years old

­   Banjo. —  Learned when he was 76 years old

­   Harmonica  –  Mouth Organ

­   Loved Singing  –   We had our own in-house “Johnny Cash” or Slim Dusty

­   Singer, Poet and Story teller.

­   Entertainer.


  • “Don’t be afraid to get out in life and give it a go.”
  • “The more you do, the more people are going to criticize you.”
  • “So remember, no one ever kicks a dead dog, you’ve got to be up and doing something to get criticized.”


  • “The further up the ladder you get, the more of your backside shows.”
  • Watch what the greats do and believe: “I can do that…”
  • Back yourself, you are good enough.


Matt was indestructible.  He died a big powerful man.

With no alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or stimulators accept his Vision and Burning Desire of what he wanted to achieve.

Matt power came from his burning desire for excellence and an incredible wife that supported his every move.  It would have been his “kryptonite” to have not had “Joannie’s” 300% support in everything he did.

Yes, behind this great man is an unbelievable life partner, my Mum, “Gran”, Joan McCoy – Matt’s wife “Joannie”.


Matt was a great example to us all of what everyone can achieve.

If a shy, young farm boy, left school at 14, with no high school education, no money with his eye knocked out at 19 in the war, can ReCreate Himself to achieve all this because he had “A Dream” and believed he could.                         He would say:   “YOU  can DO IT.”


I’ve watched Super Man, Spider Man, Zorro and Batman.  They don’t come close to the “Super Hero” I lived with and idealized, Matt McCoy.  Yes “The Real McCoy” was a real live “Super Hero” in every area of his life.  If each of us were to achieve just a small fraction of Matt McCoy’s accomplishments, they would be hugely successful in life.


Matt McCoy was not just a wonderful man, and THE WORLD’S BEST DAD, but a Real Life Super Hero Dad to go with it.  My dad will never die.  For you or others Matt was probably one of the greatest men you’ll ever be blessed to meet, but for me, he was THE Greatest Man that’s walked this earth and that I have had the amazing privilege to meet, and I know this is just the start of his Eternal Life.

He did the ultimate challenge in life; Matt Endured to the End.

Matthew McCoy’s Legend will live forever,

and remembered with great love and respect, not for his sporting achievements but for the incredible MAN he was and is.
There is no end to this man.

Matt McCoy has only just begun, this is first day of the rest of your life and Matt McCoy’s life.

The True LEGEND lives on –  The Real McCoy.

As the papers said:


Photos of The Real McCoy:








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Matthew McCoy, Matt McCoy, *Anthony Mundine, Douglas McCoy at St George Rugby League Reunion, at St George Leagues Club. *Anthony Mundine is a Champion Boxer, and ex St George Star.


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  • January 2013

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