The Sharks offer their condolences to the family and mourn the passing of Jack Danzey, a member of the inaugural Cronulla NSWRL First grade team of 1967.
Shark number 5 on the official player register, Danzey would take part in that first-ever game at the Sydney Sports Ground, a match won 11-5 by the Sharks over the Roosters, before going on to play 25 top grade games over two seasons.
Danzey, who later would become a leading referee, passed away yesterday at home aged 81.
Debuting in first grade while at Newtown in 1960, Danzey moved to the Balmain Tigers in 1962, before joining the Sharks and playing the 1967 and 1968 seasons at Cronulla, making 45 appearances in all grades for the club.
Following his playing days he would forge a successful career as a referee, controlling 170 first-grade games, including semi-finals, while also officiating two NSW-Queensland matches as well as the 1978 Amco Cup Final.
Jack retired as a referee in 1983 and subsequently went on to become Referees' Co-ordinator for the NSWRL.
All NRL Match Officials will wear black arm bands during Round 17 matches following his passing, with the Sharks seeking to do similar at this week’s match in Newcastle or at their next home game the following Sunday.
NRL Head of Football Elite Competitions Graham Annesley said Danzey was a man of great character and decency who was an enormously respected figure in the game.
“He was one of the leading referees through the 1970s and early 1980s,” Mr Annesley said. “He refereed as he lived his life, with honour, integrity and passion.
“The fact that he played the game at the highest level and then went on to be such a significant contributor as an official is testament to that love for the game.
“On behalf of the game, I’d like to extend our deepest condolences to Jack’s family.”
Despite his career involving a long period as an NRL referee and having played for three different clubs, Danzey retained a soft spot for the Sharks, gaining a lot of joy out of the Sharks premiership victory of 2016 while also a regular at club reunions and old boys functions.
The Sharks offer their deepest condolences to Jack’s wife Kay and their six children.
Born: July 9, 1939, Darlinghurst, NSW
Points: 64 (8 tries, 18 goals, 2 field goals)
FG games: 82
First Grade Debut: Newtown v Balmain at Henson Park, 18/6/1960 (Rd 11)
Clubs: Newtown 1960: Played 7. Tries 1, Goals 1, Points 5
Balmain 1962-65: Played 50. Tries 4, Goals 17, Points 46
Cronulla 1967-68: Played 25 Tries 3, Field Goals 2, Points 13
Grand Finals: 1 – Balmain 1964 (L)
Other information: Played at Narrandera 1961
NSWRL referee 1973-83 (170 first grade games)
Also controlled two interstate games (1978, 1980)