Sea Eagle great Max Krilich says it's not that hard to love Manly and gives his 10 best reasons.
That loving feeling: Then Manly skipper Max Krilich and Sea Eagles hard man Terry Randall celebrate another win at Fortress Brookvale Source: The Daily Telegraph
IT was a horrible night; teeming cats and dogs. All the grounds were closed, some roads, too, thanks to the flash floods.
But still I jumped on the bus and took myself to Brookvale Oval to train with the under-16s Manly side.
I was the only one person who turned up, so bad were the conditions. When I got home, after another 30-minute bus ride, my mum frowned and asked me why I had gone.
"Because I love Manly, mum" I said. "I love the Sea Eagles. And I will do whatever it takes to one day put that jersey on."
A lot of people hate Manly, but there can only be hate when there is love. And here are the 10 reasons why I love the Sea Eagles. The reasons why the rest of Sydney should also love the club as it attempts to fend off the foreign raiders and win the premiership for Sydney.
1. Rex Mossop
THEY called him the "Moose" and Mossop was the reason I first fell in love with the Sea Eagles. Standing on the hill at Brookvale Oval as an 11-year-old, I was in awe of his strength, will and determination.
These were traits he carried with him for the rest of his life.
Many fans, not just Manly fans, also came to admire the Moose during his reign as a rugby league caller.
2. Brookvale Oval
WHAT a ground. It is hard for any fan, not just a Sea Eagle, to deny they love this place.
Their is nowhere else in the league where you can go and roll in the mud on the hill on a wet day and have your heroes just metres away.
3. 'Crusher' Cleal
THIS genial giant exposed Sydney to the fine art of pig hunting for the first time.
He also showed a man could still be good looking with a Ned Kelly beard.
4. The feuds
MOST people hate Manly because of the Silvertail and Fibros rivalry but it is also a reason to love the Sea Eagles. The publicity and passion the game has got out of this club for the so-called feuds and hate has really put our game on the map.
When I was a player, there was nothing I loved better than hearing the boos. I used to love it when they gave it to me.
5. Fred Jones
JONES was the hooker before me and he was called the Clark Gable of rugby league. Manly were the first team to give the rugby league pin-up boy a go. He was a character and played nearly 300 games.
6. Ken Arthurson
A MAN that gave so much to rugby league. He was the first of the modern administrators and was at the forefront of taking our game into the next era. Ken and Peter Moore took us to where we needed to be. We would still be in the Dark Ages without him.
7. Bob Fulton
BOB was one of the great entertainers - like Billy Slater is today, He gave rugby league fans so much entertainment on the field. I wish he would stop the dribble on the radio with Ray Hadley though - that's not entertaining.
8. The morals
MANLY have always stood up for what they believe in and what is good for rugby league. Every fan would respect the club for fighting for the game's good.
9. Malcolm Reilly
HE was one of the great players and we weren't afraid to bring him to Australia. It was a big move and something that gave people a lot of joy.
10. Terry Randall
ONE of the fiercest players rugby league has seen. Any one who watched him play would have been in awe of his uncompromising toughness. A bloke who really put his body on the line. He made a couple of the best tackles of all time.