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The name game: A team with unusual or unfortunate names

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Roar Guru
18th March, 2022

Few of us get to choose our own names as it is our parents who invariably make the choice for us, sometimes without thinking long and hard enough about it, which can too often lead to a life of explanation and embarrassment.

Fortunately, it is now relatively easy to change a name that you’re not so happy with, or even if you are just trying to avoid creditors and ex-wives.

There are countless examples of unusual and unfortunate names in life, but three of my personal favourites are the former funeral director named Ben Box, the former NSW politician Richard Face, and a dentist on the NSW South Coast with the surname of Paine.

Rugby league is also awash with players saddled with names to snigger at.

Here’s a team of players whose names may have caused them some grief in their lives. Hmmm – now that reminds me of the Newcastle premiership-winning front rower named Glenn Grief!

Steeden football on the tryline

(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

1. Gary Belcher
A gas of a player for Canberra, but some of his output was not always acceptable in polite company.

2. Richard Gay
Known as Dick to his friends, he was a Castleford stalwart in the 1990s. A light-hearted and carefree chap by all reports. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

3. Charlie Woodhead
He was one of the first players to represent Queensland when league kicked off all those years ago. Not known for his tactical nouse.


4. Noel Hazzard
He played for both Australia and Queensland around the time of World War Two and was considered to be a real danger both in attack and defence.

5. Johnny Bliss
His blistering pace lead to extreme happiness for both his teammates and fans.

6. Tim Pickup
He was a wonderful Australian and NSW player who always seem to know the best lines.


7. Viv Thicknesse
He was a great little NSW country half who made it all the way to an Australian jersey despite his nominal tactical limitations.

8. Wayne Kerr (captain)
He played 14 Tests for Ireland and was known as a hands-on player from his adolescent years. There was nothing better than hearing the Irish crowd chant his name. Eventually he switched to union where he really fitted in.

9. Alan Tongue
The Canberra stalwart really had a taste for the action.

10. Glenn Lazarus
This premiership winner at multiple clubs could always rise to the occasion. Is there a chance he might just make another comeback?


(Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images)

11. Arthur Bollard
He played in North Sydney’s very first season and also represented both NSW and Australia in 1909. Once he stood his ground in defence, there was no getting past him.

12. Jack Why
Although he was a four-time premiership winner with South Sydney in the 1920s and 1930s, there was always something questionable about him.

13. Jason Death
A versatile and grafting player, he was one of the game’s few certainties.


So there we have it. Some very interesting names that should bring a smirk to the faces of any opposition.

Can you think of any others deserving a mention?