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15 June 2012

Goodna Rugby League legend Ray Jorgensen a huge loss

Ray Jorgensen accepts the 1969 IRL premiership trophy,
Goodna’s first, following the grand final win against RAAF.
 

GOODNA Rugby League's centenary year has brought a concentrated focus on the club's proud history.

Unfortunately, another page of that history turned on Sunday with the passing of club legend Ray Jorgensen.

Jorgensen, who was 67, helped lay the foundations for much of the club's subsequent success.

He captained Goodna to its first IRL A grade premiership in 1969, took over as coach for the following two seasons and was named in the Goodna team of the century in 2008.

Before coming to Goodna as a senior player, Jorgensen played for Brothers, winning the A grade title with them in 1967.

When his playing and coaching days were over, Jorgensen and wife Lorraine continued to support the Goodna club and the Ipswich Rugby League.

Jorgensen took on the IRL presidency between 2001-03 following Mark Boettcher's first stint in the chair and before his second stint.

"He was on the IRL board when I was there and took over from him," Boettcher said.

"He had his heart and soul in rugby league and the Ipswich Rugby League.

"He was a Goodna man and had a lot to do with the club.

"When he and his wife came to the IRL, they put their heart and soul into it."

Goodna Old Boys vice-president John Lowry played under Jorgensen when he coached Goodna and the two were life-long friends.

"He was a no-nonsense sort of player," Lowry said of Jorgensen.

"A raw-boned type front-rower.

"He played a lot of rep footy in the back-row.

"He's certainly one of our favourite sons down our way."

Jorgensen represented Ipswich in the Bulimba Cup and played against the touring Great Britain team one season.

Jorgensen was not far from state selection either, once being chosen on the bench for a state trial, before getting an unexpected promotion.

Back then selection was based on a trial between the incumbent Queensland side and The Rest trying to take their places.

"Ray had made The Rest team as a reserve," Lowry recalled.

"On the morning of the match, one of the Queensland team pulled out so Ray took his spot.

"I went to watch the game and walked through the gate to see him run 50m to score under the posts."

Behind the posts at the clubhouse end of Richardson Park was where Jorgensen would watch the Goodna Eagles go round in recent years.

It was there club president Gary Parker knew he could find him for advice.

"Ray was well respected by all," Parker said.

"If I ever wanted advice about the club, I could go and talk to him. He was ahead of his time recognising some of the issues we have to deal with now."

Ray Jorgensen is survived by daughters Cathy, Raylene and Missy.


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