Danny O'Brien: GDHC Life Member November 2008
At the 2008 Glebe District Hockey Club Annual General Meeting held at the Toxteth Hotel Glebe, on 26 November 2008, Danny O'Brien was unanimously elected a Life Member of the Club
Danny O'Brien and the GDHC
Danny O'Brien's career with the Club started in 1969 when he played in the Under 10 team from Saint James' Catholic School Forest Lodge. Interestingly, the Founder of the Glebe District Hockey Club was an Irish Patrician Brother called Macartan Keegan who taught at Saint James. Macartan Keegan was captain coach of the first team fielded by the Club in 1931.
Danny's 1969 team was coached by Club Life Member Bill Stubbs (561 Club Games) and Victor Westacott (629 Club Games) and included Victor Ferrari, Brian Bissaker, Stephen Grelish, Peter Rizzardini, Raymond Greate, Gerard Britton, Peter McQuade, Anthony Yarnold, Martin Marshman, Max Gorbach and Milan Pletersky.
Danny won several premierships with Glebe junior teams and represented the State in the NSW Under 16 team in 1978, together with other Glebe players Mark Edwards, Colin Rochester and Craig Stubbs.
Danny progressed to the Glebe seniors in 1977. He played in the 1977 premiership winning sixth grade team captained by his Under 10 coach Bill Stubbs. Other players in this team were Craig Stubbs, Bruce Pink, Michael Gilfeather, Colin Rochester, Colin Smith, Alan Chu, Ken Wark, Graham Shirley, Bennett Dunn, Peter McQuade and Brian Bissaker.
In 1981 Danny played in the premiership winning Glebe second grade team. Players in this team were Royce Jenkins, George Manou, Colin Rochester, Craig Stubbs, Gary Wark, Danny O'Brien, Harry Wark (Jnr), Henry Lysaght, Tony Cowan, Craig McPhee, Pat Diviney, Mark Gersback and Jason Hughes.
In 1982 Danny played in the premiership winning Glebe first grade team. Players in this team were Geoff Paterson (captain), Craig Stubbs, Keith Pritchard, Ian Mutton, George Manou, Colin Rochester, Danny O'Brien, Warren "Buster" Birmingham, Henry Lysaght, Ken Wark (Jnr) and Les Wark. Once again Danny's team was coached by his former Under 10 coach Bill Stubbs. He continued to play first grade until the end of the 1989 season.
In 1990 Danny played in the premiership winning third grade team, and has won a total of 5 lower grade premierships after moving back through the grades. His last premiership was in 2004 with the fourth grade team. Players who played with Danny in the 2004 fourth grade team were Alex Crook, Dean McWhinney, Scott Howard, Tom Holyoak, Les Wark, Tim Sutton, Leo Kalisperis, Adam Farrawell, Adam Turnbull, Andrew Goodrick, Graeme Brown, David Price, Joost Dudock, Greg Evans, Nathan Dart and Colin Rochester.
It is interesting to note that Danny and Les Wark played together in the 1982 premiership winning Glebe first grade team, and played together 22 years later to win the 2004 fourth grade premiership.
As a player Danny has made a significant contribution to the Club. He has won premierships in first, second, third, fourth and sixth grades. Up until the end of the 2008 season Danny had played 575 senior games for Glebe.
As an administrator Danny has been a major contributor to Club affairs for over 25 years. He was Secretary of the Club six times, in 1982 and 1983, and from 1988-1991. At the 2008 Annual General Meeting he was elected Secretary for the 2009 season. In 1986 he was Club President and has been Club Captain on six occasions, in 1985, in 2000 and 2001, and from 2006-2008. Danny has been the only Club Member in the 78 year history of the Club to have held the three positions of President, Secretary and Club Captain. Fred Letts, another Life Member of the Club is the only person to have held the three positions of President, Secretary and Treasurer.
Danny has been a junior coach, off and on for 30 years, and in 2008 he coached the second grade women's team.
Danny is ably supported in his work for the Club by his partner Donna and her children Andrew and Kristen. On the employment front Danny working in banking for 16 years before switching to sales and marketing, where he has spent the last 11 years. Danny is a good salesman, which is why the 200 Club fund raiser organised by him in recent years, has been such a great success.
Geoff Paterson wrote in his letter to the Management Committee, recommending Danny for Life Membership:
"Danny's long time commitment to the Club and his attitude to take on positions when the Club most needed it is a fine example to other Members. His philosophy has always been to think of what he can do for the Club, and not what the Club can do for Danny.
He has been a mentor and wise counsel to many people. Danny is an efficient administrator, a tireless worker and has run the 200 CLUB fund raiser for the past two seasons. He has coached junior teams, mens teams and womens teams, and at some time or other has been involved in every facet of the Glebe District Hockey Club. Danny has been a great supporter of the Club and its Members.
I can remember in the 70's seeing Danny as a young boy sitting atop the change sheds at Federal Park Annandale watching the first grade home games on a Saturday afternoon.
Danny has become part of the folklore of the Club and deservedly earned the recognition to be inducted as the 27th Life Member of this great Club of ours."
Club Members and Supporters congratulate Danny on achieving Life Membership status. By any measure the award is justly deserved.