[Article 16700]Vale John’Snoozer’ELFORD

1947 – 2024

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Wests Heritage Number 628 (1966)

Wests Life Member 89.

Kangaroos Player # 461 (1972).

*Johns full playing record at Wests is below.

John played at Wests between 1966 and 1976.

In total John played in 115 First Grade games.

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John came down from Kempsey via Smithtown Tigers in 1966 and stayed for 10 years with the Wests Magpies.

During those 10 years John scored 14 tries. In on game Wests 26 beat Cronulla Sutherland 0 .

John scored two tries.

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Wests Team photo 1967.

With the Smithtown Tigers John played Under 18’s at the age of 13 he would play second row and when he was playing Reserve Grade John would play on the wing. John was only 16 when he made his First grade debut in 1963.

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John debut with Wests was to replace Peter Dimond.

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Some of the West’s players John played with in his 10 years at Wests.


During his time at Wests John went from a speedy, hard running and tackling winger into a very hard running, ferocious tackling Test playing second rower.

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John began his career on the wing but was later shifted to the forwards where he remained for the rest of his career.

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A great defender and a confident ball player, John represented NSW in 1972 and represented Australia on four occasions.

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He was selected to be part of the Australian World Cup side in 1972 and played in the first game against Great Britain.

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The Famous Snoozer  “don’t argue”

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John in full flight.

Injuries would continue to plague John for the latter part of his career – he missed the entire 1973 season with a broken arm – and he eventually retired in 1976.

Wests Team photo 1976 below.

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John Elford seriously broke an arm in an Amco Cup match at Queanbeyan.

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Photos of Johns very nasty scars after his many operations on his forearm.

John made the decision that his time in Sydney rugby league was over an took up an offer to Capt/Coach his old club Smithtown.

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In his first year as the Smithtown Tigers Capt/Coach John won the Group 2 comp.

The Smithtown Tigers beat Nambucca Heads.

In 1978 John took the Tigers to another Grand Final and were beaten in extra time by the Sawtell Panthers 14-13.

Les and Noel Cleal were playing for Sawtell before going down to Easts in 1980.

In John’s last year at Smithtown his Tigers were again beaten in the Grand Final this time by Macksville.

John was almost 33 years of age and his arm/hand was not getting any better so he knew it was time to hang up the boots.


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John was included in the Wests Team of the Seventies.


John played with and against many greats in his 10 seasons at Wests and John made many friendships that survived until Johns death.

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Peter Walsh, John Baker, Harry Wells, Snoozer, Jim Leis and Nathan Cole at the Men of League race day at Tuncurry.

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Snoozer, Geoff Foster and Mick Liubinskas at Lidcombe Oval.

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Tony Ford and Snoozer.

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Snoozer and Barry Glasgow.

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Snoozer tackling Ron Saddler with Barry Glasgow in the background.

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Neil Pringle, John Purcell, Don Moseley, Pat Hundy, Geoff Foster and Greg Hodge toasting John Elford at the Rainbow Bay Surf Club.

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John ‘Snoozer’ Elford RIP.




NOTE: To read John’s full biography click on this link    http://www.prattenparkmagpies.info/?page_id=1122




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