Congratulations to Joe Gush from the South Perth Lions and Steve Mills from the Kalamunda Bulldogs for being inductees into the NRLWA Hall of Fame for 2018
Joe Gush – South Perth Lions RLFC
Joe Gush started playing seniors for South Perth back in 1970 and won the Fairest and Best player award back to back in 1971 & 72. Joe captained the WA State team that toured NT in 1971 then went on to win the Premiership with South’s in 1972. Joe captain/coached South’s in 1973 and went on that year to win the flag undefeated, an achievement that has not been repeated since for the club.
Joe represented WA as a player and captain on numerous occasions, including playing the curtain raiser to Australia v England at the SCG in 1974 and the Pacific Cup in PNG in 1975. Joe also captained the WA side against the touring English team that year as well as playing in the winning grand final for South’s.
In 1978, Vic Park-Canning lured Joe away from South’s to coach their 1st grade side with immediate affect, winning the Premiership that year, followed by another Grand Final appearance in 1979.
Joe returned to South’s in 1980 and went on to coach and develop their junior teams for many years.
An outstanding career Joe and such an influence to our game in WA. Congratulations!
Steve Mills – Kalamunda Bulldogs RLFC
Steve Mills has an outstanding resume in rugby league in WA. Starting out in U16’s for the Belmont Rabbitohs back in 1971 at only 13 years old (as it was weight for age back then), Steve went on to play in junior grand finals and representative sides before making his 1st grade debut for Belmont in 1979 and continued to play for Belmont between working away.
Buying a house in the area saw Steve make the move to the Canning Bulldogs RLC in 1984. Steve started his coaching career through volunteering to coach a High School RL side (which made the grand final) whilst continuing to play for the Bulldogs. Steve followed that up with another grand final appearance for his U19’s coached side the following year.
Steve was reserve grade coach and 1st grade assistant to Ted Goodwin at Willagee in 1990 before going back to the Bulldogs the following year.
Whist continuing to coach at the Bulldogs, Steve picked up the referee’s whistle in 1991 in the junior divisions before progressing to seniors grades. Steve referred 1st grade over the next 5 years which included a curtain raiser to the Western Reds v Broncos game in 1995.
Steve became President of the Canning Bulldogs in 1998 at a time when the club was struggling to make ends meet, and helped implement a rescue package with financial backers to see the clubs successfully into the finals that year.
between 2006-2018, Steve has helped guide the Bulldogs through the transitions of changing grounds, areas and identities to the Eastern Bulldogs, Central Districts and finally the Kalamunda Bulldogs.
Steve is still President of the club today, guiding them into the next phase of success and has had such an impact over these years that it would be fair to say that the Bulldogs would be a memory in the WA Rugby League scene without him.
Well deserved Steve and congratulations on your Hall of Fame induction.