Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) and the entire industry throughout the State, is saddened to learn today of the passing of Graham ‘Buck’ Rogers.
While most would know Buck from his life in rugby league, he was a lover of greyhound racing and particularly his local club at Richmond.
“Buck’s involvement goes back as long as I can remember as an owner and a trainer,” GRNSW Chief Operating Officer and former Richmond Race Club General Manager, Wayne Billett recalled. “Buck truly loved to go to the country carnivals. If there was a carnival somewhere, he would be taking his dogs and heading there.
“He knew the importance of supporting country clubs and always did, as well as being a tremendous supporter of the Richmond club.
“Buck was always there, he was just one of those blokes who always helped out and was a highly respected individual in our industry.”
In 2016, after the sad passing of his daughter Lee Anne who had played for the club, Buck decided that the Londonderry Greys Junior Rugby League Club needed to be revived. Through his hard work - after more than two decades of non-existence – the club was reborn, and Buck would coach the A Grade side.
Buck’s mother Dot was a pioneer of women in rugby league, playing for the Bells of St Marys and captaining NSW in the first representative game between NSW and Queensland in 1956, a match which was refereed by legendary South Sydney fullback Clive Churchill.
Buck’s own football career began in the Balmain area, where his first coach Norm ‘Latchem’ Robinson. His family moved to St Marys where he played senior grade football before heading bush to play for many clubs including those in Cooma, Queanbeyan, Gulgong, Bundaberg and Ayr.
Buck coached lower grades at PENRITH and Canberra under legendary coaches Tim Sheens and Phil Gould, and narrowly missed out on the top job at South Sydney in the mid-1990s.
He did coach two games in first grade, one with Canberra in 1991 when Sheens was in camp with the NSW State of Origin team. That day he coached against Phil Gould’s PENRITH team and collected the victory, 20-0.
The following year at PENRITH, he was stand-in coach for the Panthers’ last game of the season on the Gold Coast when Gould was stuck in Sydney with a middle ear infection.
The Gold Coast Seagulls caused a major upset beating PENRITH 12-8 in what would be the last game ever played by Wally Lewis.
During his time coaching, Buck worked with some of the greats of the game, particularly during the golden era at the Raiders, the likes of Ricky Stuart, Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley, Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy, and the man he rated the best, Bradley Clyde.
GRNSW would like to pass on its sincere condolences to Buck’s family and many friends throughout the greyhound industry.