Staff Mark Graham

This is what is so sad about Rugby League. It is the hardest, most physical sport on this planet, yet legends like this are still having to do gardening/handyman/dozers etc after retirement.

I genuinely hope the international game grows over the next 20 years as they are trying to do with the US etc so that we can get some real money into this sport and let these greats go off and enjoy their retirement and rest their battered bodies in luxury.

My father in law is English and when I talk to him about what a big deal Shaun Johnson or JT getting a mil a year or luring Tomkins over for "big money" he just laughs at me and says how the local no-name juniors in the Premier League wouldn't be far from getting that sort of coin...
A good watch ' this sporting life' , kind of about that sort of thing.
 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
This is what is so sad about Rugby League. It is the hardest, most physical sport on this planet, yet legends like this are still having to do gardening/handyman/dozers etc after retirement.
At least they got paid while they played. Think of Buck Shelford who lost a testicle for SFA but pride and honour!

Thats why its so important you study while you play. School or trade. The NRL put a massive emphasis on juniors doing study or working. All Jersey Flegg players must be in study or employment to play.

No matter how good you are sooner or later you have to come back to the real world. That's just life...
 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
A good watch ' this sporting life' , kind of about that sort of thing.
As far as working after sport a good one to watch is ESPN 30 for 30 Broke. Players who get multi million dollar contracts and are broke within 5 years of retiring...
 
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Not bad with his fists either. Broke the Kings jaw in a Brisbane Club game. Mark was playing for the Devils( Norths) and Wally either for Valleys or Wynnum
 
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I remember reading about this movie before it came out. Did anyone see it?


Kiwis legend Mark Graham hopes his son's movie will change lives

David Long17:30, May 28 2016
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1531833742469.jpg

SIR PETER LEITCH
Mark Graham handing out a Kiwi jersey to Jason Taumalolo in 2014.


Kiwis legend Mark Graham hopes the movie his son, Luke, has made about the pitfalls that can befall a rugby league player will have a big impact.

Luke Graham is the producer of the movie Broke which will have its New Zealand premier in Auckland on Wednesday.

The film tells the story of how a fictional league player's life is devastated by a gambling addiction that not only affects him, but also his family.

The Problem Gambling Foundation has partnered with New Zealand Rugby League's foundation, League 4 Life for a special screening of the film and hope to raise awareness of the issue.

Graham, who played 28 games for the Kiwis, 145 for the North Sydney Bears and was coach of the Warriors between 1999 and 2000, hopes the movie will strike a chord.

"It's a really relevant movie, it's very real," Mark said from his home in Gladstone, Queensland.

"Some of it is in your face, but it's a topic that we see a fair bit of it these days.

"The story is made up, but it could be true in a lot of cases.

"Some young fellas who play football can gamble a lot of money, they think they can afford it, but they can fall into lots of traps.

"That's what's happened in the past to lots of young players.

"It was different from my time, because we didn't play for the money, we wanted to test ourselves."

Graham played professionally from 1981 to 1988 and he was named the NZRL's New Zealand's Player of the Century.

He was a player in the spotlight throughout his career but says the pressure on players these days far exceeds anything he experienced.

"They are so scrutinised," he said.

"It must be so difficult and also, that's all they do with their life, play footy. I reckon it must be overwhelming for them. I do feel for them, because they've got no other release.

"Obviously, if they're not going that good, or their team is losing, they're in a tough place."

Graham revealed his son's next movie will deal with suicide in rugby league. There have been too many examples of young New Zealand players moving to Australian clubs, struggling to deal with the pressure and taking their lives.

Suicide is also something that's affected Graham's family. In 2000, while Warriors coach, his son Matthew tragically took his own life at the age of 13.

"Our family has been touched by that ourselves, so it's a very relevant point," he said.

"I think the point of the movie is about what can happen if you make bad decisions.

"Ultimately you're responsible for them yourself, it would be nice to be able to blame someone for them, but at the end of the day it's your choices that put you in a bad place.

"You've got to stand up and take the penance for that I suppose."

Graham, 60, works for the Gladstone Ports Corporation, operating bulldozers than can push 70 tonnes of coal down a chute in a single shunt.

"I'm part of a crew that works around the clock," he said.

"I do shift work and I've hopefully got five years to go and then I'll retire to a life of golf and fishing."

He will come back to New Zealand this week for the premier, along with his son and Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney. Once he retires he hopes to visit New Zealand more often and spent more time with either rod or seven iron in his hands.

"I don't know whether I'll come back to live or not, but I'm certainly going to spend a bit of time in New Zealand in the future, doing all of those things I like to do, catch up with old mates," he said.

"When I'm back in town next week, I'll go to Otahuhu and have a chat with the footy players there. I'm still proud to have been brought up in Otahuhu."





v2
 
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New Australian movie Broke tells tale of former rugby league star who had it all – and blew it
Mike Colman, CourierMail
March 26, 2016 5:38pm
If movie-making, like comedy - and sport too for that matter - is about timing, Heath Davis has kicked a goal.
Director-writer-producer Davis, 37, has just completed Broke, a film which tells the tale of a former rugby league star who had it all – and blew it.

Filmed in Gladstone, it is about the other side of sport – the side that seems to be increasingly plastered across the front-pages of newspapers and throughout social media, culminating in the long-running Mitchell Pearce saga in recent weeks.

Pearce, as anyone who has access to the internet and a passing interest in human failings would know, has just returned to Australia after a stint in rehab at a Thai clinic.

Heath Davis could have saved him some money. A private screening of Broke would have set him straight.

Broke isn’t a rugby league movie per se. There is no team of loveable losers who make an unlikely run to the finals and snatch the premiership trophy in the last second.

In fact, the only footie action in the film is some grainy footage of Broke’s anti-hero Barry Kelly running around for the North Sydney Bears in his heyday.

It’s more about what happens after the cheering has ended. In the case of Kelly that was earlier than he’d hoped, thanks to a match-fixing scandal. He’s now a hopeless gambler and drunk with no happy ending in sight … until an old fan and his daughter take a hand.

“It’s not really a football film at all,” Davis said. “It’s about addictions and redemption. It’s a human story. It’s tough and it’s real, and it’s funny. We’ve shown it at some international film festivals and it’s worked. People love it.”

So do judges. Broke has been voted best film at the Kiwi International Film Festival and Las Vegas Independent Film Festival, and Davis has won best director in Las Vegas and New Jersey. This week he is in the heartland of English rugby league, showing the film in Manchester and speaking with Super League clubs.

Growing up in Penrith alongside the likes of future Panthers captain Craig Gower, Davis developed a love for rugby league and film-making in equal measures. After success with short films and a less successful attempt to get a big budget movie made in Hollywood he returned home with the idea of Broke – and little else.

“We didn’t have any money, but that’s not always such a bad thing,” he said. “If you spend $100 million on a film and it flops, it flops big. If you make it cheaply and it flops everyone says, ‘well what did you expect?’.”

Broke was made on a shoestring, with friends, family, footy players and the NRL Welfare and Education Program throwing some money into the pot, but there is no question of it being a “cheapie” – or flopping.

Top Australian actors such as Steve Le Marquand, Max Cullen, Claire van Der Boom, Brendan Cowell and Steve Bastoni signed on at “mate’s rates”.

“They probably got paid less than they ever had but they all reckon it’s their best work,” said Davis, who is working as a temp high school English teacher to pay the bills while trying to sell Broke around the world.

“We’ve got a small distributor and a small marketing budget. We’re pretty much taking it state to state and showing it wherever we can. If people keep showing up, we’ll keep putting it on.”

0d20a0010b0a33c7fcc3a6f8dbb330af

Brendan Cowell is one of a number of top Aussie actors in the film.
The Australian premiere will be in Gladstone on April 3 before Davis hits the road around Queensland. He hopes to get rugby league clubs to show the film. His Holy Grail would be a showing at Broncos Leagues Club or even Suncorp Stadium.

So why Gladstone? More to the point, why the Bears?

Producer of the film is 37-year-old Luke Graham whose dad used to be a bit of rugby league player back in the day. In fact, former Bears captain Mark Graham, who now lives in Gladstone, was voted the greatest player New Zealand has ever produced.


When Davis accompanied Luke to Gladstone to speak to Mark for background information about life behind the scenes of rugby league, three things became immediately obvious.

“First, Gladstone was a great place to make a movie. It has a real ‘Deerhunter’ feel,” Davis said.

“Second, Steve Le Marquand, who plays Barry Kelly, looks a lot like Mark Graham, so that meant we could use footage of Mark playing in the film, and thirdly Mark had an old Bears jersey he said we could use.

“When you’re making a film on a budget like ours, that’s gold.”

To check for showings of Broke, go to the website www.brokethefilm.net
 

bruce

Contributor
When he played for Otahuhu the forwards included Hugh Mc Gahan, Owen Wright, Terry Whittle and a few others I can't remember. NRL standard at suburban Auckland grounds. Our best player.
I will help you, Shane Dowsett, Gary Prohm, Nicky White, all Kiwis and then there was Stan Napa who went to Brisbane and fathered Dylan. Geez Auckland league was strong back then. The only difference between then and now was all this gym work bulking players up. YOU CANNOT BUILD HEART IN A GYM!!!
Simon Mannering is the only current player who could hold a candle to Mark Graham.
 
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I will help you, Shane Dowsett, Gary Prohm, Nicky White, all Kiwis and then there was Stan Napa who went to Brisbane and fathered Dylan. Geez Auckland league was strong back then. The only difference between then and now was all this gym work bulking players up. YOU CANNOT BUILD HEART IN A GYM!!!
Simon Mannering is the only current player who could hold a candle to Mark Graham.
Think you might mean Nicky Wright son of legendary coach Jack Wright
 
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I remember reading about this movie before it came out. Did anyone see it?


Kiwis legend Mark Graham hopes his son's movie will change lives

David Long17:30, May 28 2016
  • Email
1531833742469.jpg

SIR PETER LEITCH
Mark Graham handing out a Kiwi jersey to Jason Taumalolo in 2014.


Kiwis legend Mark Graham hopes the movie his son, Luke, has made about the pitfalls that can befall a rugby league player will have a big impact.

Luke Graham is the producer of the movie Broke which will have its New Zealand premier in Auckland on Wednesday.

The film tells the story of how a fictional league player's life is devastated by a gambling addiction that not only affects him, but also his family.

The Problem Gambling Foundation has partnered with New Zealand Rugby League's foundation, League 4 Life for a special screening of the film and hope to raise awareness of the issue.

Graham, who played 28 games for the Kiwis, 145 for the North Sydney Bears and was coach of the Warriors between 1999 and 2000, hopes the movie will strike a chord.

"It's a really relevant movie, it's very real," Mark said from his home in Gladstone, Queensland.

"Some of it is in your face, but it's a topic that we see a fair bit of it these days.

"The story is made up, but it could be true in a lot of cases.

"Some young fellas who play football can gamble a lot of money, they think they can afford it, but they can fall into lots of traps.

"That's what's happened in the past to lots of young players.

"It was different from my time, because we didn't play for the money, we wanted to test ourselves."

Graham played professionally from 1981 to 1988 and he was named the NZRL's New Zealand's Player of the Century.

He was a player in the spotlight throughout his career but says the pressure on players these days far exceeds anything he experienced.

"They are so scrutinised," he said.

"It must be so difficult and also, that's all they do with their life, play footy. I reckon it must be overwhelming for them. I do feel for them, because they've got no other release.

"Obviously, if they're not going that good, or their team is losing, they're in a tough place."

Graham revealed his son's next movie will deal with suicide in rugby league. There have been too many examples of young New Zealand players moving to Australian clubs, struggling to deal with the pressure and taking their lives.

Suicide is also something that's affected Graham's family. In 2000, while Warriors coach, his son Matthew tragically took his own life at the age of 13.

"Our family has been touched by that ourselves, so it's a very relevant point," he said.

"I think the point of the movie is about what can happen if you make bad decisions.

"Ultimately you're responsible for them yourself, it would be nice to be able to blame someone for them, but at the end of the day it's your choices that put you in a bad place.

"You've got to stand up and take the penance for that I suppose."

Graham, 60, works for the Gladstone Ports Corporation, operating bulldozers than can push 70 tonnes of coal down a chute in a single shunt.

"I'm part of a crew that works around the clock," he said.

"I do shift work and I've hopefully got five years to go and then I'll retire to a life of golf and fishing."

He will come back to New Zealand this week for the premier, along with his son and Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney. Once he retires he hopes to visit New Zealand more often and spent more time with either rod or seven iron in his hands.

"I don't know whether I'll come back to live or not, but I'm certainly going to spend a bit of time in New Zealand in the future, doing all of those things I like to do, catch up with old mates," he said.

"When I'm back in town next week, I'll go to Otahuhu and have a chat with the footy players there. I'm still proud to have been brought up in Otahuhu."





v2

I saw it and really enjoyed it.

Photos and footage of Mark Graham are used in the film to show the main character back in his playing days but I had no idea his son was involved.

Some hard hitting themes around gambling and alcohol in there but it's pretty easy to see players getting into that situation.

I think they make all the young players watch it as part of their development now.
 
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Never got to see him play, a bit more time when I started watch league. Seen a few highlights etc. What I heard though, anyone that mentioned him would talk how he was New Zealand's greatest league player. When your peer, fans etc all say that it pretty much say it all.

I did read a lot about him. Can't recall the book but there was one in the early 90's that had the greats of NZ league. Went over Kemble, Prohm, Big Olsen, Graham, Ah Kuoi etc. Even a single chapter showed how good he was.

Used to hear the quote "Stop Graham, stop Norths" says a lot.
 
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For those who watched him play, this was a very familiar sight and made him so dangerous on attack.
The strong upright carry, splitting 2 defenders, both arms free ready to make the offload.
Champion!
474F9F6A-3947-445A-9C99-F1F0E8818466.jpeg
 
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For those who watched him play, this was a very familiar sight and made him so dangerous on attack.
The strong upright carry, splitting 2 defenders, both arms free ready to make the offload.
Champion! View attachment 25987
ya know how you get really annoyed when these guys who can do this against anyone.....dont have any NZ players in support ? Watching Mark Graham I had that feeling more than any....it continued with our Stephen Kearney.. ..was appeased by Jones being there.....and then along came Ali who Mark Graham called the Michael Jordan of the sport....

Graham Lowe calls Graham the toughest bugger hes met in his life ( Lowey of course was around some tough bastards across two Hemispheres and the Origin).
 
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bruce

Contributor
Think you might mean Nicky Wright son of legendary coach Jack Wright
Yes that was a typo, my brain got mixed up with Nicky White the union player from Auckland. I know them both funnily enough. Nick Wright is living up in the Hokianga these days.
 
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bruce

Contributor
Always hard to compare players in different eras but Mark Graham had a much better skillset. Both hard bastards...
I wouldn't like to pick one over the other Welly. I am a little biased having played against Mark Graham however on pure performance as a first grade player Mannering has a better record.

I am sure Mark Graham is favoured by the Australians because whenever he played he was the backbone of a forward pack and they had to get rid of him, whether that was for Norths or the Kiwis, then he went to another shite club at Wakefield Trinity.

The other think about Mark Graham is that he wasn't the only great Kiwi forward in Sydney at the time. I think Bill Noonan was still playing for the Dogs, the Sorensons were playing for Cronulla and Mark Broadhurst was playing for Manly. So he was not a token Kiwi by any means.

Whatever they are both greats of the game and I will be there at the end of August yelling like mad when Simon leads the team on for his 300th.
 
The week before a test he was targeted by the opposition or had some trumped up charge leveled at him he was so dominant. I wonder how he did financially out of the game. His body took an absolute battering which I am sure he feels now. Still, he was a plasterer and that is a young man 's game now too when you have to compete with half the Chinese population of Auckland to earn a quid.
 
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