Don ‘Bandy’ Adams
Acknowledgement: Scone Advocate & Caitlin Reid & Featured Image
A legendary ‘Scone Thoroughbred’ passed away on Wednesday March 4 2020 – 4:55PM
I attended the great send-off and was delighted to catch up with my good mate dairy farmer Kevin Everett from Gloucester who played with ‘Bandy’ for 6 illustrious years with the Gloucester team coached by ‘Bandy’ for 5 premierships before coming to Scone. “We should have won all 6” said Bandy! Kevin concurred. He travelled ‘over the Tops’ with two car loads of Gloucester team mates from over 50 years ago. .
Also present was Ray Dawson, formerly ‘mine host’ at the Golden Fleece and now resident at Tea Gardens. They came from far and wide!
TODAY Scone farewelled one of its favourites, Donald Patrick “Bandy” Adams, who passed away aged 86 and left an indelible mark on local football and the broader community.
His son, Donald Adams, gave a beautiful eulogy to a congregation which spilled out onto the lawn of St Mary’s Church in Scone and afterwards at the RSL the community gathered to remember Bandy and shared their thoughts on a man who was much loved.
Let me begin by thanking everyone for their support who could come today and to those who were unable to make it to celebrate the life of Don Adams.
For those of you who don’t know me I am Donald, Don’s son.
Donald Patrick Adams, better known as Bandy, was a remarkable, thoughtful, hardworking and loyal person; a good husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin, grandfather and great grandfather; most of all a good friend.
Born on 15 February 1934 in Raymond Terrace. He was the second born of six children – three sisters Joan, Fay and Patsy and two brothers Brian and Dick. He grew up on a dairy farm in Nelson Plains.
As a young boy, dad went to Mount Kanwaary School and then on to Marist Brothers in Maitland. He didn’t care much for school except sports day, but enjoyed working on the farm.
He was always so proud of his brother Brian, his best mate, because he was top of all his classes and all the while keeping dad’s homework up to date.
He loved fishing, shooting and horse riding with his brothers.
He was an all-round sportsman. A lot of people would not be aware that he was a champion horse rider with wins at the Sydney and Newcastle shows during the 50s.
Boxing was another sport that dad tried his hand at. Over the years’ he has shared many stories about his boxing abilities.
He told his grandchildren he had 40 fights, 38 losses and 2 crook decisions.
He was a lovable larikan and a great practical joker. Those who knew him can attest to this and can share many stories and fond memories.
Dad met mum in 1955. It took him a while to work up the courage to talk to her, but she became the love of his life and has been a great support and strength to him. They married in April 1957 and went on to raise seven children: David, Chris, Donald, John, Jan, Toby and Steven.
They have 17 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren, I won;t go through all of their names.
Dad above all believed in hard work, family, faith and community.
He worked for the PMG, now Telstra, for 40 years travelling up and down the valley as a linesman.
Donald “Bandy” Patrick Adams was farewelled today in Scone and remembered by many as one of the best blokes they knew.
With seven children to support, dad was a very hard worker but always found time for all of my brothers and sisters, and took us to all of our sporting games. He was a loving father and a great role model.
Dad’s two greatest passions in life were family and Rugby League.
His first game of football was with Hinton at Morpeth.
Dad went on to play 12 seasons for Maitland, five seasons for Gloucester, five seasons for Scone and one season for Muswellbrook. He was also inducted into the Newcastle Hall of Fame.
Bandy was a dedicated trainer and could often be seen running along the road from Nelson Plains to Hinton. Some of the locals driving by would offer him a lift. He would politely refuse by saying, “no it’s fine, I’m in a hurry!”
Dad represented from Maitland, to Newcastle, to Country, to NSW and was then picked for Australia playing three tests at the Sydney Cricket Ground and later toured in 1956-1957 with the Kangaroo team to Great Britain and France.
He moved his family to Scone and bought the family home where he has lived up to now. Dad had a tremendous love for the town and the Scone Football Club, where he has had a very successful coaching career including mentoring other coaches and providing advice and encouragement for the young aspiring players of the game. He is a very respected member of this community.
In later years’ dad would make sure he was at all the home games at Scone Park to watch his children and grand-children pull on the blue and white jersey. He was very proud of all of his family.
Dad was so humbled by the naming of the Scone Park grandstand to “Bandy Adams Grandstand”.
I know, he is sitting up in heaven with lots of family and old friends, sharing great stories about: footy, how to grow a great vegie garden and having a beer.
Dad we love you and you will be missed by so many. Thank you for living a life that we can all be so proud to say “we knew you.”
Thank you Dad, you were not only my father, you were my hero.
How people remembered Bandy over a few beers at the wake:
My dad played in the centres with Donny in Maitland in the ’50s when they won three in a row. I remember dad talking about Bandy being one of the best wingers he ever played with. They had a call going where Donny knew when to come around the side of dad or stay outside dad, but they had a connection that was one of the best backlines in Newcastle in the ’50s. I got to visit Don the week before he died at the nursing home, I was up here with work and I had half an hour with him and he was great that morning. His memory of life in Maitland in the ’50s was astounding really. He was a champion man and as my dad and mother said he was the ultimate gentleman, in what he gave back to the community, not just in football, but everything, he was a really great man – Mick Threlfo
He was the best coach and the best bloke. He coached us when Scone won all four games. It didn’t matter to him if you were the best player on the team, he helped everyone to do their best and then people did their best. It wasn’t just as a player either, he would sit down with you and have a beer and just spend time with people – Garth Harrison
I played 72-76 with the club, I played with Bandy and he was a bonza bloke! He never saw bad in anybody, he always had a good word for people and if he didn’t have one he didn’t say anything much – Phil Lougue
Bandy would be one of the best blokes and coaches I’ve ever known. A down to earth bloke, a real rouge, played plenty of jokes on everyone and had twice as many jokes played back on him – Bruce Brown.
He was a top bloke, he liked to win, but he was a good sport about it. I played a lot of football under Bandy and cricket too. He used to make us train very hard and he was a very nice man. He certainly helped get a lot out of the football in Scone – John Watts
Bandy’s ability to rate all the way through from ’79 when he was hooked up with the Northern Division and they needed a couple of players and he suggested Les and Noel and when I rang Les to let him know that Bandy had past, he said, ‘old Bandy put me and Noel on the map’. Noel went on to play for Australia and Les one of the most successful coaches in the bush. All through the years he’s helped blokes. Talking about potential, he could see that potential in Noel and he went on to play for Australia, through Bandy giving him that first opportunity, they beat the touring English side at Scully Park and Noel was on the map. It’s the same with Daryl Rando, he’d probably still be playing for Murrurundi, only that Bandy convinced him to come down and play first grade and coach, he could see that he had the potential to be a good coach and he was. He just had that knack for recognising talent and bring it out in people – Mick Reynolds
He was great bloke, he’s been wonderful for the footy club and the town and he’s probably an even better person. Today the people that have travelled from far and wide and also different age groups that have turned up, from the younger ones to the older ones, he was a great person. You couldn’t meet a better person. He just had your respect and he always made you feel comfortable. He made you want to play. He never judged other people against someone else, he just wanted to get the best out of you and that’s all he worried about. He wasn’t just a coach, he was a friend and a mentor to them as well. He just understood people and treated people differently, he didn’t expect everyone to be a superstar, which is how he got the best out of everyone. He gave me the opportunity to come to Scone and play for Murrurundi, back in 1989 when Les Cleal was here and then I took over captain coach in ’94 and when I was having a bit of a hard time coaching, or things weren’t right, he’d come around and he was just such a great person to help and mentor. He wasn’t critical of people, or would put them down, he was very good at keeping people’s esteem up high and he’d help anyone out. They don’t come much better than him – Daryl Rando
I think Bandy was an absolute legend, not only to our club but to other clubs that he got life membership for as well. My recollection as a fairly new person into the Club is he had so much respect from all the players, everyone that had anything to do with the Club, he was supportive. My daughter played league tag and he used to love coming down to watch the girls play when it first started and made a point of going down and saying how pleased he was that they were doing it. Great fellow, great example and sadly missed – David Casson.
Bandy Adams was a great man, a great football player and a great bloke. I came here in 1979 and Bandy was heavily involved with the football club. Bandy always told my would be wife, that he was the reason I cam here and she said ‘well I’m the reason he’s stayed’. He coached a lot of team around here and they all had a lot of respect for him, because he was hard, but fair. I came here with the Cleal’s, well actually they came here with me – just joking. He was such a great bloke and if there’s such a thing as a good funeral, it was what happened today, it’s great to see so many people here – Bob Barker
He was very gentle and happy, I never actually saw that man angry which is a strange for a family member I guess. He was always sweet and happy and always happy to see everyone. He was always there for Jock (Jock Madden), but uncle Bandy had finished a lot of his football by then, but he was always there and always gave him some good advice – Judy Madden
Am I allowed to say he is my favourite Adams? Every time you were down there he made you feel welcome and for Christmas it wasn’t just the family he had everybody there. He was generous and kind, really kind to people. He always liked jokes and always liked to have fun and uncomplicated and family meant everything to him. He’d always say to me ‘never change, just be yourself’ – Donna Edmonds
He wasn’t just a father he was a father to nearly the whole Hunter Valley. He inspired a lot of kids and that was one of his best attributes. There were seven of us in the family and mum would cook and clean and iron, dad would go and coach football everyday and he would bring the whole football team home and mum would feed them. And that was regular once a month. He was an inspiration for everyone, not just in rugby league. Through his sporting prowess he nurtured a lot of kids and had an impact on a lot of kids lives. He is my foster father, I was 11 or 10 when I moved here and we all idolised him as Bandy Adams the Australian footballer, but for him and Aunty Mary to ask me to come into the family when they had six kids already and David had moved away to play for Manly and for me to fit in like that, that is what they are like, they opened the house up to me and treated my like a son and have done ever since – Toby Edmonds
By Geoff Newling
DON Patrick Adams, better known as Bandy, was laid to rest in Scone today.
Born at Raymond Terrace on February 15, 1934 the 86-year-old great grandfather took with him a lifetime of hard work, determination and loyalty after starring on and off the sporting field.
He was a brilliant rugby league player, one of few to be able to play for their State and Country from his then country rugby league club at Maitland.
Indeed such was his ability and talent that he was man of the match on his Test debut for Australia against New Zealand in 1956.
A measure of the man, recounted Scone Thoroughbreds stalwart Mick Reynolds, was that instead of spending that evening celebrating his great and winning debut he jumped on a train straight back to Maitland to the family dairy farm.
“He was up 5am next morning milking the cows,” Mick Reynolds said after the funeral service for a man who had told him the story a few years previous.
“That was Bandy. A very humble person.”
Don “Bandy” Adams on fire playing for Maitland.
Bandy Adams played his first game for Hinton at Morpeth and then 12 seasons at Maitland where he helped the club win a number of premierships.
It was from there he earned selection in the Newcastle and then Country Firsts sides before going on to play for NSW.
He played three games for Country Firsts (1956-57-58), seven games for NSW (1955-57) and scored nine tries for the Blues.
He also played five Tests for Australia, playing three Tests in 1956 and then going on a Kangaroos tour (1956-57). He scored five tries in his five Tests.
Bandy played 191 first grade games for Maitland Pumpkinpickers and was named in their top 20 players of all time. He debuted for the pickers in the 1951 Newcastle Grand Final against Northern Suburbs as a 17-year-old.
After 12 seasons at Maitland he had another five at Gloucester and then finished off with another five at Scone.
In all he played 23 seasons before retiring as a player and then concentrating as a coach.
Garth Harrison played for Scone in 1976 when “Bandy” was coach of the Thoroughbreds.
“We won all four grades,” Harrison said.
“He was the best coach I ever played under,” Harrison, who then moved to Tamworth where he played under John Bailey at West Tamworth and won all three Grand Final grades in 1981, said.
Such was Bandy’s coaching success that Scone sides played in 10 straight Group 21 Grand Finals under his care. He also coached Scone Under 18 sides at the same and various times.
Bandy also coached Northern Division (now Greater Northern Tiger) sides and had the Cleal brothers, Les and Noel, who were playing at Scone at the time (and winning a Clayton Cup), selected in the Northern Division side.
A young lock from North Tamworth, Jim Leis, was also in that 1979 side that played and beat the Englishmen at Scully Park.
He remembers Bandy as an astute and loyal coach, as well as one with a sense of humour.
The tour to NZ with the Northern Division under Bandy was a trip he will always cherish and remember with great fondness.
“He was a great coach,” the former Wests, St George and Australian lock said.
After finishing his coaching career Bandy made sure his family all attended home games at Scone Park, son Donald, said in his eulogy.
“Dad had a tremendous love for the town and the Scone Rugby League Football club,” Donald said.
“He made sure he was at all home games to watch his children and grandchildren pull on the blue and white jersey. He was very proud of his family.”
Indeed one of his grandchildren, Adam Clydsdale is now captain-coach of the Scone Thoroughbreds.
The Scone Thoroughbreds also renamed the grandstand the Bandy Adams Grandstand in his honour.
Bandy has also been a great mentor for local players and coaches since his retirement.
Former Thoroughbred premiership winning fullback and Northern Division winger Wayne Hedley testified to that.
“He used to come into the sheds to give us a bit of a talk before big games,” Wayne Hedley recalled.
“You could hear a pin drop when he did.”
Such was the relevance and traditional club spirit pouring out of Bandy. It never failed to spur the sides on.
Bandy was also a multi-talented sportsman.
He loved fishing, shooting and horse riding when growing up and was a champion horse rider with riding wins at the Sydney and Newcastle Shows. He was also a boxer of some note.
Donald “Bandy” Patrick Adams was farewelled today in Scone and remembered by many as one of the best blokes they knew.
He married the love of his life, Mary, in April 1957. They raised seven children, David, Chris, Donald, John, Jan, Toby and Steven and now have 17 grand children and 19 great grandchildren.
“Dad above all believed in hard work, family, faith and community,” Donald eulogised.
“He worked for the PMG (now Telstra) for 40 years, travelling up and down the valley as a linesman.
“Dad was a very hard worker but always found the time for all of my brothers and sister and took us to all our porting games.
“He was a loving father and a great role model.”
Vale Don Patrick Adams.