The Sea Eagles had great success with importing English players throughout the 1970’s and they made a significant contribution to the 4 premierships the club won in that golden era.
Pommie forwards like Reilly, Lowe and Norton were outstanding and Manly fans always looked forward to welcoming the overseas stars because success always seemed to follow their arrival.
After an extended period of success Manly went on a rebuilding programme in the mid 1980s after the club’s stalwarts of the 1970s and early 1980s slid into retirement or left the club.
The British Lions toured Australia in 1984 and a young second rower from the Castleford club starred for the tourists in all 3 tests played against the Kangaroos. His name was Andy Goodway and his performance in the series stamped him as a class international forward.
To the delight of Sea Eagles fans, he was lured to the club for the 1985 season. Could he repeat the efforts of Reilly, Lowe & Norton and take Manly to the top of the premiership pile?
The club saw Goodway with his strong running and ability to break tackles as the perfect partner for Noel Cleal and Paul Vautin in the club’s back row.
However his hard running was no where to be seen in his initial matches for the club and he struggled to show any of the form he displayed the previous season during the Lions tour. .
Then coach Bob Fulton persisted with his highly paid recruit but his lame efforts soon earned him the nickname Andy “Wrongway”, as he generally ran sideways with the ball and always got smashed backwards when hit by the defence. At times all the fans could do was to shake their heads and laugh as opposition forwards were lining up to get a piece of the English star.
He struggled for 9 games in first grade before he made his way into the reserves and eventually onto the first available Qantas flight back to England.
Goodway returned to the UK and regained his star status playing for both Castleford and Oldham in the much weaker 1980s competition. Sadly “Wrongway” was not the only sub standard English import of that era – remember Bernard Dwyer and John Devereux?
Andy Goodway – running sideways is not the good way in Rugby League