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Tommy Raudonikis dies aged 70

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I used to hate watching Tommy play, especially when he spat in the Manly half's face.

He was a unique passionate footballer and in retirement he mellowed to be a voice of the code, whether you agreed with him or not.

He brought humour and humility, a smile to cringe at but laugh at the same time.

RIP Tom.
 

bob dylan

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Tom married a girl from my hometown of Junee and when I was a kid he was around town at various times.

I have a photo of Tommy presenting me with some award at our junior rugby league presentation event. I guess it was around 1975 or 76, when Tommy was the incumbent Aussie no 7.

He was my first rugby league hero, and along with other heroes of Arthur Beetson, Graham Eadie and Terry Randall I was always gonna be a footy fanatic.
 
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simon64

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He always struck me as a very empathetic man under that hard as nails exterior.

The type of mate that would always have your back.

The toughest half back to play the game in my life time at least. At not arguably either.

RIP legend.
 

Eagle Eyed

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Most on here have given him some respect today, which is nice to see. I forgive his style in the day because thats how the game was, and he was good at it. A very down to earth guy, unique, and he said what he thought no matter what. He will be missed by many for sure, he was not only very entertaining, as a player and coach, but also seemed to be a genuine and loyal man.
 

Uk eagle

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Jeez our team could do with an injection of what made him such a competitor.
As others have said, he came from a different era of rugby league and some of the things he did on the field shouldn't overshadow his contribution to the game
 

Terry Zarsoff

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Sad news.

However I am wondering why a player of Fred Jones’s stature has not had an obituary written in the SMH by the likes of Ian Heads, a journalist who would do his subject justice?

I am sure even Masters could have turned his hand to a decent obituary of Freddo - a man whose 298 grade appearances was a record for about six years; played for Australia in two World Cups; captained his club to two premierships and played in two others; and who was a great character to boot.
 
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master blaster

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I have followed Manly all my life, always will, but I used to love watching Tommy Play growing up. We have lost another Legend. R.I.P Tom Raudonikis , you will be missed
 

NYEagle

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I’m so happy Tommy made it to 70 and was able to contribute to the culture of Rugby League right until a year or so ago.

I remember in the early 90’s he was on his last legs already, and just kept hanging around.

Good on ya Tommy - such a memorable life.

NYEagle
 

Shoe1

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I used to hate watching Tommy play, especially when he spat in the Manly half's face.

He was a unique passionate footballer and in retirement he mellowed to be a voice of the code, whether you agreed with him or not.

He brought humour and humility, a smile to cringe at but laugh at the same time.

RIP Tom.
He bit a chunk out of Johnny Gibbs’ nose. I can’t celebrate his thuggery.
 

eagleron

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Gee that is sad to hear . Only met him once , seemed a bit of a larrikin but a very likable larrikin and what a great character . Great footy career , R I P Tommy , true legend
I met him at Wests Leagues back when he was coaching firsts, he had taken the team for a road run and as usual wound up back at the club for a few frothies, you could hear him all over the club barking at the boys to ensure no one got away without a shout, he was more of an A grade coach as opposed to first grade, (some may say Barrett followed the same pattern), anyway I was in the men's splashing my boots when suddenly I found myself in a headlock, Tommy had mistaken me for one of his players and was rasping in my ear that I couldn't hide out in the crapper and I'd better get back to the bar and order a round of schooners, it took me a little time to convince him to unlock my melon and once he did, realising his mistake he apologised profusely, about ten minutes later he arrived at my table with a schooner and another apology, what a funny guy, probably the most down to earth bloke it's beer my privilege to meet, R.I.P. Tommy.
 

wombatgc

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I met him at Wests Leagues back when he was coaching firsts, he had taken the team for a road run and as usual wound up back at the club for a few frothies, you could hear him all over the club barking at the boys to ensure no one got away without a shout, he was more of an A grade coach as opposed to first grade, (some may say Barrett followed the same pattern), anyway I was in the men's splashing my boots when suddenly I found myself in a headlock, Tommy had mistaken me for one of his players and was rasping in my ear that I couldn't hide out in the crapper and I'd better get back to the bar and order a round of schooners, it took me a little time to convince him to unlock my melon and once he did, realising his mistake he apologised profusely, about ten minutes later he arrived at my table with a schooner and another apology, what a funny guy, probably the most down to earth bloke it's beer my privilege to meet, R.I.P. Tommy.
Thanks for sharing that @eagleron. I’m sure his funeral, eulogies, and wake are going to be filled with stories and memories like yours. They'll only ever be one Tommy.
 

Terry Zarsoff

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He always struck me as a very empathetic man under that hard as nails exterior.

The type of mate that would always have your back.

The toughest half back to play the game in my life time at least. At not arguably either.

RIP legend.
Billy Smith and Geoff Toovey would give him a run for his money on the toughness front.

Tommy loved Toovey. I think he saw a bit of himself in Toovey’s style of play.
 

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