When Melbourne were found guilty of major salary breaches in 2010, the rocks and rotten vegetables came flying at the club from all quarters – but they had a shoulder to cry on in the form of Father Bob Maguire.
The Storm became the villains of the NRL overnight when an NRL investigation determined there were two sets of books and extra payments being secretly handed to star players.
The Storm were stripped of the premierships won in 2007 and 2009, three minor premierships and the eight competition points they had earned by that point of the 2010 season.
The NRL also declared they could not score any more competition points that season and order the club to pay a $500,000 fine and pay back $1.1 million in prize money.
‘The elaborate lengths that they went to to hide the payments was quite extraordinary,’ then-NRL boss David Gallop said at the time.
‘These payments have allowed them to recruit and retain some of the best players in the game. There’s no alternative for the NRL in terms of penalty.’
Bellamy and the Melbourne Storm playing group made this display of unity after the punishments for the 2010 salary cap scandal were handed down
Melbourne Storm ambassador Father Bob McGuire sprinkles player Cooper Cronk with ‘holy water’ at Princes Park after a training session
The Storm were friendless and under siege, but they had one loyal mate in their darkest hour – Maguire.
Father Bob was known as the priest of the people prior to his death aged 88 this week.
That included being a friend to the Melbourne Storm players and staff during the salary cap scandal.
Coach Craig Bellamy recalls how Father Bob, a massive Collingwood AFL supporter, became an ally of Melbourne’s NRL team as well.
‘I remember when I came to the club he was a big supporter of the club, and around a fair bit,’ Bellamy said of Father Bob on SEN radio.
‘But the thing that stands out that I remember about him, we went through that salary cap debacle in 2010 and I can’t remember a person that gave the players and club more support than Father Bob did during that time.
‘I will always remember him for that. The amount of support he gave our players… through that time was unbelievable.
‘I don’t think I’ve met too many down-to-earth, give it to you straight, than Father Bob. It’s a really sad time, to be honest.’
Maguire was a man of the people and touched the hearts of many in Melbourne. He was often seen wearing his Melbourne Storm scarf (pictured)
Singer Angry Anderson, father Bob Maguire and social worker Les Twentyman are pictured raising awareness about youth violence
Former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire also paid tribute to Father Bob, who had approved Eddie’s scholarship to Christian Brothers College St Kilda when he was just 12 years old.
Eddie would go on to meet Father Bob as a fresh-faced student in Year 8.
At the time, Bob was the chaplain at the school and would often urge Eddie and his peers to play football in the afternoons after mass.
‘We used to love Father Bob because it would be 12:15pm and he would say ‘no boys should be sitting in church when they could be playing football out in the paddock’,’ he said.
‘He would do a full mass with communion and a sermon in 15 minutes and send us on our way, he was unbelieveable.’
As time passed, Eddie and Father Bob continued to collaborate on charitable fundraising efforts through the Collingwood Football Club and Bob’s foundation.
AFL commentator and former Magpies boss Eddie McGuire paid tribute to Father Bob, who was the chaplain at his school
Father Bob Maguire influenced and assisted so many people during his time as a Catholic priest including his beloved Magpies and Storm
Eddie shared with Jacinta Parsons on ABC Melbourne that Father Bob embodied the essence of selflessness and giving back to one’s community, and that those who received assistance from Bob were never made to feel indebted to him.
‘Those that received help from Father Bob Maguire were never made to feel in his debt,’ he said.
‘You felt like you were coming in to be part of his community.
‘For those that were down on their luck and had nothing, he was a saviour for them.’
Eddie spoke of the great connection that he had with Father Bob over the years, including their almost identical surnames and the fact both their fathers were from Scotland.
So he organised a fundraiser to send Father Bob back to Glasgow just before Covid struck and what his mate did next shocked him.
‘He had cashed in the cheque and handed it over to a poor person who needed it more than he did,’ Eddie said.
Eddie offered to buy him another ticket and Father Bob said ‘no, no, I will do the same again’.
‘He was a mad Magpie and what he did accept was a membership every year from the club for all the good deeds that he had been doing,’ Eddie said.
‘I loved him dearly, he was a great man.’
COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES STATEMENT ON FATHER BOB
Flowers and tributes are seen outside the Father Bob Maguire Foundation in Melbourne
Father Bob first became known for his work with disadvantaged people in his South Melbourne parish and his commitment to feeding and housing the hungry and homeless of Melbourne.
This support was extended to Collingwood’s community programs.
The beloved social justice advocate and Catholic priest has been a Collingwood Member since 1974.
As an avid Pies supporter, Father Bob was a regular attendee of AFL matches in the Ponsford Stand at the MCG.
The Club acknowledges the impact Father Bob had on society – a man who committed himself to a life of faith and stood up for those most vulnerable.
Floreat Pica, Bob.
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Sports Event Casino Handicap Description
|PK||0||It means not giving in to each other, and winning 1 point wins all.|
|0-50||0/0.5||Indicates that when the handicap team is tied with the transferee team, the team betting on the handicap loses 50%.|
|0 loss||0.5||Indicates that when the handicap team is tied with the transferee team, the team betting on the handicap loses.|
|1+50||0.5/1||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap wins 50% and wins all 2 points.|
|1 level||1||Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the two teams will tie and win by 2 points.|
|1-50||1/1.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 2 points.|
|1 loss||1.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins by 2 points.|
|2+50||1.5/2||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap wins 50% and wins all 3 points.|
|2 flat||2||Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the two teams will tie and win all 3 points.|
|2 losses||2/2.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 3 points.|
|3+50||2.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 3 points.|
|3 losses||2.5/3||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap wins 50%, and all 4 points win.|
|3 levels||3||Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the two teams will tie and win all 4 points.|
|3-50||3/3.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 4 points.|
|3 losses||3.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 4 points.|
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