Pies star Ron Richards dies aged 85

Ron Richards and brother Lou in 1952.Collingwood has paid tribute to one of its ”greatest servants”, after the death of Ron Richards on Friday.
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Richards, the younger brother of football great Lou, passed away after losing a long battle with illness. He was 85.

Richards, a key player in the Magpies’ 1953 premiership side, had also spent considerable time at the club as assistant coach, on the match committee and on the board.

Magpies president Eddie McGuire said Richards was one of the club’s most revered figures.

“In the rich history of the Collingwood Football Club, Ron Richards will always be known as one of its greatest servants,” McGuire said.

“Ron was a member of the Pannam/Richards dynasty, which collectively produced more matches than any other in the game’s history and dates back to 1894, through Charlie Pannam snr.

“Ron distinguished himself in everything he did at Collingwood, be it as a star of the 1953 grand final who had been picked out by Jock McHale for an unaccustomed role on the wing, coach or administrator. Ron was best on ground in the flag triumph, helping his brother Lou, who was captain, to lift the premiership cup.

“Later, as Lou moved into the world of show business and the media, Ron dedicated himself to Collingwood, something he cared for deeply.

”He served as a thirds and seconds coach. He spent time on the board and he sat by the side of Tom Hafey and Leigh Matthews as chairman of selectors. In any discussion of great Collingwood men, Ron Richards – Collingwood life member, AFL life member, legend and premiership star – cannot be overlooked,” McGuire said.

Richards played 143 games for the Magpies from 1947-1956.

The extended Pannam-Richards families pulled on the black-and-white guernsey in more than 930 games, including eight premierships.

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O’Connor stood down by Wallabies

James O’ConnorO’Connor’s troubles sign of deeper issuesWallabies disillusioned with O’Connor: Sharpe
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The Wallabies will play the Springboks in Cape Town without their most experienced outside back after James O’Connor was stood down for an alleged drunken display at Perth Airport last weekend.

O’Connor was stood down indefinitely on Friday after failing to ”uphold the behavioural and cultural standards expected within the team”, according to the ARU. He will miss the Wallabies’ tough two-week tour of South Africa and Argentina. He was denied boarding on a flight to Bali and escorted from the terminal less than 12 hours after helping the Wallabies claim a narrow win over the Pumas.

While the ARU investigation is ongoing, a statement from the Federal Police alleged O’Connor was ”intoxicated”.

It is understood the 23-year-old has not denied having consumed alcohol but, in a first explanation given to the ARU’s integrity officer earlier this week, claimed that an argument over seating arrangements was the reason he did not board the flight.

The decision means Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie will be forced to start a vastly less experienced player on the wing in place of the 44-Test outside back.

”I’ve basically lost one of my most experienced backs who is playing quite well and replacing him with a player with no [Test] caps … that’s unfortunate but it’s the right thing for the team,” he said.

McKenzie did not nominate a date for O’Connor’s return, saying he would not be forced into making a decision until he was ”satisfied [O’Connor] can once again contribute positively to what we are trying to achieve as a group”.

”The reality is that representing your country is the ultimate honour but also a week-to-week proposition,” he said.

”To be selected, players must consistently do the right things on and off the field. We’ll continue to assess James on that basis before any team decisions are made about a return.”

O’Connor was in negotiations to re-sign with Australian rugby and the Western Force after leaving the Rebels this year. The impact on those negotiations is unclear, with the Force saying this week they would monitor the outcome of the investigation.

McKenzie refused to comment on O’Connor’s contract situation or the details of what the former Wallabies playmaker admitted to doing on Sunday morning, instead saying he had acknowledged he had not conducted himself appropriately in public. McKenzie said ”periodic events” were bringing down O’Connor and the team, and would not be tolerated.

”We’re not getting the right type of behaviour from him,” McKenzie said. ”There’s no doubt since I met with him prior to the start of [the Rugby Championship] he made incremental improvements, but he let himself down at the weekend.”

Waratahs winger Peter Betham will be called into the squad to cover for O’Connor’s absence. Brumbies winger Joe Tomane and Reds winger Chris Feauai-Sautia have also been called in to cover injuries to winger Nick Cummins and fullback Jesse Mogg.

O’Connor’s loss comes at a terrible time for the Wallabies, who are short on wins and experience, but McKenzie said the team’s interests had to be put first.

It also comes less than a month after O’Connor declared he had put past controversies behind him and wanted to be known for his football instead of a string of incidents that have marred a promising career.

He was suspended for one game after missing the Wallabies’ 2011 World Cup squad announcement, was involved in an apparent public scuffle in Paris with teammates Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale the year before, was photographed on a 4am burger run with Beale in a crucial Test week and missed Robbie Deans’ final team meeting as coach after the British and Irish Lions series loss.

”He’s a good footballer, no one disputes that, he’s been doing good things for us and he’s definitely demonstrated change already but he’s tripped himself up,” McKenzie said. ”There’s a track record there of similar types of events. They’ve all been different circumstances, so I think a significant change in behaviour is required.”

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WORD OF MOUTH: Shootyapooch 

WHEN Jenny Parker met a professional animal photographer in a Gold Coast pet shop three years ago, the Newcastle woman had a life-changing moment.
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Three days later, she registered the business name, Shoot-Ya-Pooch, and joined the growing number of Australian ‘‘petrepreneurs’’.

Her love for animals and her keen interest in photography was the perfect combination to cash in on Australia’s multimillion-dollar pet industry.

She set up a pet photography studio in Wallsend that has been running successfully for the past three years.

Parker said her passion for photography developed while travelling around Australia with her husband in 2009 and 2010. Initially she was taking photos purely to document their travels. Later, she attended photography classes to further develop her skills and found herself being constantly drawn to taking photos of pets for assignments.

“Unlike the other students in my classes, I did not have my own children to practise on.’’

She attributes a good photo shoot to “being able to read the animal’s behaviour, a lot of patience and a few tricks’’ she has learnt over time.

Parker doesn’t just restrict herself to ‘‘pupography’’ either. She has photographed plenty of cats and the occasional bird.

“I’ve also photographed a blue-tongue lizard and a baby python snake and would love the opportunity to photograph Australian wildlife,” she

says.

As the Hunter Animal Rescue’s volunteer photographer, she has photographed almost 300 rescued animals in an attempt to find them a new home.

She is available for shoots seven days a week at her Wallsend studio.

She also works from a studio in Balmain one weekend a month.

The photo shoot takes around an hour and customers receive 10 photographs.

Costs start at $175 for up to two pets, with additional pets costing $25 each.

For more information visit shootyapooch南京夜网

Jenny Parker


THAT’S LIFE: Drink codes hard to swallow

TODAY I want to talk about beverage etiquette – the dos and don’ts of tipple time – on your turf, and out in the field.
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It’s a complicated, nuanced situation, judging by the exuberant response when the topic came up over the water cooler.

We had a quorum (three dudes sharing war stories) and the ball was being batted. It started off with in-laws. ‘‘Don’t get me started’’, was the vibe.

It moved on to spouses – best not to go there, either – before devolving into wine tastes at the dinner table and sponging drinks at parties.

Hello, start your engines.

Seemed everyone had an opinion, an anecdote and a pet hate, often related to

in-laws and spouses – but we weren’t going there, remember?

Top of the list: the freeloaders who turn up thirsty with only a token offering, or worse, nothing at all, in exchange for what you suspect they know you have in the fridge.

It might well be your best friend from primary school, Uncle Barry, or some unsung Samaritan type who resolves to help you for the 14th time since Origin to deal with what they make you feel are your drinking issues, by matching you drink for drink. Nostrovia!

Houston, is there a problem?

Well, not really; it’s called being social, but it can depend on the situation, the invite and possibly a person’s upbringing.

For example, we all agreed if you’re gonna pop around to watch the footy, you bring a token six-pack of something to acknowledge your host’s hospitality. Or, at least, the fact he went to the trouble to get cable TV. There is nothing worthy about turning up dry, unless it’s Ocsober, and by then the finals are nearly over.

Then there is the dinner party scenario. You’ve invited friends or relos over – or, indeed, you’re visiting friends and relos, but you feel from experience their taste in wine is abysmal. Who knows when you became such a wine snob, but it’s happened and now diplomacy will be required.

What to do?

If you’re hosting, do you stash the primo and offer up the dregs from the last time you changed the engine coolant?

There seemed to be a utilitarian inclination not to waste the good stuff on unappreciative palates. Selfless selfishness.

One friend said that when visiting he always turns up with two bottles – one for laying down in the cellar (that is, the crap bottle) and the other for enjoying with dinner (the Grange). He emphasised that he made the distinction clear on arrival in a show of exaggerated graciousness that no doubt reinforced in his hosts that he had a drinking problem.

But at least he was locking in certainty. And, ask any economist, that’s what holds the market together.

It’s a considerate approach in that he anticipates the problems he wants to avoid and gives the innocent criminals an ‘‘out’’.

Savour the good wine with the food and later on we can pour the sump oil over our head when taste buds have gone to hell.

Yes, it’s a complicated neuro-sociological minefield.

And a miracle that people remain friends.

Sometimes you might happen to be the perpetrator.

Maybe not by design, maybe just circumstances conspiring against you.

Sometimes you just can’t get to the bottlo before you arrive.

Maybe someone’s been in your ear about how someone’s got to be the designated driver, leaving you in that corridor of uncertainty as you whistle past a beer barn, rendering you dry on arrival.

Then you discover on arrival that your would-be passenger has decided to drink tea, and maybe it would have been better, as usual, if you had something to with which to overcompensate.

No one wants to be the thirsty person who has nothing to contribute.

Or, worse still, the parasite who prefers instead as the party takes off to suggest to themselves kind of out loud, monologue-like, ‘‘I might have one of these’’, as they delve inquisitively into what suddenly appears to them to be the communal Esky and happen to discover someone else’s Trappist Monastery pale ales.

This has the potential to get ugly, we agreed.

Doesn’t take long in these moments before the communal Eskies become individual Eskies.

Social socialism has its limits, particularly when we’re talking fancy beer – not that anyone is keeping score or taking notice, comrade.

As one person recalled over the water cooler, without wanting to overstate the seriousness of the situation, ‘‘your Esky is your embassy’’.

And, as any international lawyer will tell you, embassies are sovereign areas.

And your beer is essentially Julian Assange.

Touch someone’s beer without a

United Nations mandate and basically you’re a threat to the free world.

Yeah, beverage etiquette is tricky.

You don’t need to drink to be social,

but it seems being social can drive some people to drink.


CRIME FILES: Robert Bretherton

ROBERT Bretherton was capable of better. He was capable of interacting with people, including women, and he was capable of at least appearing ‘‘normal’’ or fitting in, which begs the question: why did he save his worst for Jodie Jurd?
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Bretherton, 38, was jailed this week for 21 years after previously being found guilty by a jury of murdering her. He claimed he was substantially impaired due to an abnormality of the mind when he stabbed the popular nurse 12 times in her Bellbird home on November 16, 2011.

The trial heard from women who had relationships with Bretherton in the 12 months leading up to the crime including one who fell pregnant to him.

Their experiences with Bretherton were in stark contrast to Jodie’s.

Jodie Jurd was born and raised in the Coalfields surrounded by a loving family.

After high school she studied nursing and found work locally before she was introduced to Bretherton at the Cessnock Ex-Services Club in 2001.

She had a group of girlfriends who liked to catch up often and a family that got together for Sunday tea every week.

All of that changed in 2001.

Some of the girlfriends told the Supreme Court they did not see much of Jodie after she met Bretherton.

When Jodie brought her new boyfriend around to meet the family, Bretherton didn’t fit in.

He sat on his own, he couldn’t hold a conversation and he made it clear that not only should he be excused from Sunday tea, but he didn’t see why Jodie should attend either.

‘‘He had no social skills,’’ Jodie’s father, Norm, said.

Jodie defended Bretherton saying he’d had a hard childhood and he couldn’t relate to a close-knit family.

But it wasn’t just Jodie’s family to which Bretherton objected. He shunned her friends, also.

One of Jodie’s friends told the court she was having a chat to Jodie on the phone one day when she heard a noise in the background and the phone was disconnected.

The friend rang back straight away and the phone was answered by Bretherton who refused to put Jodie back on the line then hung up.

He also influenced how Jodie dressed.

Norm recalled the immaculate way she dressed when she wasn’t with Bretherton.

She always took pride in her hair, make-up and clothes, but when she was with him she changed.

‘‘Frumpy’’ was the word Norm used.

A friend told the court Jodie had confided to her that Bretherton controlled who visited the house and was adamant Jodie’s friends and family were not welcome.

Jodie told others that Bretherton was jealous and liked to be the centre of attention.

She said he was more abusive and violent when he was drinking.

The couple moved in together in 2005 or 2006 and over the years they bought the Bellbird property in Cruikshank Street, a property in Queensland and other interests.

It was difficult to gauge the true state of the couple’s finances because even though they owned the properties together Bretherton was secretive and obsessed with money.

He worked weekends at the Wambo coalmine, but had played the stockmarket at times over the years.

He was constantly monitoring Jodie’s finances, but he wouldn’t share anything about his own.

She remarked to friends and family that she didn’t have a clue what he earned or what exactly he owned even though he knew everything about her.

Despite the strain of the relationship the couple tried to have children together without success. They resorted to IVF and it is believed Jodie financed the treatments at enormous expense to herself.

She endured the pain of 10 miscarriages and at least one witness said Bretherton blamed Jodie for being unable to sustain a pregnancy to full term.

Jodie loved Christmas.

She was the proud owner of a homemade collection of decorations and cut-outs that Bretherton destroyed in 2010.

For reasons known only to himself he set them alight in the backyard.

There were stories over the years of tantrums and fights.

Jodie’s mother, Muriel, recalled an incident when her daughter said: ‘‘I have to go home. Rob’s very upset that I’m spending too much time with you … and not enough with him.’’

Then in mid-2010 the couple decided to go on a trip.

The road trip was meant to be for three to five months, but the couple were home within several weeks with their relationship hanging by a thread.

Bretherton had confiscated Jodie’s credit cards to control her spending and seized her mobile phone to stop her from calling friends and family.

She confided to friends that Bretherton was violent and she feared what her family’s reaction would be.

Later that year they broke up.

But with a feeling of helplessness, friends and family worried she would eventually go back to Bretherton and she did.

By early 2011 the couple appeared to be trying to reconcile and intended to seek counselling.

Despite this, Bretherton was trawling dating websites and meeting other women.

Some of these relationships were purely sexual, but at least one was genuine.

It was with a younger woman who had tentatively gone online.

She met ‘‘Aussie Bob’’, as Bretherton called himself, and they agreed to meet in person.

He seemed nervous at first, but eventually opened up and they continued to see each other for a few months, she said.

For a man who couldn’t bring himself to attend Sunday tea with the Jurds, Bretherton was all of a sudden attending family functions with his new flame who could distinctly remember him engaging in conversation with her brothers.

It was perhaps the most damning evidence against Bretherton at the trial.

A man, who claimed he was on the autism spectrum, which he alleged reduced his culpability for the killing, was forming a healthy, loving relationship with another woman and doing the very things he claimed he was incapable of doing.

Bretherton called this new relationship off after about four months, but by then the woman was pregnant.

She later rang him and told him she’d had a miscarriage.

He was devastated.

He bought her flowers. He comforted her.

His reaction was in stark contrast to the way he had treated Jodie.

Throughout 2011 Jodie and Bretherton’s relationship fluctuated.

Friends who saw the text messages Jodie was receiving said they ranged from pleasant to abusive.

Despite their attempts to reconcile and plans to move out of the area together they proceeded to separate their property.

No one knows exactly what the couple fought about on the evening of November 16, 2011.

Bretherton had been drinking and there was paperwork in the house that suggested maybe they fought over the property settlement.

He had previously sent Jodie a message saying that if she did not sign the paperwork ‘‘your life won’t be worth living’’.

Neighbours had heard the couple fight before, but their last one was different.

There were banging noises and yelling before Jodie screamed.

A neighbour rang triple-0 before Bretherton himself did and police arrived at the scene minutes later. Bretherton was found kneeling over the body.

A knife was near Jodie’s feet.

Bretherton confessed to the stabbing immediately and his lawyers tried to convince a jury he was guilty only of manslaughter because of diminished responsibility.

A combination of stresses coupled with autism spectrum disorder and a major depressive illness lowered his culpability, reducing murder to manslaughter, they argued.

The jury must not have been impressed.

A decade of violence, control and manipulation was just too great to overcome.