Four grand finals stars join Raiders hall of fame

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The grinning, winning Green Machine after the 1990 NRL finals.

THE Canberra Raiders inducted four more players into the club’s Hall of Fame, at Friday night’s season launch at its new centre in Braddon.

This season marks the 30-year anniversary of the team’s 1990 premiership win over the Panthers, with four players who featured in that season joining the 17 inaugural inductees from last year.

Craig Bellamy, Phil Carey, Paul Martin and Matthew Wood were all on hand to receive their plaudits.

Canberra Raiders Hall of Fame inductee citations

Craig Bellamy
Raider #26
Player:  1982–1990, 1992
148 Appearances for Raiders: 46 Tries – 175 Points
Premiership winning Raiders player: 1990

Craig Bellamy was a foundation year player at the Canberra Raiders who displayed unparalleled work ethic, desire and commitment.  Teammates and coaches during the formative years of the Club have recalled on numerous occasions how Craig not only gave 100 per cent at each training session he was involved in, but also was studious in taking notes on game plans and coaching strategies.

Signed for the Club’s debut season of 1982 by Don Furner (Senior), the man affectionately known as ‘Bellyache’ played the majority of his career at the Raiders in the centres, but was also used as a utility player, covering fullback, winger, five-eighth and lock.

Injury midway through the 1987 season saw Bellamy miss the Raiders charge to their first ever Grand Final appearance which resulted in an 18-8 loss to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. Three seasons later however, Bellamy came off the bench in Canberra’s 18-14 win over Penrith in the 1990 Grand Final at the Sydney Football Stadium after captaining the Reserve Grade team in this competition’s decider on the same day.

Craig is a two-time winner of the Raiders Clubman of the Year award, 1986 and 1990.

Bellamy spent 1991 with Turvey Park in Wagga Wagga as captain/coach in the Group 9 Competition, and had a stint playing in England for Swinton, before returning to Canberra for one last season in 1992.

Whilst in Canberra Bellamy played under coaches Don Furner (1982–87), Wayne Bennett (1987), and Tim Sheens (1988–92), mentors that obviously left an indelible mark as he has gone on post playing career to become one of the greatest coaches of all-time.

Craig coached the Raiders President’s Cup side to premiership success in 1995.

Phil Carey
Raider #61
Player:  1985–1991
87 Appearances for Raiders: 21 Tries and 6 Goals – 96 Points
Premiership winning Raiders player: 1990

Phil Carey linked with the Canberra Raiders at the start of the 1985 season after spending 3 years with Manly in the NSW Rugby League competition. As a recruit from a consistently strong Sydney Club at the time, he quickly become a mainstay of the first-grade team at the Raiders.

Carey primarily played on the wing when he first arrived at the Green Machine, before moving into the centres. In his later seasons at the Club, he was used as a utility player off the bench.

Phil’s contribution to the team, both on and off the park, was characterised by consistent performance through enthusiastic effort. He was extremely well liked across the organisation and provided positive influence on young emerging players.

Carey played a pivotal role for the first-grade team in 1987, the year in which the Club first qualified for the Grand Final, however he was overlooked for the deciding fixture which Canberra lost to his former Club. Two seasons later he was again overlooked for the Grand Final match, but nonetheless he played an important part in the Club’s maiden premiership season.

In 1990 Carey tasted grand final success after Head Coach Tim Sheens injected him into the action against Penrith in the second half of the club’s 18-14 win.

In 1991, his last season in Canberra, Carey collected the Raiders Clubman of the Year award at the season ending presentation.

Paul Martin
Raider #79
Player:  1986-1991
86 Appearances for Raiders: 28 Tries – 112 Points
2-Time Premiership winning Raiders player: 1989 and 1990

Paul Martin is a Canberra product that graduated through the Raiders Junior Representative Program after representing at Australian Schoolboy level.

In his six seasons at the Raiders, which at various times were interrupted by injury and illness, Martin displayed commitment and perseverance which was highly regarded by not only his teammates but also by all his senior coaches at the club, but also Don Furner (Snr), Wayne Bennett and Tim Sheens.
Paul’s performances, both in attack and defence, are best described as being reliable and consistent. He was a highly valued player in a star-studded roster.

A consistent try-scorer for the club, Paul primarily played first-grade on the wing, however he was an interchange player in the Raiders’ maiden grand final victory; the 19-14 win over Balmain in extra-time in 1989.

Martin played in the two grand final matches against Penrith in 1990-91, for one win and one loss, before departing the Club to the Gold Coast along with former Raiders’ team-mate Brent Todd in 1992.

In his final season with the Green Machine, the dual premiership winner was leading try scorer for the Club.

Matthew Wood
Raider #103
Player:  1989–1996
75 Appearances for Raiders: 23 Tries and 38 Goals – 168 Points
2-Time Premiership winning Raiders player: 1989 and 1990

Matthew Wood was a Canberra junior playing S.G. Ball Cup in 1987 and Jersey Flegg Cup in 1988, who graduated to first-grade level the following year. He played eight seasons with the Canberra Raiders from 1989 to 1996.

In 1989 Wood received the Club’s Rookie of the Year award at season’s end, which capped off a remarkable debut season that yielded a premiership, the Club’s maiden grand final victory; the 19-14 win over Balmain in extra-time.

He was a try-scorer in Canberra’s grand final win over Penrith in 1990 and scored two tries and a goal when the Raiders lost to the Panthers in 1991.

Matthew primarily played in the wing position for the Green Machine, but also covered centre, five-eighth and the interchange roles when required.

His adaptability to various playing positions was reflective of his smart understanding of the game. In later life he tried his hand at coaching.

Despite being diminutive in stature, as a player Wood possessed great all-round skills and speed. These qualities were backed up by a strong desire and commitment to succeed, his tradesman like performances built on hard work.

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