Canberra NRL coach Ricky Stuart has fondly recalled downing beers in triumphant Raiders’ change rooms with former prime minister Bob Hawke who he says was one of the boys.
The former Canberra playmaker said Mr Hawke had a unique ability to share a beer with anyone, remembering celebrating the Raiders’ first premiership with him at The Lodge in 1989.
“He was a big supporter of the Raiders and I clearly remember Bob being in the change rooms and sharing a beer with us after matches,” Stuart said.
“He had a great ability to be leading the country, hosting dignitaries then all of a sudden be in a change room with football players having a beer and being on our level.
“He enjoyed a beer like all the boys so that was a good leveller but he would make you feel very comfortable, that was a great trait of his.
“We just felt like Bob was one of us. It was Mr Hawke our Prime Minister (to most people) but to us it was g’day Bob and he wouldn’t want it any other way.
“You see other prime ministers try to replicate that now and they just can’t genuinely get it like Bob.”
Hawke died on Thursday, age 89.