PRESTIGE: Viv Hodge Memorial Trophy. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED
PRESTIGE: Viv Hodge Memorial Trophy. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED

Hodge classed local legend in league circles

VIV HODGE is remembered as a local legend of both Grafton Ghosts and South Grafton Rebels and his name is carried on the Grafton Derby silverware.

First played in 2011, the Viv Hodge Memorial Trophy is the once-a-year clash of the Clarence Valley titans at Frank McGuren Field.

Hodge passed away after a short battle with cancer in 2007, but the Ghosts and wife Marion have ensured his legacy lives forever.

"Col Speed and Mark Hall came to me after he passed away and asked me about it," Marion said.

"I wouldn't have thought about anything like that. They've played the Terry Randall Memorial with Lower Clarence for years but I never thought about it for Viv."

Hodge travelled across the state playing rugby league, with stints at Glen Innes, Kurri Kurri and Taree United before he joined the Newtown Bluebags. The front-rower played six games for Newtown before joining the Rebels in 1970, where he played until 1974 and was named captain of the club's Team of the Century earlier this year.

He joined the Ghosts in 1975 and played only two seasons with the blue-and-whites, but it was a period Marion admitted wasn't very successful.

"He didn't have the best years there in terms of results," Marion said.

"I remember Boyd Nattrass came over and talked him into playing and we copped a bit after he joined.

"We used to work at the South Club. He was a bouncer, and he'd walk into the club and the slanging would start."

Hodge's grandson Jake Whitton plays in the Ghosts U18 side on the wing, and will present the trophy to the winning captain at fulltime.



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