Practice kick: Ray Sargeant at Murwillumbah Leagues Club with retired NRL star player Luke Covell.
Practice kick: Ray Sargeant at Murwillumbah Leagues Club with retired NRL star player Luke Covell. John Gass

84yo plans 'grand' kick for $100k

THE 84-year-old retired teacher from Murwillum- bah who won the chance to kick the football goal of a lifetime in the NRL grand final in Sydney was yesterday given a helping hand – and foot – by one of the games' greats.

Ray Sargeant admitted he hadn't kicked a ball for 25 years after winning the Keno prize two weeks ago which entitled him to a VIP box seat at the grand final on October 3, plus a chance to win $100,000 if he could kick a goal before the big game. Yesterday he took some lessons from former Cronulla Sharks player Luke Covell.

Mr Covell, known as a top goal-kicker, has just returned to live in the Murwillumbah district following a stellar league career, and jumped at the chance to give Mr Sargeant a few tips.

“I think he's wasting time on me,” Mr Sargeant quipped.

“But everybody should be interested that he's home.”

Mr Sargeant said he had already had a few practice kicks and he doubted whether he would be able to kick the ball the necessary 50 metres, let alone over the goalposts.

But he added: “I want to actually do a decent kick.”

Murwillumbah Leagues Club spokesman Bill Carrol said Mr Sargeant had phoned the club soon after winning his chance to kick a grand final pre-match goal.

“He rang to see if anyone could organise a little bit of kicking practice; for someone to give him a few lessons,” Mr Carrol said.

“I thought of Luke Covell because he has just returned home after retiring from Cronulla.

“He actually started his junior league at the leagues club grounds in Dorothy Street. He's been to the top in NRL and represented New Zealand. Luke was very interested in helping out.”

Mr Sargeant, a grandfather who lives with his wife Aveon at Murwillumbah's Mountain View Retirement Village won the chance to kick the goal in a Keno promotion through Murwillumbah Services Club.

Even if he doesn't make the goal posts, he still stands to score a consolation cash prize of $5000 on top of his luxury trip and $10,000 cash.



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