Greg Florimo played 285 games for his beloved North Sydney Bears from 1986-1998, but it’s an adventure he had ahead of his first run-on game which still catches fans’ imagination.
Generously donating an afternoon of his time for Inside Sport’s Dead In Goal rugby league podcast, the current boss of the Bears and NSW Origin and Test representative relived the famous incident which immediately caught the attention of the media back in the day.
“In 1986, making my run-on debut against the Bulldogs, I turned up with headgear; I’d never worn headgear in the couple of years I’d been with Norths,” Florimo told Dead In Goal.
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“Brian Norton, the Bears’ head coach, asked me why I was wearing the headgear. So I showed him the cut in my head - the eight stitches I had from falling off my skateboard the day before.
“I still ended up having a decent game; I marked up against Andrew Farrar, who was also in headgear – the clash of the headgears!
“The media asked about me … and so the coach gave them everything, obviously. As soon as they found out it was a skateboard accident, they asked me about it, and then they asked me to re-live it for the cameras!
“It became a whole story. It was in the newspaper, on the nightly news; me riding my skateboard down a hill over at the back of Artarmon, around the backstreets.
“I used to ride my skateboard from Willoughby to training at Primrose Park at the end of a day’s work. That was good. It kept me fit. It was about five kays with hills on a little skateboard, but then I’d be begging for a lift home from someone.
“The skateboard kid … that was me.”
(Header image by Getty Images)