NSW Football History Society Vice President, passed away today following a short illness.
Bill had a lung removed last year due to cancer but popped up as strong as ever following the operation. Then more recently two tumours were found near his brain. He survived one operation last week but respiratory complications developed with the single lung and he lost the fight against pneumonia.
Carey had an almost life-long association with Sydney football, after learning the game at The Scots School, Albury. He was still attending senior games in Sydney up until late 2013. There are very, very few of his ilk in the Sydney competition.
In 1959 his father was moved to Sydney in the bank and it was then that Bill took up with the Balmain Club where he forged an almost permanent spot on the wing for a decade or so. This was apart from one season when he was transferred as a young teacher to a remote school, north of Broken Hill. That year he played in Broken Hill.
Carey was a well known figure in the Sydney competition during the sixties with his wisp of honey blonde hair and glasses. He was one of the first players ever, to play the game wearing glasses.
He played well over 150 games with Balmain and regularly figured prominently in the voting for the league B & F medal. He also spent one year on the league’s management committee and was made a life member at Balmain, along with a number of others, in 1995.
Later Bill turned out with the Pennant Hills club when they were first formed and then moved his attention to the Pennant Hills junior club where, over the years, he held numerous positions, in latter years, mostly that of ground manager.
As a school teacher Bill also coached local and regional PSSA teams in preparation for the NSW trials.
He touched the lives of many people in Sydney football and was what could be regarded as somewhat of a colourful character, with a dogmatic disposition but one that stood for honesty and getting the job done. At the History Society he was often quoted as ‘the umpires’ friend’, but somehow this was something that not many umpires would have agreed with.
Nevertheless Bill was a tireless worker and supporter of the code and as the people in the Society got closer and to know him and his wife Robyn, found him to be a true gentleman and a good bloke.
He will be very sadly missed.