True Blues | Mark Geyer
Mark Geyer was one of Rugby League’s tough guys, using his intimidation and raw aggression to his advantage on the field. He had stints with the Balmain Tigers and the Western Reds, but was known for his 125 first grade matches for the Penrith Panthers, which included a 1991 premiership. Regarded as one of the best players in the competition in the early 1990’s, Geyer was close to the best player on the field in their Premiership victory over Canberra, despite being sin-binned in that game for dissent.
His Moment: In what is a surprise to most, Geyer only donned the sky-blue jersey on three occasions. What he was most famous for, however, turned out to be one of the biggest moments in State of Origin history. The infamous half-time confrontation with Wally Lewis, where referee David Manson and NSW captain Ben Elias had to stand between them in the 1991 series is a moment that defines what Origin is all about. This match turned out to be his final Origin match, as he was suspended for an elbow to the head of Queensland fullback Paul Hauff.
His Career: Geyer was in a losing side for his first two Origin matches, and interestingly enough, NSW went down in Game I of the 1991 series 6-4, just like in 2016. His final match in 1991 - where he had his standoff with Lewis – he was part of a 14-12 victory, and added to his two Australian appearances later that year. Geyer enjoyed much success in his three matches for Australia, being part of the right end of an 144-16 accumulative score-line. He played all throughout the 1990’s, and eventually retired at the turn of the millennium with 180 first grade games and many more great moments under his belt.
Where Is He Now: Mark Geyer is the poster-boy for success stories post-retirement. His breakfast radio show, The Grill Team, co-hosted by Matthew Johns and Gus Worland has been a massive success on Triple M since it’s debut in 2009. Mark Geyer was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Rugby League in 2000, and on Australia Day in 2013, he received an Order of Australia medal for his sporting achievements, and his charity work.