This week we catch up with our former winger Steve Keir who played First Grade for the club between 1983 and 1984. His son, Dan represented the Raiders Under 20’s side the last two years and is now plying his trade for Mounties in the Jersey Flegg Cup.
Canberra Raider #44
What do you do for work now?
I’m a state sales manager for Wymac Gaming.
What’s your favourite memory as a Raider?
My favourite memory was probably the semi-final in 1984 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the SCG. I think it was the first ever semi-final for a Canberra Raiders side.
It was pretty special for a club that was relatively new to be in a semi-final.
What did it mean to you to wear the Raider’s jersey?
It was a wonderful opportunity growing up in Canberra as a local junior to represent your city and to live your dream in the NRL from home rather than having to pack up and chase your dream living in Sydney.
Chris Kinna and I were the youngest two to get inducted in that first year in 1982. It was just a realisation that I’d had some offers from Sydney to leave home but I would have had to live with a host family.
When the Raiders got inducted into the New South Wales comp at that time, most of the guys realised that if they were playing well enough, they could get to play in the NRL and live at home and have their friends and family watch them every week.
Who was your favourite teammate?
John Hardy. He was a very inspirational guy, a really hard trainer and he was a polite gentle giant. I think he ran fourth in the Rothmans medal in 1984. He was probably ahead of his time going into professionalism.
He was a former Daramalan boy and had a rugby union background like I did. He was a lot older than I was, he was probably seven or eight years older. I did watch them play first fifteen for the school and I certainly followed their career paths.
Him and Peter McGrath were ex Dara boys that I looked up to as a young boy coming into grade football.
Do you keep in touch with any of your former teammates?
Yeah, certainly a lot of the younger guys from that side still stay in touch.
In the early years, unfortunately a lot of those guys came from out of town. The senior side in those days was made up of 11 or 13 imports and a lot of those guys came in under the import rule and that’s where John (Hardy) and Pete (McGrath) were fantastic because they were locals like I was, along with Chris O’Sullivan who I grew up with.
What was your funniest moment as a Raider?
One of the funniest moments was probably in around the guys there was a lot of practical jokes in the early days and Don Furner Senior was a bit of a joker and always had a bit of fun and a good rapport with the guys.
We also toured a fair bit in those days and lived away and there’s some real characters in there, guys like David Grant and Gary Spears and a couple of those guys who were pretty colourful but fun guys.
I guess being one of the younger guys, they were always up for a bit of a joke but a particular one doesn’t stand out.
Do you have any advice for any younger players?
Well I guess because of my son Dan, I think nowadays talent isn’t enough. It’s all about putting yourself in a position to maximise what talent you have and that means making a lot of sacrifices to become professional. 80 per cent of it is what you do off the field.