John Elias has boasted to family and friends that he is certain to be placed alongside some of Australian football’s greatest heroes in The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.
The Rugby League bad boy told anyone willing to listen that he had ‘made arrangements’ with the judges of the prestigious award immediately after learning of his nomination.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international and Sydney Roosters player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while Karmichael Hunt is the most recent recipient.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
“It’s all sweet mate, don’t worry,” he claimed.
“I called my business associates and they called the judges, and now we have an understanding.”
“I can’t wait, I’ll have my name next to Ben Cousins, Julian O’Neill, John Hopoate and all those guys – it’s fully sick mate. I even told the judges, you don’t have to worry about the plaque, my cousin knows a guy who can make them real cheap, but good quality too- real tasteful.”
Elias played for Newtown, Souths, Canterbury, Wests, Easts and Balmain, as well as in The UK. and France, and became known as one of the sport’s true bad boys for offences committed during and after his career.
In 1994, while playing for Souths he was involved in a match fixing plot and a year later was jailed for nine months for supplying amphetamines and for possessing machine gun parts and military style flak-vests.
He obviously missed his buddies on the inside because in 2004 he returned to the clink for another four years after he was found guilty of shooting his business partner in the leg.
Then, after a period of freedom, during which he coached the Lebanon national Rugby League team, he was found guilty of assault and given a five month suspended jail sentence.
Elias was last seen discussing the plaque with his cousin’s friend in order to ensure that the artist captured his best side.