Latest News

Thursday 24 February 2022


It is with much sadness that Wests Ashfield advises of the passing of popular Life Member and former Director, Mr Ron Powell. After joining Wests Ashfield in 1968, Ron was elected to the Board of Directors in 1992 and served the Club diligently until he resigned the position in 2012.

Ron also served on the Board of Wests Campbelltown (1990-1996) and in 2000 was an inaugural member of the Wests Tigers Board until stepping down from the role in 2012.  He was recognised for his services in both administrative and sporting areas when awarded several Life Memberships; of two Referees’ Associations, of Wests Magpies Rugby League Club in 1992, Wests Ashfield Leagues 2006 and the NSW Rugby League in 2009.

Ron was also awarded the Australian Sports Medal by the Commonwealth Government in 2001 in recognition of his services to Rugby League.

Our sincere condolences are with his family at this time.

Details of Ron’s funeral are as follows – Monday, 28 February at Magnolia Chapel, Macquarie Park commencing at 10.00am – this will be followed by a wake at the chapel.

Tuesday 11th January, 2022

Dear Members and Guests,

Wests Ashfield is pleased to inform, our beloved Wests Sports Croydon will be reopening Friday 14  January from 11am-10pm. We thank all our members and guests for your understanding during these challenging times.

Wednesday 5th January, 2022

The COVID situation in Sydney is rapidly changing on a daily basis, and as a result it is impacting the availability of staff over our three (3) venues. To enable us to get through this trying time, a difficult decision has been made to close Wests Sports Croydon from the end of trade tonight until further notice.

Friday 24th December, 2021

Attention Members and Guests,

Due to the escalating prevalence of Covid 19 in the community,  the Board and Management of WAL have taken the difficult decision to cancel NYE in the Lounge.

Whilst we apologize for any inconvenience caused, the health and safety of our members, guests and staff will always be of paramount concern to us.

Thursday 23rd December, 2021

Today the NSW government announced the re-introduction of the following restrictions;

From 12.01am Friday, 24 December,2021

  • Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including for hospitality staff and in offices, unless eating or drinking.

From 12.01am Monday, 27 December 2021

  • Hospitality venues, including pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes will move to 1 person per 2 sqm rule indoors, with no density limit for outdoor settings
  • QR code check-ins will be compulsory, including for hospitality and retail – This has already been implemented in our venues.

These restrictions will remain in place until Thursday, 27 January 2022.


Please be advised of the following trading hours for our three venues for Christmas Day and New Years Eve.

Wests Ashfield

  • Open Christmas Day
  • The Garden will be open for lunch and dinner (bookings essential)
  • Wok On will be closed on Christmas Day and will be re-opening on boxing day
  • NYE | DJ in the Lounge from 8pm


Wests Sports Croydon

  • Closed Christmas Day
  • NYE | Closing normal time
  • REMINDER | Promotions (Trivia, Pick the Joker and Raffles) will be concluding From Thursday 23 December 2021  and  will be recommencing with Trivia on Tuesday 11th January, 2022.
  • Amici Family Bistro will be closed for LUNCH ONLY on 26th, 27th and 28th of Dec and also for the 1st and 2nd Jan.

 Markets Club

  • Christmas Day Saturday 25 December | CLOSED
  • Boxing Day Sunday 26 December | 10am – Midnight
  • Public Holiday Monday 27 December | 10am – Midnight
  • Public Holiday Tuesday 28 December | 10am – Midnight
  • NYE | Closing normal time
  • New Years Day Saturday 1 January | 10am – 2am
  • Sunday 2 January | 9am – Midnight
  • Public Holiday Monday 3 January | 10am – Midnight Closed



Alan Keith Davidson passed away last Saturday morning, 30 October surrounded by his immediate family. ‘Davo’ was 92.

However, ‘Davo’ was never an old man! He had the bright and incisive mind of the youthful enthusiast, right until the end.

Alan Davidson achieved as a young man and never saw any reason why others couldn’t do the same. He constantly sought out youth and encouraged their development during a lifetime that was longer than some and more active than most.

Encouraged by his grandfather, who had built Alan a wicket out of the side of a hill at his home a Lisarow on the NSW Central Coast, Davo certainly developed a lifelong belief in his ability to succeed.

As a young man in Lisarow, the teenage Alan Davidson was already playing senior rugby league in the Newcastle competition. In 1949, he represented NSW in cricket at the age of 20. Within four years he had represented Australia on Tours to New Zealand and England.

The 1953 Ashes Tour selection must have been very satisfying for Alan and his family, as Alan as a youth had vowed to his grandfather that he would one day “be on that ship”.

Alan Davidson had to wait his turn behind the likes of Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller before taking charge of new ball duties for Australia. However, he quickly became the pre-eminent all-rounder in international cricket as Richie Benaud’s side remained undefeated in all series from 1958-59 until 1963-64.

Davo’s left arm swing bowling rewarded him with 186 Test wickets at only 20.5, with that incredible economy rate confirmed during his 193 first class games, where he took 672 wickets at 20.9.

If State and International Players found it hard to cope with Davo, spare a thought for Sydney grade cricketers. Despite the fact that Sydney Grade was the backbone of the NSW domination of the Sheffield Shield during the 1950’s and 1960’s, Alan took 245 wickets at only 12.03 playing for his beloved Western Suburbs.

Western Suburbs won three of their eleven first grade premierships during the Davidson era, with Alan as captain in 1963-64.

To add that Davo ‘could bat a bit’ would be a massive understatement. He got runs and he could get them quickly: 1,328 Test runs at 24.6; 6,803 runs in all first class games at 32.9, including 9 centuries.

During the era Alan went out to bat at Pratten Park, lawn bowling was a well-attended Saturday event and the neighbouring bowling club patrons would invariably go inside the clubhouse for a drink rather than risk being hit by a Davo six! In 83 innings for Wests from 1952-53 until 1964-65, he scored 3,437 runs at 41.41, with a top score of 128.

Davidson’s nickname in the field was ‘The Claw’. He took 42 catches in his 44 Tests and 168 catches across his first class career of 193 matches.

The ‘stats’ can simply roll on, however, perhaps the greatest indication of Alan’s cricketing prowess was that after 83 years of Test cricket competition, in December, 1960, Davo became the first Player to take 10 wickets (he actually took 11 at 20.18) and score 100 runs in a Test Match.

After his playing career, Alan Davidson dedicated 33 years of his life as President of NSW Cricket. He was an Australian selector from 1979-1984.

At the time of his passing on Saturday, Davo was a co-Patron of Cricket NSW, which meant he had served the State continuously for 72 years, since earning his first baggy blue cap in 1949.

Wests Magpies rugby league president, Jack Neill, travelled to Newcastle to ‘scout’ the teenage goal kicking fullback. However, when Alan decided on a career in cricket and the greater worldwide travel it offered, Neill left the offer open for Davo to train with the league side anytime. After a year at Northern District cricket, Alan married Betty, they moved to Strathfield, the ‘residential rule’ kicked in and Davidson played cricket for Wests and also trained through winter on Pratten Park, with Keith Holman, Harry Wells, Neville Charlton, Peter Dimond, Noel Kelly and co.

Davo presented his 1956 Ashes Tour baggy green cap to Holman as a ‘thank you’ for all the fitness work that ‘Yappy’ put in to assist the big fast bowler.

Alan was the inaugural winner of the prestigious Wests Ashfield ‘Magpie Award’ after his successful exploits on the 1961 Ashes Tour of England.

What Alan Keith Davidson means to Western Suburbs cricket can never be fully documented, and certainly not replaced. He so often said that “you could never find elsewhere the spirit and comradery that exists within the western suburbs sporting community”. Davo was a corner stone of that ‘spirit’.

To Alan’s wife Betty, his son Neil and the Davidson family, all at Western Suburbs extend our deepest sympathies. We share the enormous loss.

There will be other Greats, but none greater than Alan Davidson AM MBE

God Speed, Davo!


All memberships that were due for renewal in the months on June, July, August, September or October while the venues were in lockdown have received a 12 months complimentary membership.

Please see our friendly reception staff next time you are in one of our venues to have your card printed.



Dear Members & Guests,

We are pleased to announce that all venues will be reopening on Monday 11 October, 2021;

  • Wests Ashfield is reopening at 12.01am
  • Markets Club is reopening at 6.00am
  • Wests Sports Croydon is reopening at 10.00am

Please find below our conditions of entry in accordance with the NSW Public Health Orders.

  • Only members, visitors, staff and contractors who are fully vaccinated will be permitted entry into the venue and must provide proof of vaccination.
  • Mandatory Check-in to the venue via Service NSW QR Code
  • Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor premises and settings, except children under 12.
  • Group bookings will be limited to 20 at; – The Garden Restaurant, Wests Ashfield, Amici Family Bistro at Wests Sports Croydon and Markets Chinese Restaurant, Homebush West.
  • Practice social distancing as per the one person per 4sqm in all areas within the Club and 2sqm outside.

Our friendly staff are fully vaccinated and are doing their best to welcome you back into a Covid Safe venue! Please note that we will continue to operate based on the restrictions announced by NSW Health. We thank you for your cooperation and sticking by your club during these challenging times. We look forward to welcoming you back into our venue!





Updated: Monday 13 September 2021

Wests Ashfield is proud to be able to offer our venue to the NSW Health team who provided vaccination to 1800 people over the last weekend. We will update this section with further information regarding the next vaccination pop-up clinic to take place on Friday 1 October, Saturday 2 October & Sunday 3 October (Dose 2 Pfizer).

Thank you for getting the jab and protecting you and the community. #StrongerTogether #GetVaccinated



Updated: Thursday 9 September 2021


Wests Ashfield is pleased to have been approved as a vaccination pop-up location.

Calling on anyone aged 16-59 the Sydney Local Health District Mobile Vaccination team will be at Wests Ashfield Leagues from this Friday 10th September 2021. 

Free Pfizer Vaccinations will be available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10, 11, and 12 September.


Protect you and your loved ones from COVID-19 …

– Wests Ashfield Leagues



Congratulations to 2017/2018 & 2018/2019 Magpie Sports Award winner Madison De Rozario on her outstanding success at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics games winning Gold in the 800m Women’s 800m – T53 and Bronze in the Women’s 1500m – T54.

On Tuesday 27 August 2021 the Wests Ashfield Board of Directors appointed Tony Andreacchio as Chairman and Julie Romero as Deputy Chair.


 Tony Andreacchio has almost three decades’ experience in local business (the past 20 as Principal of Raine & Horne Real Estate Ashfield), over 30 years membership of Wests Ashfield and a lifelong passion for rugby league, and is a true local. For more than a decade, Tony has been an executive of the Ashfield Chamber of Commerce; Area Chairman of the Ashfield Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal and in recent times, was appointed to the Vincentian Fathers Advisory Board Oceania. His many and varied social and community interests include financial support of the Reverend Bill Crews’ Exodus Foundation, Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off the Streets, APIA Leichhardt Tigers Soccer Club and inner west sports.


Julie Romero is the first female director in the Club’s history, a significant achievement. Julie became a Debenture Holder in January 2009 and held the role of Secretary from February 2010 to December 2012. In February 2014, Julie was elected Debenture Holder Chairperson and held that role until February 2020, when she was nominated for election to the Board of Directors. Aside from Wests, Julie is passionate about her family and her career and has many other varied interests. She has a 30+ year career in the insurance industry and has worked for Australia’s largest insurer, as well as one of the largest global brokerages. She has held leadership and managerial roles and worked extensively in business development, sales and marketing, corporate governance, relationship and account management. Julie has strong business acumen and skills.

Please join us to congratulate Tony and Julie on their newly appointed positions.


Vale Mike Bailey OAM

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the passing of our Chairman, Mike Bailey OAM.

Mike passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Sunday night, 20 June 2021.

After being a Member since August 1996, Mike commenced on the Board in March 2010 and was elected to Chairman in June 2011.

During his time as Chairman of Wests Ashfield, Mike also served at various times as Chairman of both Wests Tigers and Wests Magpies, two roles he was honored to take on and roles that were close to his heart having been a passionate Wests Magpies man his whole life and someone who embraced the joint venture after it was formed in 1999.

Having spent his working career in journalism where he worked for numerous television organisations and radio stations, Mike brought to the Board an unprecedented knowledge of the media world. Mike was most recognisable as the man who informed Sydney of the daily weather through his long period as, at first, the Channel 7 weatherman, followed by many years at the ABC.

As Chairman of Wests Ashfield and throughout his career, Mike had an ability to present in a way that was enviable to all – his clear, authentic and statesman like approach to communication ensured those he communicated to with his smooth voice, would glean exactly what it was that he was informing them of.

During his 10 years as Chairman, Mike oversaw unprecedented success for our Club that has ensured Wests Ashfield has continued to be a financially powerful organisation with three successful Clubs and, in the process, has taken our ownership of Wests Tigers from 33% to 90%. The Club had a record year last year, which will be surpassed this year. Mike was extremely proud of our Club and was honored to represent the Members.

Mike was respected by all who knew him and in 2020, he was awarded the Order of Australia medal (OAM) for his service to the community; Mike had a particular affinity with the Irish community, especially the St Patrick Day celebrations.

Wests Ashfield CEO Simon Cook said “The news of Mike’s passing is devastating.  Mike was a mentor, a friend and a beautiful human being. The staff and I will miss his smiling face, his wisdom, loyalty and his unwavering support. Our thoughts are with his wife Helena, son Michael and his extended family at this heartbreaking time.”

Deputy Chairman Tony Andreacchio said “On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Helena, Michael and the family. Mike was a wonderful Chairman who has steered this Club to the successful organisation it is today. Mike will be deeply missed by all at Wests Ashfield, today is a very sad day for our Club”.

Updated 17 June 2021

In accordance with NSW Public Health Advice, Wests Ashfield would encourage anyone who has visited any of the Hotspots outlined on their website to stay at home, get tested and avoid visiting the Club for the next 14 days.

For all the latest information of venues, dates and health advice, please visit;

Wests Ashfield Leagues takes our responsibility to consistently be COVIDSafe very seriously. We will continue to operate with intentions to keep our staff and patrons safe.

Updated Wednesday 26 May 2021


Please be advised, that due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the Magpie Sports Awards Presentation will not be held this year.



Updated Monday  10 May 2021

Extended COVID Restrictions to 12.01am Monday May 17

The NSW Government has made it mandatory for all hospitality venues to use the Service NSW QR code to check-in our Members and Guests.

The check-in process for all three venues is as follows:-

  1. Scan the QR Code shown at the entry, follow and complete the prompts
  2. Present your completed QR on your phone to our staff

For all the latest information of venues, dates and health advice, please click here ;

In accordance with NSW Public Health Advice, Wests Ashfield would encourage anyone who has visited any of the Hotspots outlined on their website to stay at home, get tested and avoid visiting the Club for the next 14 days.

Wests Ashfield Leagues takes our responsibility to consistently be COVIDSafe very seriously. We will continue to operate with intentions to keep our staff and patrons safe.


Monday 19 April 2021















Attention Members and Guests,

Due to upgrade of the electricity network conducted by Ausgrid, we will be facing a temporary power outage from 7.30am- 3pm.

Please be advised that Wests Sports Croydon will be operating from 3.30pm – 10pm on Monday 3 May 2021.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.




Wednesday 7 April 2021

In Memory of Tom Raudonikis













The Wests Ashfield Leagues community is deeply saddened by the news that Western Suburbs Magpies legend Tom Raudonikis has passed away.

Club Chairman Mike Bailey OAM spoke for all members when he said ‘this is a very sad day for the Magpies and Rugby League in general. Tommy epitomised everything that was good about our game displaying courage, leadership, skill and passion every time he took the field. In retirement he was revered by teammates, opponents and fans alike. His love of football and life in general was always on display. Our thoughts are with Tommy’s partner Trish and his loved ones.’

Wednesday 31 March 2021

Dine and Discover has launched at Wests Ashfield Leagues! The Garden and Golden Times are now accepting the NSW Government Dining vouchers, See the below information on the terms and conditions of the vouchers should you be asked;

  • No change will be given from the vouchers
  • The vouchers cannot be used to purchase Alcohol, Tobacco/Cigarettes or used for gaming
  • The vouchers are able to be used Monday – Sunday (Including public holidays)
  • Customers can combine their vouchers towards the same bill. However, each customer can only redeem one voucher at either Golden Times or The Garden per day.

For more information or to claim your vouchers please visit the Service NSW website

Friday 1 January 2021

Valued Members and Guests,

The NSW Government has made it mandatory for all hospitality venues to use the Service NSW QR code to check-in our Members and Guests.

Effective immediately, the check-in process for all three venues is as follows:-

  1. Scan the QR Code shown at the entry, follow and complete the prompts
  2. Present yourself to our staff for a temperature check
  3. Present your completed QR on your phone to our staff


What if my phone can’t read QR codes?

We would suggest downloading the Service NSW app prior to entry. There is a QR Code reader in the app and it also saves your details so you don’t have to re-enter them every time you enter one of our venues.

My camera doesn’t have a phone, or I don’t have a phone at all.

Not a problem. Please see one of our friendly staff and they’ll happily enter your details for you.

Why is my information being collected?
Service NSW will only collect your name and telephone number, along with the date and time of entry into the venue. This information is all that is required by them to be able to contact you to inform you of any requirements due to contact exposure to COVID 19, should they need to. This information is cleared after 28 days.

I don’t want to share my details.

Wests Ashfield is acting in accordance to the recent Public Health Order. Under this Order, it is a requirement that any visitors to a venue register their details to assist with contact tracing. If you choose not to provide your details, you’ll be refused entry.

For any updates, please visit our website

Stay safe, look after one another and we look forward to seeing you at Wests Ashfield Leagues.

Yours sincerely


Monday 21st December 2020

In accordance with NSW Public Health Advice, Wests Ashfield would encourage anyone who has visited any of the Hotspots outlined on their website to stay at home, get tested and avoid visiting the Club for the next 14 days.

For all the latest information of venues, dates and health advice, please visit;

Wests Ashfield Leagues takes our responsibility to consistently be COVIDSafe very seriously. We will continue to operate with intentions to keep our staff and patrons safe.

Monday 28 September 2020


As of Friday 25 September 2020, the amalgamation between Wests Ashfield Leagues and Balmain Leagues Club was finalised. This is the culmination of members from both Wests Ashfield and Balmain Leagues respectively voting to amalgamate in September of 2019.

“On behalf of the management team and staff of Wests Ashfield Leagues, I would like to congratulate the board and management of Balmain Leagues for their cooperation in bringing this unification to fruition.

This would not be possible without the diligence and determination shown by the Board, to take the opportunity to become a unified body.

The amalgamation will provide an opportunity for the prosperity and security of both Wests Tigers and the local Balmain Rugby League.

We look forward to growing the brand within our community into the future and are excited to see where we can go from here.”

Simon Cook, CEO

“This amalgamation is a major step forward in the development of Wests Ashfield Leagues Club and it provides support to strengthen the footprint of Wests Tigers.

Members of both Wests and Balmain voted overwhelmingly to support the amalgamation process when it was put to separate meetings in September 2019, with final approval having now been granted.

Management teams from both Wests Ashfield and Balmain Leagues made major c

ontributions towards this end and I take this opportunity to thank all of those who have been involved including my fellow Board Members, CEO Simon Cook, and the management team.

Amalgamating the two clubs underwrites the security of Wests Tigers along with assisting the Balmain Rugby League competition, and support will continue to be provided to the operations of Wests Magpies.

It provides greater opportunities for the growth and development of Wests Ashfield and it offers both Wests and Balmain a positive platform to work together.”

Mike Bailey, Chairman

Friday, 24th July 2020


In the very best interest of our staff, members, guests, community and in response to NSW Public Health advice the following Conditions of Entry Apply:-

  • Upon entering the Club, Patrons are to sanitize their hands
  • Temperature checks will be taken. Entry will be denied to anyone with a temperature greater than 37.5 degrees
  • Your Membership Card or Drivers License (in the case of a Visitor) will be swiped
  • If you reside in a Hotspot area, you will be asked a series of questions. We reserve the right to deny entry to any patron wishing to enter.
  • Members are required to swipe their Membership Card upon exiting the Club. Visitors are required to surrender their Visitor slip which includes a valid contact phone number.
  • Upon leaving the Club, Patrons are to sanitize their hands

We reserve the right to deny entry to any patron wishing to enter

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Notice of Annual General Meeting

The 65th Annual General Meeting of Western Suburbs Leagues Club Limited as postponed due to the temporary closure of the Club has now been rescheduled and will take place on Saturday, 11 July 2020 at 10.00am.

Hard copies of the Annual Report together with the Minutes of the 64th Annual General Meeting will be available on the day.



Sunday, 31 May 2020

COVID-19 Procedures

Wests Ashfield is delighted to be able to open our doors and welcome back our staff, members and guests from Monday, 1st June. In order to comply with NSW Government restrictions and keep everyone safe, things will be a little different in the Club.

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community, the following conditions and practices will be implemented in accordance with restrictions as outlined by the NSW Government:

· Each area within the Club has been given a total capacity to comply with physical distancing measures
· Our staff have completed COVID-19 training to ensure that they comply with hygiene guidelines
· ‘Mingling marshals’ will be appointed to assist with any concerns, questions and ensure the safety of everyone within the Club
· The Garden Bar will be operating as a ‘card only’ outlet
· There will be directional signage and reminders of physical distancing
· There will be no cutlery, glass or plate settings on tables
· Staff will maintain as much distance as possible between members and guests
· Increased cleaning of common touchpoints
· Additional sanitizing stations and wipes have been installed
· For monitoring purposes, members and guests will be required to sign in and out of the Club
· The Garden and Golden Times Chinese Restaurant will not accept bookings greater than 10 people
· The Garden and Golden Times Chinese Restaurant will not hold more than 50 people at one time

We thank you for your understanding at this time and look forward to seeing you all again at Wests Ashfield.

Simon Cook

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

We’re back!

Dear Members and Guests,

Wests Ashfield is excited to announce that at 9.00am on Monday 1st June, our doors will open once again!

We have been working diligently to ensure that your Club is compliant with all Government guidelines and will be enforcing best practice to keep our staff and community safe.

At this time, all promotions, entertainment and functions are on hold, however, we will continue to monitor the situation.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to welcoming you back.


Simon Cook | CEO

Sunday, 17 May 2020

In Memory of Arthur Summons

On behalf of all the staff, board and management at Wests Ashfield Leagues, we would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Arthur Summons, following his passing on Saturday, the 16th of May.


Arthur Summons was renowned for his talent and charisma both on and off the field. A talented rugby league and union player, Summons had a remarkable career in both representing Australian on the international stage and in playing for the Western Suburbs Magpies.


Arthur was the quintessence of rugby league, he embodied all that a player should be. He had undeniable talent, was a fierce competitor, and processed a loveable and warm character which made him loved by all both on and off the field.


Our thoughts are all with Arthur’s wife Pam and his family during this time. Rugby League has lost a true icon.“

Monday, 23 March 2020

Temporary Closure due to COVID-19

Dear Members and Guests


As you are all no doubt aware, last night the Prime Minister announced that further measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 would be introduced that will require the temporary closure of all licensed venues and it is with much sadness that I inform you Wests Ashfield is now closed effective immediately.


It has always been the focal point of Wests Ashfield to provide support for our members and guests; now more than ever we ask that we care for one another. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of our community for their ongoing words of kindness and support.


We will continue to remain positive and are confident that once we have all come through this challenging time, Wests will be back in operation and welcoming in our members and guests once more.


For more information please visit


Follow us to stay up to date with all information


Stay safe, look after one another and we look forward to seeing you again soon at Wests Ashfield.

Yours sincerely


Monday, 23 March 2020

Postponement of AGM

As a result of the fluid situation concerning COVID-19, please be advised that the 65th Annual General Meeting of Western Suburbs Leagues Club Ltd has been postponed.

In consultation with the Board of Directors, the Club has acted in accordance with the Government’s recent announcement regarding a ban on indoor gatherings of 100 or more persons.

The Board of Directors will establish a new date for the Annual General Meeting in due course. As per the Constitution, the Club will provide notice of the rescheduled Annual General Meeting, twenty-one days in advance to Club Members.
We sincerely appreciate your understanding of the Club implementing such measures at this time.


Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Amalgamation outcome: Wests Ashfield – Balmain Leagues Club

Dear Members,

As you would be aware, last week there were two very important meetings in the history of Western Suburbs Leagues Club Ltd (Wests Ashfield) and Balmain Leagues Club (Balmain).

The first meeting on the evening of Wednesday 18th September, saw Balmain members vote in favour of the proposed amalgamation or takeover by Wests Ashfield.

The following evening, Thursday 19th September, the members of Wests Ashfield, voted almost unanimously to support the amalgamation proposal.  The support extended to keep alive our fellow foundation club is an important historical moment involving both clubs.

Following both sides of the membership base approving the amalgamation, an application is being lodged for final approval from the NSW Liquor and Gaming Authority.

Once this is received, it’s full steam ahead to transfer Balmain Leagues Club’s 12,000 memberships, along with the profitable Tigers Sydney Markets Club operation and associated assets to Wests Ashfield.

Included in the amalgamation and to continue fostering and propagating the game of rugby league, the Balmain Tigers Rugby League Football Club will be funded by Wests Ashfield.  This does not change our continuing support for the operations of Wests Magpies, which has been in place since 1955.

The former Rozelle site of Balmain operations remains the subject of consideration by the State Government, for the use of its land as a possible excavation entryway or “dive site” for the Western Harbour Tunnel.  If the State Government were not to proceed with further consideration of this matter, an agreement for a lease for uses of the property will be entered into with the current developer and is subject to due diligence and terms that are favourable to Wests Ashfield.

I wish to thank everyone who has been involved with this process and a special mention to my fellow Board members; our CEO, Simon Cook and his management team, for their due diligence and you, our members.


Mike Bailey

Chairman | Wests Ashfield


VALE – John Chalk AM

Balmain Tigers are deeply saddened at the passing of life member John Chalk AM.

Undoubtedly a legend of the Balmain Tigers, Chalk started as a ball boy for the Tigers in 1955. He served as both a manager and selector with the Jersey Flegg teams in the 1970s and 80s, before joining the Balmain Tigers Board in 1985. He became Chairman in 1997 and was the inaugural Chairman of Wests Tigers.

John also served on the NSWRL, ARL and NRL boards from 2001 onwards, serving as NSWRL and ARL Chairman from 2010-2012. He has been President of NSWRL since 2013 and was awarded Life Membership in 2015. He was recognised at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence in 2019 with a room named in his honour.

In 2016, Chalk was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) “for significant service to rugby league as an administrator at the state and national level, and to Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth.”

Few have served our club, nor our game, for as long and with as much distinction as John Chalk.

The thoughts of everyone in the Balmain Tigers community are with John’s wife Lyn and their family in this difficult time.

One of the great Tigers, John will be sorely missed by all in our game.

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses


Friday 22 March 2019


The Board of Wests Ashfield wishes to address matters that were raised through a report in The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) of 22 March 2019: “Balmain saved from brink of extinction with new leagues club to come”.

There is a very, very long way to go before achieving the end result of what is the headline, covering that story.

No final “deal” has been arranged in relation to the future of Balmain and their leagues clubs, which were put into voluntary administration late last year.

Directors of Wests Ashfield have agreed to become involved in negotiations that ultimately will play a role in determining the future of those clubs.

This action has been taken on the basis that any final outcome of this matter will result in producing arrangements that are commercially viable to the financial and other interests of our Club at Ashfield and to its continuing commitment to supporting our community commitments including Wests Tigers and Wests Magpies.

It should be noted that ultimately, any decision on finalising arrangements will require the approval of members of both Wests Ashfield Leagues and Balmain Leagues.

This is a most important point and, to be fair, it’s one that was mentioned in the second paragraph of the SMH story.

In the short term, business arrangements will continue as they have been regarding all of our operations and Wests Ashfield Leagues Club will continue supporting Wests Tigers and Wests Magpies and junior football in our region.