Mark Geyer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mark Geyer OAM
Personal information
Nickname MG
Born (1967-12-07) 7 December 1967 (age 48)
Playing information
Height 195 cm (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 105 kg (16 st 7 lb)
Position second-row
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1987–92 Penrith Panthers 92 7 0 0 28
1993 Balmain Tigers 13 2 0 0 8
1995–97 Western Reds 32 2 0 0 8
1998–00 Penrith Panthers 43 2 0 0 8
Total 180 13 0 0 52
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1989–91 New South Wales 3 0 0 0 0
1990–91 Australia 3 1 0 0 4
Source: NRL Stats, RLP

Mark Geyer (born 7 December 1967), is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s and '90s. An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative second-rower, he is currently a rugby league media identity. In the 1990s, he was one of the code's more controversial players in Australia due to his ability to generate headlines regarding both his on- and off-field activities and publicised comments, which gained him at least as much attention as much as for his undubitable playing talent. Geyer's club career was played primarily with Penrith, with whom he won a premiership in 1991, as well as the Balmain Tigers and the Western Reds. He is also the brother of fellow footballer Matt Geyer.

Since August 2009, Geyer has been part of the Triple M on-air team for the Sydney breakfast show called The Grill Team. Since 2012, Geyer has been a panelist on NRL on FOX for Fox Sports.

Playing career[edit]

In 1987, Geyer established a regular first-grade place with the Penrith Panthers and was selected for the City Seconds team after only a handful of top grade appearances. He also played in Penrith's 1987 Reserve Grade Grand Final winning team that defeated the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 11-0 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

In 1988, Mark Geyer was selected in the President's XIII against the touring Great Britain Lions at the Seiffert Oval near Canberra.

Geyer's reputation for controversy began that winter when he served a six-match suspension for the first five matches of 1989 with English club Sheffield Eagles, thus giving Penrith his services for four more games than they would otherwise not have had. Geyer also got his first taste of State of Origin football when he was selected in the second row for New South Wales team in Game 3 of the 1989 State of Origin series at Lang Park in Brisbane, though Queensland completed a series whitewash with a 36-16 win.

His 1990 season was largely lost to a succession of injuries restricting him to just 12 games, though he did play in Penrith's maiden Grand Final appearance (an 18-14 loss to the Canberra Raiders) and from there was selected along with Panthers team mates Greg Alexander, John Cartwright and Brad Fittler, for the 1990 Kangaroo tour. Geyer played in 11 games on the Kangaroo Tour, scoring 4 tries and earning his first Australian test jumper when he was selected on the bench for the first test against France at the Parc de Sports in Avignon. The Kangaroos won the test 60-4, though injury would keep him out of the second test in Perpignan.

Geyer's form for the high flying Panthers in 1991 again earned him selection for NSW during the State of Origin series. Geyer received a five-match suspension for an incident in the second game at a wet Sydney Football Stadium, which was preceded by an infamous half-time confrontation with Queensland captain Wally Lewis in which referee David Manson and NSW captain Ben Elias had to stand between the two who twice almost came to blows. He was cited for an elbow to the head of giant Qld fullback Paul Hauff which sparked an all-in brawl. His suspension saw him unavailable for selection in the first test of the 1991 Trans-Tasman Test series against New Zealand in Melbourne, though after the Australians lost the test 24-8 a number of changes were made and Geyer's form was rewarded with selection in the second test in Sydney and the third in Brisbane. The Aussies went on to win the final two tests to wrap up the series 2-1.[1]

In August of 1991, he was thought to be out for the rest of the season after injuring his ankle ligaments in a training session, only to return for the major semifinal.[2] However, despite his problems during the season, Geyer helped the minor premiers into the Grand Final where they gained revenge on Canberra with a 19-14 win that saw the Panthers win their first ever premiership since entering the competition in 1967. Geyer had a hand in all three of the Panthers tries on the day and was judged to be their best player, though his sin-binning for dissent by referee Bill Harrigan during the second half was thought to have cost him the Clive Churchill Medal as man of the match.[3]

Following his breakthrough season, Geyer continued to attract controversy during his playing career. After missing the 1991 end of season Australian tour of Papua New Guinea due to injury, he failed to play in Penrith's World Club Challenge match against Wigan at the famous Anfield ground in Liverpool (England) due to passport problems. In 1992, a sensation occurred when he tested positive to marijuana in a random drug test and he was suspended for ten matches, though Geyer, like the rest of the Panthers club, went through horrific circumstances in 1992 when his brother-in-law and team mate Ben Alexander, the younger brother of club captain Greg Alexander, was tragically killed in a car accident in June. Geyer's suspension cost him any chance of selection for either NSW or Australia in their successful defense of The Ashes against the touring Great Britain team.

Penrith then cancelled his contract and in 1993 he signed with Balmain, but was released from the team when he failed to attend training in January 1993. Geyer was rumoured to possibly play for South Sydney but, against the wishes of his manager, he spent a season with amateur club Umina on the Central Coast of NSW.

After moving to Perth in 1995 to link up with the newly formed Western Reds, Geyer showed good form despite a four-match suspension. The following two years, however, were decimated by suspensions totalling sixteen games and several injuries. Despite achieving the club's captaincy and some positive form late in 1996, News Corporation closed the door on the Reds a year later after it was rumoured the club had accumulated debts of over A$10 million. Geyer spent the last four years of his career back at Penrith but concerns over his fitness limited his role (and playing time) to starting from the interchange bench.

In 2000, Mark Geyer was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in rugby league.

Post-playing career[edit]

Since his retirement, Geyer has written extensively about rugby league for various newspapers and sporting magazines.

In May 2010 he spoke out about his mid career drug and alcohol battle that lasted from 1992 - 1995 [4] and how it almost ended his career. He said a large part of the drug usage was to simply trying to numb the pain of losing his best mate, Former Penrith player Ben Alexander (rugby league), who was killed in a car accident in 1992.

Geyer was a regular panellist on rugby league talk show The Sunday Roast where he referred himself as 'the man of the people'. He also is on Triple M in Sydney, as a breakfast presenter on The Grill Team Monday-to-Friday 6-9am with Matthew Johns and Gus Worland since August 2009. He also appears on Triple M on Saturday mornings, presenting the 'Dead Set Legends' segment alongside Ray Warren.

In 2012, it was announced that Geyer joined Fox Sports (Australia) as part of their Rugby League coverage. He is a Panelist on NRL on FOX

Geyer is actively involved in a number of charities, such as the Fight For Life charity boxing event,[5] he is the ambassador for the Save Our Sons charity.

In response to the 2010–2011 Queensland floods, Geyer organised the 2011 Legends of Origin charity match which raised $455,345 for the recovery effort.

On Australia Day 2013, Mark was announced in the Honours List. He received an Order Of Australia medal for "service to the sport of Rugby League football, and to the community through a range of charitable organisations."

Personal life[edit]

Geyer's younger brother Matt Geyer also played rugby league, initially with Mark at the Western Reds in 1997, before playing with the Melbourne Storm from 1998–2008.

Geyer is married to the sister of former fellow Penrith players Greg Alexander and the late Ben Alexander. Mark and his wife have five children: Logan, Montanna, Kennedi, Mavrik and Rafferti.

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Whiticker, Alan and Hudson, Glen; The Encyclopaedia of Rugby League Players (3rd edition); published 1998 by Gary Allen Pty. Ltd.; 9 Cooper Street, Smithfield, New South Wales, 2164.

External links[edit]