FORMER Warrington Wolves hooker Ray Corkery has died in his native Australia at the age of 75.

Corkery joined Warrington from Sydney St George in 1967 and made one first-team appearance for the club at Doncaster that December.

Before coming to England, he had never seen snow and he was captivated by the winter wonderland views from the team coach travelling over the Pennies to Yorkshire.

It was quickly agreed that the coach would stop for him to take a closer look and a friendly snowball fight with his teammates was held under the watchful eye of coach Jackie Fleming.

Lifted by their display of high spirits Warrington romped to a 16-3 victory with a hat-trick of tries from centre and captain Jackie Melling, who died last month aged 77. Corkery won the scrum battle 19-18.

At Sydney St George, Corkery’s path to first-grade rugby was blocked by Test hooker Ian Walsh, while at Warrington he was unable to displace Peter Carrington and Dave Harrison at No9 so he returned home after visiting friends in America.

Back in Australia, Corkery became a player, captain, coach and stalwart with the Campbelltown City Kangaroos semi-professional side in New South Wales.

He died in October 2019 but, because of the coronavirus pandemic, news of his passing has only just reached Warrington.

He was one of 77 Australians to play for Warrington, with five more playing for the ‘A’ team without receiving a first-team call-up.

A memorial event to celebrate the life of Jackie Melling was held at the Holland Hall Hotel in Up Holland on Thursday last week.

Among those who attended was Joe Lydon, the former Widnes, Wigan and Great Britain centre, and Keith Gregory, Mike Gregory’s father, who knew Melling from his time coaching at the Wigan St Patrick’s amateur club.