Minor crown named after Fox

Don Fox

JANET Fox, widow of former long-serving rugby league administrator, the late Don Fox, says the naming of the Digicel Cup minor premiership shield after her husband is a great honour.
“He would undoubtedly be extremely humbled and proud to receive this recognition as he always wanted Papua New Guinea to greatly achieve in rugby league,” she said when advised of the PNG National Rugby League Competition’s decision last week.
“Don’s heart was always in PNG. He loved the country and its people dearly.
“He took great enjoyment in singing your beautiful national anthem with love and pride.
“I – together with my daughters Joanne, Simone and Monique – consider your thoughtfulness in naming this shield after Don to be a truly heartfelt and magnificent gesture from the competition and PNG Rugby Football League (PNGRFL).
“We thank you sincerely for bestowing this honour.
“I know Don will be watching from above with great affection.”
The competition board said from this season, the minor premiers would receive the Don Fox Memorial Shield.
The minor premiers are the team at the top of the ladder at the end of the regular season.
Competition chairman Adrian Chow said: “Don’s illustrious involvement with PNG rugby league began when he arrived in 1966.
“He was a goal kicking front-rower when he joined Magani Badili rugby league club in Port Moresby.
“The team won the 1969, 1970 and 1971 premierships.
“He became captain-coach of the team and were beaten grand finalists in 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975.
“He hung up his boots in 1975 and became a referee.
“He captained Papua against New Guinea in an inter-territory series in 1971.
“Don also played for the PNG President’s 13 against Australian teams, including South Sydney, Eastern Suburbs and Western Suburbs.” He was the team manager of the PNG Kumuls to the 2000 World Cup in the United Kingdom and France.
Fox was the chairman of Toyota Mioks from 1999 to 2009. Toyota Mioks won the SP Cup in 2000.
He was the chairman of the PNG National Rugby League from 2008 and 2009 (Bemobile Cup) to 2010 and 2011 (Digicel Cup).
In November, 2011, he was requested to take up the PNGRFL chairmanship.
“In 2013, he handed over the chairmanship to Sandis Tsaka who still hold the post.” He remained on the PNGRFL board as a director until his passing in Brisbane on July 3, 2020.
Don was awarded PNGRFL life membership in Port Moresby on May 13, 2019.
He received an Order of British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II in 2009 for his sporting and community services.
Former competition chairman and current PNGRFL director Sudhir Guru presented the inaugural shield to Lae Tigers’ Enoch Sine in Port Moresby on Sunday.