The Parramatta Eels and Parramatta Leagues Club are saddened to learn of the passing of prominent Leagues and Eels life member and Eels Player # 146 Matthew Johnston. Matt’s relationship with the Club started in 1955 as a 19-year-old after growing up in Riverstone in northwestern Sydney.
He made his first-grade debut in 1957 becoming Eels player #146 against Newton and scored a try on debut. He played 162 games for the Club as a lock or backrower including 67 games in First Grade which included receiving the Eels player of the year award in 1960. Matt was also part of two major milestones for the Club including being part of Eels first Final’s winning team (First grade) in 1963 and being the first captain of an Eels Premiership winning team when the Eels won the third grade Grand Final in 1964.
Matt’s contribution to the Club continued well after his playing career, including being involved in the Club across a number of roles and in his later years was heavily in the Blue and Gold Alliance. Even well into his 80’s, Matt was a regular at all Eels home games and player reunions with his collection of memories and memorabilia continuing his strong connection with the Club.
In honor of Matt’s great contribution to the Club, our First-Grade team will be wearing black armbands in his memory.
Vale Matthew Johnston Player #146