Jack Solway passed away on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday

Jack Solway (wearing glasses), with friends, at a football function in 2010
Jack Solway (wearing glasses), with friends, at a football function in 2010

Popular former Inverell rugby league coach, publican, bread vendor and sports store owner, Jack Solway, passed away on the Sunshine Coast at the weekend. He was 86.

Mr Solway, who also spent just on a decade living and coaching in Warialda, was once considered one of the best halfbacks playing outside the Sydney competition and in 1960 – from Warialda – was selected in the No.7 jersey for NSW Country to play against Sydney’s finest.

The same year he captained Northern Division against the touring French team.

Born in Newcastle, Jack spent much of his life involved in rugby league, playing and coaching at West Newcastle, South Newcastle, Urunga, Quirindi, Warialda and Inverell.

He was non-playing coach in Inverell for four years, from 1966 to 1969, but afterwards stayed heavily involved in the game as a committeemen, selector, referee and sponsor during his 16 years residing in the town.

When he first arrived, Jack was licensee at The Australian Hotel, but later he and his wife Shirley managed the Inverell Motel, owned the McIntyre Bread Shop and finally moved into Solly’s Sports Store.

In 2008, to celebrate the Century of Rugby League in Australia, Jack was among the nominees for the Group 19 Team of the Century, and for the NSW Country Rugby League’s Legends of League award.

Following a stroke in 1985 Jack moved to Brisbane to live and finally settled on the Sunshine Coast where he passed away on the morning of Saturday, June 9, after a lengthy illness.

He is survived by his third wife, Thelma, his children Sue, Graham, Robyn and Terry, brother Ken and 27 grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by wives Marg and Shirley.