The Moruya Sharks RLFC are saddened to hear of the passing of Max Hogno following a short illness.
The following has been provided by the club to celebrate the life and achievements of Mr Hogno.
Max was an iconic member of our community.
He moved to Moruya in 1965 with his wife Merle and young family - to continue his career as a Clerk of Petty Sessions [now known as Court Registrar] - and our township became better for it.
Max was an all round sportsperson but his two main passions were Rugby League and the Surf Life Saving movement, excelling at both.
He was an outstanding and gifted league player with his preferred position being centre but equally as skilful at lock or five-eight.
His job took him to a number of country towns where he quickly established himself in each A grade side as a leading player as well as representing the various Groups and Divisions. He also received offers to play for Balmain and Western Suburbs in the elite Sydney ARL competition but he turned them down choosing his career and family first.
He captain-coached the Nowra Warriors in Group 7 to consecutive grand finals and prior to coming to Moruya was captain/coach of Bombala in our Group 16 competition also leading them to a grand final.
It was while playing for Bombala he became the greatest ever single game point scorer in A grade rugby league where he amassed a record individual tally of 40 points (6 tries and 11 goals) against an opposing Group 16 team - 46 points in modern scoring as tries were only three points at the time.
A record that still stands to this day.
In 1965 Moruya did not have a team with many Moruya players playing for Bodalla including Max as captain coach. Moruya reformed in 1966 with Max coaching the reserve grade side and playing first grade, who made the grand final, only to be defeated
In 1969 while playing first grade he succeeded this time in coaching the reserve grade to win the title.
Known records indicate that this was the first, reserve grade premiership for the Moruya Club.
Testimony to the victory is proudly displayed with a team photo hanging on the wall of fame at the Adelaide Hotel.
Also in the same year the first grade team made the grand final only to be beaten again.
Max played and coached both first and lower grades including junior teams for Moruya with distinction from 1966 to his retirement from the game in 1972. A career spanning 17 years playing in the top grade as well as achieving an impressive representative resume' including NSW Country.
He still remained an ardent supporter of the Sharks, rarely missing a home game.
His second passion being Surf Life Saving began at the Nowra - Culburra club whilst coaching the Warriors and he soon joined the Moruya SLSC on his arrival to town
Max's extensive involvement and contribution to the club (to the present day) and the Surf Life Saving movement in general was recognised with life membership of both his Moruya Club and the Far South Coast Branch, SLSA.
Max (together with Merle) was dedicated to the community and he held various executive/volunteer positions with many clubs and charitable organisations including President of our Moruya RLFC and the Surf Club.
His community and sporting achievements culminated in him being an Olympic Torch Relay Runner in 2000 as well as receiving a Commonwealth Sports Medal Award.
Max was a true gentleman and he will be sadly missed by everyone who had the pleasure and privilege of knowing him.
Our deepest condolences are extended to his wonderful wife, Merle and family.