Vale Paul Fenn, one of the true legends of the Shute Shield
Paul Fenn was one of the true legends of the Shute Shield. ADAM LUCIUS penned this tribute for the Marlins Fillets newsletter to one of our game’s real achievers
You knew you were in for a good time when you walked into a room and Paul Fenn was present.
Larger-than-life hardly begins to describe the bloke known to all as ‘Fenny’, ‘Foghorn’, ‘Fogs’ or ‘Foggsy’.
‘Fenny’ was so Manly he had his own beer tap at his beloved Steyne Hotel.
He would rightly point out that was fair enough as he had put many a publican’s child through private school.
‘Fenny’ was always up for a laugh, a story, a post-mortem on the Marlins’ – or Blues as he preferred to call them – latest performance or just a natter about life.
He treated everyone the same. If you were lucky enough to be at his table, you were in for the ride whether he’d known you 50 years or five minutes.
Just take a look at the Marlins Facebook page and check out the tributes – it’s incredible how many people he touched.
‘Fenny’ played 176-grade games for the Blues, including 23 in the top grade.
He cherished every one of them.
He made a series of rep teams as a junior and into his senior years, famously playing with good mate Bob Fulton for the Australian Services team against Sydney in 1968.
Away from football and family, ‘Fenny’ was one of the most respected newsmen in the Australian media, helping take Channel 9 to the top during the golden years of television.
Most importantly, he was a doting husband, father, grandfather and friend to many.
Typically, when we asked ‘Fenny’ to contribute to the “Why I Love the Marlins/Blues” section in an early edition of Marlins Fillets, he focused not purely on the grand finals, premierships and rep honours but the friendships made.
He wrote: “They are all special, male and female … geez we had some monstrous nights in the old Rugby Club.
“It’s still a buzz to walk along the Corso, bump into a mate, have a chat, then walk on thinking “gee he could play, that bloke”.
“I would kill to pull on that blue jumper again!”
Fenn also told Marlins Fillets about the joy of a reserve grade grand final win against Easts in 1967 (“We smashed them,” he said) and 30 years later watching his son Simon play in a Shute Shield grand final win over Eastwood.
Paul passed away last Thursday aged 75 after a long battle with cancer, his children Simon and Hayley by his side.
Our sincere condolences to the entire Fenn family.
“Legend” is a word that gets thrown around far too loosely, but not on this occasion.
‘Fenny’ truly was a legend and we’ll all raise a Reschs to him once out of lockdown