The Australian Rugby community is mourning the passing of nine-Test Wallaby, Alan Michael Cardy, who has passed away aged 76.
A powerful athlete, Cardy's Rugby journey commenced quite late following a raft of underage accolades in track and field.
He ran 22.0 seconds to finish third in the 220 yards at the Australian National Championships in the same year. The fourth place in that race, just one-tenth of a second adrift of Cardy, went to Victoria’s Peter Norman, who later won the 200-metre silver medal at the 1968 Olympic Games quantifying Cardy's natural ability.
Subsequently joining Drummoyne Rugby Club, Cardy was initially selected in fourth grade. Before a debut performance that saw him find the try line on four occasions swiftly elevated Cardy to first grade before injury stuck, ruling him out of the remainder of the 1965 season.
In 1967, Cardy was named in the Australian Rugby Almanac's list of Five Players of the Year' as one of the most exciting prospects the code has seen for some time.
In just two months, Cardy jumped from virtual obscurity into the Australian Test team. He was described as 'possessing wonderful speed and strength and having only played five first grade games when he first won selection, he seemed destined to become one of the country's great internationals' the article regaled.
Cardy's form in those four first grade matches of 1966 earned him selection for both interstate representative games. In turn, Cardy's first international match was quickly followed, for NSW in their 6-6 draw with the British Lions. Shortly after, Cardy ran out for his Test debut, against the Lions, in Sydney.
Cardy was among the first players chosen for the fifth Wallabies tour of Britain where he proved to be one of the big success stories, playing in 27 matches, including all five of the Tests, scoring 11 tries.
Unfortunately, Cardy missed the entire domestic representative season in 1967 due to a hamstring injury but returned for the Bledisloe Cup series the following year, playing in what would be his final Test.
He switched codes in 1969 after he signed a four-year contract to play rugby league with Eastern Suburbs. Injuries eventually saw Cardy give the game away however his sporting prowess endured.
In 1982 he defeated Phil Billings, a three-time Eisenhower Trophy representative, to become the Royal Sydney Golf Club champion.
Alan Cardy played nine Tests for Australia in a three-year international career.
Cardy is survived by his children Alex, Stephanie and Tom, his sisters Robyn and Jennifer, and his ex-wife Di Richards.
Alan Cardy was, and forever will be Wallaby #496.