A decade-worth of work was displayed on Saturday, January 9 at the Kandos Hotel, with John Fitzgerald finally seeing his hard work pay off.
The author released a 311-page book, recounting an in-depth history of rugby league at Kandos and Rylstone, dating back to 1908.
The launch of The Story of Rugby League in Kandos and Rylstone was as successful an occasion the author could have wished for.
John Fitzgerald's 10-year work preparing the book for publication was rewarded with a good turnout of people keen to purchase the first copies.
Among the early callers was Maurice Gaudry, travelling down from Gulgong, whose family members had played for Kandos and Rylstone teams as long as 98 years ago, Ern Gaudry a Kandos player in 1924.
Many to call by through the day were players from earlier eras, but current Kandos school teacher Daniel Skourmallas, the most recent player on the Waratahs football club's register, also attended to collect a book.
Bob Hammond, Wayne McDonald and Joe Kirkwood were representatives of teams from the 1970s and 80s, along with younger players Cody Cafe, Glenn Osgood and Mat Hayward from Glenn Sargent's fledgling 2004 side.
Former player Toby Mulholland, whose family member Fred Mulholland was a pioneer player in the Rylstone team of 1922, and can lay claim to at least seven family members who played over the past century, came along also.
So too, Jack Pennell whose grandfather Sid Robbins was one of the players from the Kandos team one hundred years ago.
Ken Kirkness, coach of the successful mid-sixties sides, was unable to attend from his Canberra home but sister Margaret Ford collected a copy for him.
Acclaimed local author Colleen O'Sullivan called by and was observed talking with the new author for quite some time.
John stated he always knew he "had a book in him" but never had a subject until he linked with Sargent's teams 15 years ago.
Passion for his beloved Waratahs team and the total absence of material of the towns' rugby league history inspired him to start research and writing and, as he claimed he "did it for the forgotten people" - the neglected rugby league family, and to honour the memory of the significant figures who were such important links in the early days of rugby league in Kandos and Rylstone.
Rugby league has had a profound influence on both communities, and Kandos industry especially has had a profound effect on the rugby league fraternity, this book finally recognising the sport's contributions to local society, and now to perpetuate the memory of those long-forgotten "stars", their stories now safely recorded for posterity within the pages of the latest sporting book.