Rugby League great Gary Freeman visits Singleton Heights | PHOTOS

LOTS OF LAUGHS: Visiting Rugby League legend Gary Freeman shares a yarn with Michael Johnsen MP at the Singleton Diggers' Alroy Park complex on Wednesday.
LOTS OF LAUGHS: Visiting Rugby League legend Gary Freeman shares a yarn with Michael Johnsen MP at the Singleton Diggers' Alroy Park complex on Wednesday.

Those lucky enough to receive an invitation to the celebration of Gerard McMillan's 40thwork anniversary, held at the Singleton Diggers' Alroy Park complex, caught a glimpse of Rugby League royalty yesterday.

No, we're referring to the man of the hour although McMillan did enjoy a brief local Rugby career with the Tech City Tigers in the early 1970s.

On this occasion we're talking about the event's host in Rugby League legend Gray Freeman.

The halfback played 151 combined first grade games for Balmain, Eastern Suburbs, Penrith and Parramatta from 1988-1996.

In 1992 he collected the Dally M medal (2010 recipient Todd Carney is the only other Rooster to have joined him since).

At an International level he also represented New Zealand 46 times as a player and later as coach from 2001-02.

Yet, when the 56-year-old was approached by the Singleton Argus, his primary focus was on his loyal friend of 31 years.

"I first came across Gerard in August of 1988, when he brought a group of young fellas to Darling Harbour," Freeman reflected.

"One of them had Balmain socks on so he asked me if I could sit and talk to him about life."

FRIENDS FOR LIFE: Former New Zealand captain and coach Gary Freeman with his friend Gerard McMillan.

FRIENDS FOR LIFE: Former New Zealand captain and coach Gary Freeman with his friend Gerard McMillan.

He continued, "If someone can work in an industry which chops and changes all over the place for 40 years is tremendous and he's done a magnificent job."

"To be asked to MC having met him 30 years ago proves that we're not work colleagues, we're friends which sounds unusual in a business industry (but that's how Gerard likes to conduct business)."