John Fordham was widely-regarded as Mr Fix-It.
So what better way to honour the legacy of the celebrity agent and one of Sydney’s most colourful characters than this.
NRL coach Ricky Stuart has extended his long-time manager the ultimate honour by naming the Ricky Stuart Foundation’s next major project The John Fordham House.
The Ricky Stuart Foundation raises awareness of autism and autism wellbeing while also raising funds to build state of the art respite facilities and homes for individuals living with a disability.
Over the last 10 years the foundation has developed and built $3.5 million in respite facilities — with Stuart announcing the progression of a third development at a fundraising lunch in Canberra on Thursday.
The third facility to be built in Queanbeyan will be targeted at creating a home where independence can be achieved by disabled adults.
“John Fordham left a huge imprint and influence on my own career and I feel like this gesture is befitting of someone who was instrumental in the organisation of this foundation,‘’ Stuart said.
“As an original board member of the foundation, he was driven by the purpose for what it stands for and the impact it intends to have on the community, families and so many beautiful people.
“Knowing Fordo like I did, he would have his chest out knowing that this house is going to be named after him.‘’
Stuart and his wife Kaylie know too well of the struggles that face thousands of families with their daughter Emma diagnosed with autism at age 11.
The Canberra Raiders coach quickly recognised that he had the ability to raise awareness of autism and believed passionately that every child deserves more than what was being offered to families in respite and housing.
“Ricky knows how much Dad (John) loved him and his wife Kaylie,” Fordham’s son Ben said.
“He’d be bloody proud knowing that his name will be attached to something that will have a lasting impact on many, many families.’’
NRL boss Peter V’landys praised the impact of Stuart’s foundation.
“I admire Ricky because he‘s used his profile for this cause,’’ V’landys said.
“I don’t know if we really know how much joy he brings children with autism.
“I have a friend with a child with autism and she started crying when I told her what Ricky does for the autistic kids.
“It’s very special.’’