Ma­reeba sad­dling up with Cow­boys to cheer Hamp­ton

The Weekend Post - - News - AN­DREA FALVO

AS for­mer Ma­reeba boy Ben Hamp­ton gears up to step in the spot­light for the NRL grand fi­nal on Sun­day, his fam­ily, friends and fans back home have painted the town blue and yel­low.

The North Queens­land Cow­boys util­ity kicked off his rugby league ca­reer play­ing with the Ma­reeba Glad­i­a­tors as a ju­nior and over the years made his way up the ranks.

Ma­reeba Leagues Club ad­min­is­tra­tion and func­tion fa­cil­i­ta­tor Kelly Deb­ney said the club had thrown their sup­port be­hind the Cow­boys.

“We’ve got ban­ners and bal­loons all around the place,” she said.

“We’ll have the game play- ing on all the TV screens around the club.”

There will be hourly cash draws and food and drink spe­cials on the day.

The bistro will open at 6am and kids eat free on Sun­day. The Gate­way Ho­tel will also be play­ing the grand fi­nal on the big screen at the front bar.

Ma­reeba Ju­nior Rugby League Club pres­i­dent Dar­rin Hastie said Hamp­ton’s suc­cess was an in­spi­ra­tion to the young boys and girls cur­rently go­ing through the club.

“I’m a bit dirty be­cause I was a Roost­ers sup­porter and the Cow­boys beat them last week­end but I’m happy they’re in,” he said. “It’s re­ally good for our play­ers to see what you can achieve even com­ing from a small town.”

Pic­ture: ZAK SIM­MONDS

LO­CAL HERO: Ma­reeba’s Ben Hamp­ton in ac­tion for the North Queens­land Cow­boys.

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