BILLY MOORE VIS­ITS

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - Jorja McDonnell jorja.mcdonnell@west­ern­starnews.com

HIS bat­tle cry be­came epony­mous at the 1995 State of Ori­gin, and has stood the test of time for over 20 years since that fate­ful day.

While Billy Moore still ral­lies to the chant of “QUEENS­LAN­DER”, he has put his skills to us for an­other pur­pose: to in­spire and mo­ti­vate res­i­dents of the Mara­noa.

His week-long tour be­gan in Su­rat on Tues­day and moved to Mitchell on Wed­nes­day night.

Moore was in­vited to speak in the re­gion as part of drought relief, pro­vid­ing a so­cial event and of­fer­ing the op­por­tu­nity to talk about sup­port.

Born in Ten­ter­field and raised in the bor­der town of Wal­lan­garra, he is a coun­try boy through and through. Moore said he wanted to play a small part in keep­ing up spir­its dur­ing tough times.

“When it comes to talk­ing to the kids, I un­der­stand what it’s like for them.

“I grew up in a town smaller than Mitchell, and the mes­sage I wanted to send to the kids was ‘you can dream big’.

“Even in small towns, you can still have the op­por­tu­ni­ties to make it if you want to work hard, train hard, and set goals,” he said.

An evening event with Moore at the Mitchell Shire Hall saw a full house.

Ever a charis­matic speaker, he re­flected on life ex­pe­ri­ence in foot­ball and in the restau­rant in­dus­try, us­ing them as a re­minder that the dark­est time is right be­fore the dawn.

“The least I can do is see the glass half full, and try to be as pos­i­tive as I can.

“I’ve never had a farm, but I’ve got a small busi­ness, and know how hard it is to run a busi­ness.

“The small busi­ness own­ers out here are heav­ily in­flu­enced on the weather, which is very dif­fer­ent from my busi­ness, and it amazes me how re­silient they are when ninety per cent of what af­fects them is out of their con­trol.

“De­spite those dif­fer­ences, what I hope to pass on is to hang in there, hold on and the op­por­tu­nity will come to you; when it does, there are peo­ple here to help out,” he said.

The foot­ball-mad Mitchell res­i­dents jumped at the chance to win the night’s lucky door prize: a foot­ball signed by Billy Moore.

Drawn at the end of Moore’s speech, the win­ner was Zack Page, a young man who was elated to meet the Queens­lan­der in the flesh.

PHOTO: JORJA MCDONNELL

QUEENS­LAN­DER: Billy Moore and Zack Page, win­ner of the lucky door prize foot­ball.

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