League re­union on this week­end

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

RUGBY LEAGUE

FORTY years af­ter Whit­sun­day won their first and only Fo­ley Shield the play­ers in the area will get to­gether to re­mem­ber the good times, the sad times and the bad times at the great Whit­sun­day rugby league re­union this week­end.

Re­union or­gan­iser Tony Price said that the re­union is for any­one that was ever in­volved with the game of rugby league at any level if it be as a player, of­fi­cial, ref­eree or sup­porter.

“The re­union is be­ing held in Bowen at the Grand View Ho­tel on from mid­day this Satur­day and the or­gan­is­ers have pre­pared a power point dis­play of more than 500 pho­tos which will be played through the af­ter­noon,” he said.

“The pho­tos in this col­lec­tion were sup­plied by many old play­ers, their fam­i­lies and the Bowen His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety and Mu­seum and Proser­pine Mu­seum. There will also be sev­eral grand fi­nal films in­volv­ing Bowen, Collinsville and Proser­pine teams from the mid-1980s.” Cost of en­try will be $25 which in­cludes a smor­gas­bord lunch and a sou­venir pro­gram that lists ev­ery player that ever wore the pur­ple and green in any team from 1969-94.

Play­ers are com­ing from all points of the com­pass with 1973 cap­tain/coach of Whit­sun­day, Les Hani­gan trav­el­ling from Shell Har­bour in New South Wales and Bryan Wood­cock trav­el­ling from New Zealand.

Other play­ers at­tend­ing from the 1973 team will in­clude Col Peace, Peter Meecham, David Pearce, Keith Shiels, Peter Bruce and Rus­sell El­lis (Bowen), Wayne Bul­loch, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy Nu­gent, John Mait­land and Barry McCarthy (Collinsville) and Gerry Coo­nan, Bobby Young, Lau­rie Gold­man, Barry Par­nell and Rus­sell Cald­well (Proser­pine).

Whit­sun­day en­tered the Fo­ley Shield com­pe­ti­tion in 1969 and play­ers from that first sea­son at­tend­ing will in­clude Don McHardie, Be­van Dobe, John Jones and Jimmy Carne (Proser­pine), Rod Hal­ley, Tommy O’Con­nor, Ben Mackie (Bowen) and Rod­ney Budge, Gary Suhle (Collinsville).

Whit­sun­day made the 1971 Fo­ley Shield Fi­nal and was beaten by a very strong Cairns team and play­ers from the team at­tend­ing the re­union will in­clude Mur­ray Schultz, Billy Dreger, Chris O’Con­nor, David Peace, Rod Hal­ley and Greg Price (Bowen), Kevin Nos­wor­thy, Be­van Dobe, Rus­sell Cald­well (Proser­pine) and Jimmy Smith, Rus­sell Mor­ris­sey, Gary Suhle (Collinsville).

“The re­union is sim­ply an op­por­tu­nity to meet old friends, and play­ers from all gen­er­a­tions are more than wel­come,” Mr Price said.

“There is rugby league galore in the Whit­sun­days that week­end with the semi-fi­nals of the Bowen rugby league on Satur­day evening and the last home games for the Whit­sun­day Brah­mans on the Sun­day in Proser­pine.”

Many old play­ers will be trav­el­ling to the area for the week­end in­clud­ing ex-NRL play­ers Les Mor­ris­sey, Adrian Brunker (Collinsville), Mike McLean, Paul Young (Bowen) and Ed­die Muller (Proser­pine).

The re­union is a great op­por­tu­nity to catch up with rugby league play­ers and sup­port­ers that you might not have seen for forty years or more.

Sun­day’s re­cov­ery at the Les Stagg Oval in Proser­pine com­mences at 10.30am with the un­der-18s game and at 1.30pm the 1973 Fo­ley Shield team and the 1991 Whit­sun­day/Bur­dekin un­der-19 team that won in Townsville will hand out jer­seys to the Brah­mans AGrade team be­fore the main game which kicks off at 3.00PM.

The re­union prom­ises to be two days of rugby league nos­tal­gia and ac­tion not to be missed.

Any­one want­ing to find out more can con­tact Mike McLean on 0419 756 380 or Tony Price on 0427 451 913.

PAST CHAM­PI­ONS: The 1973 Whit­sun­day A Grade Team were North Queens­land A grade cham­pi­ons and win­ners of the Fo­ley Shield Back: Bryan Wood­cock, Lau­rie Gold­man, John Mait­land, Barry McCarthy, Wayne Bul­loch, Jim Nu­gent, Terry Wake. Cen­tre: Eric Phillips (of­fi­cial), Rus­sell El­lis, Jimmy Hill, Ge­orge Pease (man­ager), Peter Bruce, Keith Shiels, Barry Allen (Trea­surer). Front – Les Stagg (Pres­i­dent), Gerry Coo­nan, Matt Best, Les Hani­gan (Capt/Coach). Jim Smith, Bobby Young, Ron Read (sec­re­tary).

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