TALL stories and plenty of yarns are on the menu at Kootingal this weekend as the 1963 Kootingal Rugby League Club under 18s have a 50-year reunion to celebrate a special year.
The weekend kicked off yesterday afternoon with a shirt presentation for the thirteen former Roosterswho made it back to Kooty for the event.
The jerseys were handed out by 1963 club secretary Kitty Clegg, who still considers the side to be “her young boys”.
“It was a great year and they were all very good boys who worked well together,” Clegg said.
“It is great to see them back together.
“I could tell you plenty of stories about these guys but I wouldn’t do that to them.”
A year ago former player Ian Coleman came up with the idea of the reunion and talked about the plan with a few of the other blokes still in Kootingal, and the rest is history.
“It wasn’t hard to find most of them, just had to go to the bowling club,” Coleman said.
“Although some of these guys we haven’t seen for almost the full fifty years so it is great to get back together.”
Most of the players put the success down to the captain coach Rex Morrisey, who came across from Boggabri for his football stint.
Morrisey was older than eighteen although, within the rules, teams could have older players if they weighed less than 10 stone (about 64kg).
“He was a very handy player and coach. We couldn’t have won it without him – he got us in order,” Coleman said.
Unfortunately, Morrisey is quite elderly and frail and could not make it to the reunion, although a shirt was presented to his daughter to give to him.
1963 was the first year of the junior competition and, after starting the season slowly, the team pulled together and came home with a wet sail to beat West Tamworth in the final at Gunnedah 13-5.
The team had dinner at the Kooty Bowlo last night to start the celebrations before they meet today at midday for a lunch at the Kooty pub.
The team will get to relive their glory days when they watch a video of the grand final match at the pub tomorrow after the lunch.
The truth may finally be revealed after all thirteen players claimed to be man of the match 50 years ago during the shirt presentation.
The weekend coincides with the Kootingal Roosters’ presentation day and night at the pub, with the older players mixing with the current players and club to dish out tips and tricks of the trade.
“The older we get the better we were,” former player Ray Magill said yesterday.