A day at the races wraps up old Lions' reunion weekend

TAMWORTH City Lions roared again on the weekend with their annual reunion.

Picking some winners at the Tamworth Cup were (back from left) Bob Larden, Billy Gould, John Timmens, David Head (front from left) Brian Ferry, Barry  Lingwood, Arthur Ruttley, Mike Cashman, Ken Natty and titanium knees Neville Baldock.  Photo: Barry Smith  270414BSG09

Picking some winners at the Tamworth Cup were (back from left) Bob Larden, Billy Gould, John Timmens, David Head (front from left) Brian Ferry, Barry Lingwood, Arthur Ruttley, Mike Cashman, Ken Natty and titanium knees Neville Baldock. Photo: Barry Smith 270414BSG09

While they might be kaput on the playing field, they are still bashing and smashing it up off the field.

Last weekend they had their annual reunion with a meet and greet on the Friday night, a reunion dinner on the Saturday night and then a bit of a punting day at the Tamworth Cup on Sunday.

Chief organiser, a great lookalike for Hekawi chief Wild Eagle (Frank De Kova) and his indian mates Roaring Chicken and Crazy Cat, was David Head.

He said that the Old Lions had a “very enjoyable weekend”.

He also thanked all those who travelled.

He will advise all and sundry when the 2015 Tamworth Cup is on so the next reunion can get set although plans to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Lions in 2016 are already under way.

“We want to make it as big as possible,” Dave reported.

“At this stage we can see no reason to change it from our current Tamworth Cup weekend, but we are open to suggestions,” he said.

He said there were some sterling performances this year, notably from Neville Baldock on his two new titanium knees.

The Lions honoured three sides on the weekend, the 1964 reserve grade side that was runner-up under Geoff Doyle, the Peter Resch-coached 1989 side and the 1994 premiership-winning side under Mick Schmiedel that came from 14-nil down to beat Gunnedah at Kitchener Park, Gunnedah.

“Mick played with a broken rib but he and Anthony Heeney carved the Bulldogs up,” Head said. 

“We had just about all the tryscorers from that game on our table at the dinner. Danny Daly, Brad Lawson and big TC (Tony Constable). They showed the video of that game and TC only ha d to step a few metres either side of the defender but he bulldozed over the top of him to score.”

Dave said a lot of the Geoff Doyle-coached 1964 side were present.

“They had a great team – Billy Gould, Stan Porter, Brian Ferry and Bob Key,” Head said.

“They went through undefeated until the grand final. Funnily enough, Bob Key played in that game and was also the touch judge in the 1994 grand final. That was his last game before giving it away.”

Bob is now the president of the Central North District Bowling Association.

I ran into a few of the old Lions at the races on Sunday (unfortunately I wasn’t in a truck) but great to see the likes of Craig Sippel, Barry “Fast One” Spencer and the unsinkable Micheal “Dick” Leonard.

It has been a sad week for some of the Old Lions though with the passing of Jeff Faint’s mum, Scott Davidson’s dad, and Tony La Chiusa’s father, Charlie La Chiusa. Charlie’s funeral will be held at Mary, Help Of Christians Catholic Church from 2.30pm today.

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