KEVIN Robinson is hoping to re-ignite interest in a Tamworth chapter of the Men Of League and, judging by the interest shown at the Family Hotel last Saturday, he is well on his way to sparking that group back up again.
Around 30 former players turned out at various times to meet informally for an afternoon of punting, catching up and doing what Men Of League do best – looking after former players who have struck hard times.
Robinson talked about “sparking interest back” into the Men Of League programs in Tamworth with Craig Power, a former West Tamworth, North Tamworth and Bendemeer player and coach.
Power offered the Family Hotel as a starting point last Saturday.
“Kevin had been disappointed that it had lapsed a bit in Tamworth,” Power said.
“Don Pascoe had helped them re-form a North West chapter over in Gunnedah so this was just to gauge the interest back here.
“And we had a good turnout – about 30 came in.”
Zeke Elsley was one who welcomed a reuniting of the Tamworth Men Of League.
“I was there when they first kicked it off in Tamworth a few years ago at the Albert Hotel,” Elsley recalled.
“They had Ray Brown, Max Krilich and Noel Kelly there. A lot of local blokes like Peter Woolaston and Kenny Thompson too.”
Elsley proudly wore his original Men Of League shirt and hopes the Tamworth arm of MOL can boot up some new campaigns.
Greg “Nugget” Cooper is delighted to see “Robbo spark it up again”.
“It’s great to help out some old mates,” Cooper said.
“There’s always a good cause.
“A lot of people are doing it hard and it’s great if we can them out a little.”
“We’ve only just lost a good bloke, Bobby Wilkinson.
“ We took him him down to Cronulla and had a good weekend down there.”
Neville Clayton was hoping to join up on Saturday.
He won the Tom Wallace Trophy way back in 1963 when he captained the Tamworth High six stone seven pound team to win its division at the Peel Schools Carnival.
“I won the best and fairest and shook hands with Eddie Lumsden (then Australian star),” Clayton recalled.
“They took a big photo and put it in The Northern Daily Leader.”
It was a proud moment for a little bloke they nicknamed Nifty.
He’s hoping to be a part of the Men Of League and help less fortunate people.
That feeling of selfless donation might equal those boyhood memories of receiving a major award from an Australian star.
Robinson can be contacted on 0408 068998.