26 February, 2024

Roosters past players invited to reminisce

IT has been 50 years since the Atherton Rooster won the 1974 Eacham Rugby League premiership, and to celebrate, the local club are inviting past players for a commemorative weekend.

1994 Senior RoosterS forward Graham Bailey.
1994 Senior RoosterS forward Graham Bailey.

At the time, Atherton was coached by Graham Bevan and came from behind at halftime, where old rivals Malanda led 7-6, to take control in the second half to secure a historic Grand Final win.  

The 1974 Grand Final match was a tough encounter played at Mareeba on Sunday 22 September 1974 and is remembered for standout performances from players from both teams. 

This year will also commemorate the club’s first premiership in reserve grade when, in the main curtain raiser to the 1974 Eacham Rugby League Grand Final, Atherton also clashed with Malanda. 

The match was evenly poised until late in the second half when Atherton captain/coach John Neary took control and steered Atherton to the win. 

This year also celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Rooster's 1994 Grand Final win. The Roosters played in three Grand Final appearances commencing in 1992 with the Roosters winners in 1993. 

That year, “Bluey” McKay was appointed captain/coach, and in a thriller, the Roosters secured a consecutive Grand Final win, defeating Ivanhoes in extra time at Barlow Park in front of a capacity crowd. 

The Atherton Roosters club executive has set aside a commemorative weekend starting on Friday, 2 August, with a “meet and greet” of past premiership players, followed by a match at the Atherton Showground on Saturday, 3 August, where players will be acknowledged. 

Social activities for supporters and past and present players and officials will take place on Sunday 4 August. 

The club has started planning for the event and has begun attempting to contact past players from the four premiership teams to invite them to the weekend in early August. 

The club has also agreed to compile a souvenir booklet to mark the anniversaries of the four teams. 

The club plans to make the commemorative weekend a major part of its 2024 program and plans to publish updates on the proposed activities as the season unfolds.  


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