Canowindra Tigers Rugby League Club celebrated reunions for its premiership winning under-18s sides of 1965 and 1968 on Saturday night.
More than 150 people gathered at the Canowindra Bowling Club to catch up with old teammates and reminisce about the Tigers’ glory years in Group 11.
“It was great. Just to see people who haven’t seen each other in more than 40 years trying to work out who each other are. It was really good to see,” organiser and former Tiger Eddie Clyburn said.
Mr Clyburn was one of several speakers who gave insight into the history of club, its most decorated players, and of course the successful 1965 and 1968 Group 11 campaigns.
The club was established in 1920 and became a force in the Group 11 competition alongside teams from much bigger centres including Dubbo, Parkes and Forbes.
In 1979 the Tigers slipped from the top grade to Group 11’s second division then into the Woodbridge Cup in the early 1990s, the competition Canowindra contests today.
During the years in Group 11, the club consistently played semi-finals football, developed some great talent and attracted some high profile captain-coaches.
Mr Clyburn identified Peter Fitzgerald as one of the most glittered players to come out of Canowindra.
He played the 1968 under-18s season before making the move to St George as a 17-year-old. He played seven seasons of first grade for Saints before linking with Eastern Suburbs for a year.
Three former Tigers captain-coaches Rex Norman, Ron Boden and Joe Jorgensen represented Australia at rugby league.
Another speaker on the night, Tony Hardman, said Norman finished his career as coach of the Canowindra Tigers in the 1920s, while Boden and Jorgensen had stints at the helm during the 50s and 60s respectively.
The night, though, was all about the 1965 and 1968 under-18s premiership winners.
The 65’ side led by skipper Len Ryan defeated Dubbo CYMS 19-7. While in 68’, captained by Peter Fitzegerald, Canowindra were too good for Dubbo Macquarie winning 5-2.
The night was a great build up for the club’s 100th anniversary year in 2020.