Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Echuca Football League reunion

Former district football foes to reunite on July 19 for an Echuca Football League reunion.

LUKE MCMANUS July 9, 2014 3:28am

Don Hicks, Peter Kyne and Ian Turner.

Former players, members and supporters of the Echuca Football League will salute to a golden era in the district’s football history at a special reunion at Moama Sporties.

While Moama and Echuca United battle it out at Moama Recreation Reserve on July 19, yesterday’s heroes are encouraged to come along to help mark 25 years since the EFL was disbanded.

A major player in the league’s post-war existence, Don Hicks, said the celebration will involve plenty of good yarns, memories and even some tall tales, over a couple of hard-earned beers.

‘‘You’ll always find the older we get, the better footballers we were,’’ Hicks said, remembering his time as the league’s secretary from 1966 to 1981, then again from 1983 to 1986.

‘‘We never missed a goal, we never dropped a mark and we kicked over 70 yards.

‘‘See, if you don’t re-live something, it’s gone, so I’m looking forward to seeing some of my old teammates and opponents down there.

‘‘Hopefully the weather’s kind and Moama and (Echuca) United can put on a good game for us.’’

Hicks, who played some 150 games for Bamawm Extension, had a mini-reunion yesterday after he was joined by former Mathoura ‘‘hard-nut’’ Ian ‘Bluey’ Turner for a photo.

Hicks and Turner had spoken over the phone many times since their playing days, but the impromptu gathering, alongside event organiser Peter Kyne, was the first time the pair had seen each other for some 25 years.

Next weekend’s reunion is sure to reignite even more friendships and rivalries.

Only two clubs remain since the EFL dissolved in 1989 — Moama and Mathoura — with former clubs Union, Bamawm, Bamawm Extension, Lockington, Echuca East, Echuca South and Bunnaloo no longer acting as individual clubs.

Lockington, Bamawm and Bamawm Extension merged in 1990 to create the modern-day Lockington-Bamawm United.

Echuca East and Echuca South, fierce rivals way back when, reluctantly merged in 1994 to form reigning Murray Football League premier Echuca United.

The league dissolved due pressures from the neighbouring Northern District Football League and dwindling player numbers.

Food and drinks will be available on the day.

For information, contact Peter Kyne on 0418505743.

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