Jerilderie looks back at ‘87 win

June 21, 2017

Jerilderie’s senior players donned specially made anniversary jumpers for their match against Berrigan on Saturday.

At the reunion on Saturday were (back, from left) Michael Burke, Patrick Burke, Steven Lockhart, David Milne, Peter Keating and David Bryce; (front) Graham Mills, Arthur Knight, Brian Payne, Scot Shaw, Dean Knight, Colin Bryce, 1987 club president Ray Anthony and John Bryce.

Whenever Jerilderie Football Club took on neighbouring Finley on the football field, it was always a match to behold.

But none stand out in the club’s memory like the 1987 Murray Football League grand final, where the Demons dominated the Cats and took home the silverware.

Members of Jerilderie’s premiership team came together on Saturday to reminisce about the great victory.

The 30th anniversary of the senior premiership was hosted by the Jerilderie Football Club at its home ground.

Club vice president Stuart Watson said the weekend also coincided with a special milestone for one of the current senior players.

‘‘In front of a parochial home crowd, the players wore heritage jumpers in the Demons’ traditional blue and red colours to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1987 premiership,’’ he said.

‘‘The jumpers featured the names of the 1987 premiership players in their grand final starting positions on the back.

‘‘Extra motivation was created with it being senior captain Chris Marshall’s 200th game.

‘‘The whole occasion inspired the home team against their old rivals Berrigan, with the Demons playing some of their best footy for the season.

‘‘Unfortunately, they still went down by the smallest of margins at the final siren.’’

Mr Watson said at Saturday night’s celebrations the jumpers were auctioned and purchased by past and current players.

Still living locally, 1987 premiership player Dean Knight said the weekend was a good excuse to catch up with his former teammates again.

‘‘We had about half the team come back, with the boys from Darwin unable to attend and some of the Melbourne-based players already committed to the Port Melbourne premiership the same weekend.

‘‘We try to see each other every now and then, but it was good to get together and reminisce about this particular game.

‘‘It was the club’s first since 1983 I believe, and any game against Finley is always a very tough match — very physical.’’

Mr Knight had only joined the Jerilderie seniors the year before the premiership, after returning to his home town from ag college.

‘‘It was my very first senior premiership and it was thrilling to play with the calibre of players on the team,’’ he recalled.

‘‘It was a very strong side, and taught us (new players) quite well.

‘‘We had the likes of Rod Waddell and Russell Jeffrey (who both also played in the AFL), as well as the Vigona boys, Benny and Tony — a couple of Darwin boys who added some real strength to the side.

‘‘We also had the local blokes like John and Colin Bryce, and a heap of other great local players.’’

The weekend began with a meet and greet for former players, committee and members at the Colony Inn Hotel on Friday, allowing old team mates and friends the chance to catch up and relive past glories.

Some travelled from Canberra, the NSW North Coast and Leeton to be part of the weekend.

‘‘The Jerilderie Football Club committee would like to thank the volunteers who worked on the day and all the helpers who cooked and prepared dinner in the kitchen on Saturday night,’’ Mr Watson said.

‘‘A great weekend was had by all.’’

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