The Ipswich team at Queensland Country titles in Townsville in 1992.
The Ipswich team at Queensland Country titles in Townsville in 1992.

Athletes reflect on bygone era

CAN you remember the fun days when athletes represented Ipswich at Queensland Country titles?

Ipswich athletics supremo Vic Pascoe resurrected the 1992 photo (above) in the club's latest newsletter.

It shows the team that competed at Townsville during the Easter weekend of that year.

It was one of many trips Ipswich's club athletes, coaches and supporters enjoyed together. They travelled by a bus of "Daddows" with 30 or so athletes.

"We would have so much fun at these titles. It was a highlight of finishing off a brilliant season," Pascoe said.

"We didn't have any mod cons, but if you were fortunate you could listen to your own music on a Walkman, as IPods were not available until 2001."

Pascoe noted the movie camera and a shoulder bag used to record performances on video cassettes.

"We were always the best team with war cries and also we placed zinc cream as paint just prior to the relays," Pascoe said.

"The lightning bolt was also intimidating as we would perform fantastically as a team."

Among people in the picture are Glenda Brown (in the tent silhouetted), Irene Dobbie (leaning on fence), John Oliver (in the tent with a cap), Fiona Riley (now McQueen), Theresa Martin (now Stolberg), Stan Davis, Royce Farley, Rex Breed (AWD athlete), Roland Harvey (AWD athlete), George Wilson, Mark Sills, Kevin Grace, Samantha Hayne (holding the movie camera), Tracey Brown, Andrew McLean, Andrew Wheeler (with a beard) and Julie Oliver.

If you have similar photos, or would like to share memories of fun sporting trips, email Phantom at:


Tommy's Ipswich tribute

FORMER Ipswich Jets coach Tommy "Terrific" Raudonikis provided a laugh a minute during his appearance on Sky's Off The Rails racing show this week.

The passionate NSW rugby league supporter tipped the Blues to show some hatred and beat Queensland. It seems Blues captain Paul Gallen was listening.

As skipper of the NSW team in the inaugural State of Origin contest in 1980, Raudonikis later coached the Blues in the 1997-98 series.

He relived on Off The Rails how he introduced the "cattledog's on"' catchcry in 1997, a call that went out for his players to break the scrum with fists flying when the team needed a gee-up.

NSW player Jim Dymock suggested the slogan that Raudonikis applied. It worked with the Blues winning in Melbourne on their way to securing the series.

On Queensland's seven-year domination in the Origin series, Raudonikis offered a spirited reply.

"Go back to the old rule when it was Queensland v NSW. We beat you for 10 years,'' he said.

"You had to change the rules.

"They came up with this rule where you born. Well they didn't stick to that."

Among those asking questions were former jockey Malcolm "Miracle" Johnston, notorious for the times he was suspended.

When Miracle asked his guest why he started so many fights, Raudonikis replied: "I just loved winning, Malcolm. It's like when you rode the horses. You had the most suspicion of any jockey."

The colourful Raudonikis coached the Ipswich Jets in the early 1980s.

One of his major achievements was pushing for Allan "Alfie" Langer's State of Origin selection in 1987 while he was still playing for the Jets.

Diminutive Alfie's superb man-of-the-match effort on his Origin debut led to him being signed by the Brisbane Broncos.

During his Off the Rails interview, Raudonikis rated Langer better than the latest Immortal Andrew Johns.

"I found Alfie Langer. I coached the Walters boys up there," said Raudonikis, who played in 29 Tests and World Cup games as Australian halfback.

"And Alfie is a great mate of mine. You talk about being one of the greatest halfbacks and at this stage, I even put him ahead of Andrew Johns."

Raudonikis also sent a cheerio to the Ipswich Turf Club preparing to host the Ipswich Cup on June 15.

"Liam Tansey, Paul Pisasale - he's the mayor up there - and mate that's a real battling, great town of people," Raudonikis said.

"It's working class."

Raudonikis played 202 games for Western Suburbs between 1969 and 1979 before being lured to the Newtown Jets through a lucrative offer from race horse owner John Singleton.

After having his loyalty to Wests tested, he finally accepted the huge money at the time and went on to play 37 games for the Jets between 1980 and 1982.

"I taught Newtown how to win," Raudonikis said.

But he loved his 11 years at Wests, where he met former Ipswich great and another tough nut Noel Kelly.

"I remember the first day, Noel Kelly came up to me," Raudonikis said. "I had only two Reserve grade matches and he said I was in first grade.

"I said: 'Mr Kelly I didn't think I'm good enough to play' and he said 'from the way you play the game (always wanting to fight), you have a look at my head and it will look exactly the same as me'.

"I went out and played against this great St George side and I got the best player for Western Suburbs."


Older Brothers

AS A member of the 1993 Brothers team that took out the A grade premiership, Darren Cronon - who is now the club's Reserve grade manager - is well placed to compare eras.

The 1993 Brothers team is celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend and Cronon is glad he played the game when he did.

"I finished in 1998 when Bob Lindner was coach," he said.

"I knew it was time to quit when they tried to give me fruit and water, not a beer, after the game."

They will come from as far as Blackwater for the reunion, though most still live close and keep in regular contact.

Cronon reckons such long lasting friendships are not as prevalent among the current generation, another reason he's glad to have played in the 1990s.

"They're a lot more professional now but I wouldn't swap for quids," he said.

"I don't think they have the same social time we did. There was a lot more camaraderie.

"Ninety percent of them I still see three or four times a year."


Hockey link celebrated

CONGRATULATIONS to hockey couple Michael Bates and his new wife Natasha.

Ipswich-bred Michael and Natasha (nee Bice) are honeymooning in Fiji after recently getting married at All Hallow's chapel in Brisbane.

"Tash" went to school there. Her sisters Vanessa and Stef were among her attendants.

Tim was best man for his twin brother. Nathan Panetta and Chris Lewis, other Ipswich hockey players, were groomsmen.

National player Tim recovered in time to perform his important duty.

He needed a major operation following an injury playing for Australia at the Aslan Shah tournament in Malaysia earlier this year.

Michael and Tash met through hockey, checking each other out from afar while training at Ipswich.

They currently live at Taringa.

Tash works as a lawyer for Legal Aid in Brisbane.

Michael is an electrician for Steve and Angie Lambert's Electrical Business, another hockey connection.

Steve was Beijing Olympic goalkeeper and Angie was one of Australia's leading players for many years.


State titles 'cheating'

PLENTY of slogans float around cyberspace and especially on Facebook. Many are motivational.

But "practice is cheating" provided a lighter sporting motto this week.

On closer observation, it came from someone associated with the Ipswich women's masters hockey team preparing for this weekend's Queensland titles in Toowoomba.

When it comes to the older generation who play for fun, Phantom reckons that slogan might just catch on.



Chilly work


THE cameraman filming last Sunday's Brisbane Premier League football match between the Ipswich Knights and Logan Lightning needed some heavy duty gear to keep warm.

Perched high above the ground in a crane, he was exposed to Ipswich's chilly Sunday afternoon conditions.

One onlooker commented he could start collecting icicles being so high up overlooking the Bundamba field.

However, at least he had a warming smell wafting past him.

With the breezy conditions, the tempting food from the Knights' popular new bistro could be experienced - in the nostrils at least - on the other side of the field.

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