Coalstars reunion adds colour to Premier League duel
ANOTHER chapter in Ipswich football history will be celebrated at tomorrow's Football Queensland matches at Bundamba.
Former players, officials and supporters of Coalstars Football Club are invited to enjoy a day of reminiscing with their former club mates while watching the FQ Premier League fixture between the Ipswich Knights and Eastern Suburbs.
The 12th placed Knights will need all their supporters behind them to topple Easts, who currently sit fourth on the premiership ladder.
However, the Knights defeated Easts last year at Bundamba in an upset.
The home team will again wear the sky blue and red Coalstars colours in all three grades.
The Coalstars 54th reunion at the Knights ground (Brisbane Road, Bundamba) starts from 11am when the first of three matches is played.
As a club, the Ipswich Knights have a proud footballing history.
The club was formed 21 years ago from the amalgamation of St. Helens United and Coalstars clubs. Before that, the history of the club goes back to the beginning of football in Queensland in the 1880's.
Blackstone Rovers and Dinmore Bush Rats were both formed in 1888.
Two years earlier, a team called Bundamba Rovers was recorded. However Bundamba Rangers did not appear until 1894.
St. Helens arrived in 1910, the same year Redbank Seekers were formed.
These clubs contributed to Ipswich dominating Queensland football for decades, as well as producing many state and international players.
In the early 1960's, a dramatic change came when the wealthy ethnic Brisbane clubs appeared.
First, Bush Rats and Redbank Seekers joined to form Redbank Dinmore United in 1961.
Then in 1964, Coalstars was created when Blackstone Rovers and Bundamba Rangers amalgamated.
Soon after in 1966, St.Helens and Redbank Dinmore United joined to become St. Helens United.
Tomorrow's opponents Easts were originally founded in 1922.
This year, Easts will celebrate 96 years as a club and more than 40 years at their home ground of Heath Park, East Brisbane.
In 1969, Easts-Aston Villa was a successful junior and 2nd Division club mainly consisting of young players. They amalgamated with 1st Division club Merton Rovers to become Merton Easts.
In 1980, they became Eastern Suburbs FC to identify with a specific region of Brisbane and to enter the State League, the highest competition in Queensland at that time.
Merton Rovers excelled as a club under the then state coach Matt Carson, winning Premier League grand finals in 1962, 64 and 68.
As Merton Easts, they won the statewide Ampol Cup in 1972.
The history above was provided by Ipswich football stalwart Ross Hallett, who is in the process of compiling the Knights history.