Grandsons carry on Pride in representing Ipswich
THE name Kitching and football go hand in hand like pride and passion.
That's why the newly-formed Western Pride National Premier League franchise is so important.
Apart from giving junior players and grandsons higher level opportunities in Ipswich, the Pride club helps preserve some wonderful family heritage.
Jay, William and Matthew Kitching are members of Pride teams playing in this year's NPL.
Jay is an exciting speedster with the men's senior side.
Brothers William and Matthew are in junior Pride teams.
Striker Matthew is in the under-12 side coached by his father Darryl and midfielder William plays for the under-13 team.
Another "grandson" Lincoln Rule is also in the senior side.
Lincoln's grandfather Ray was a player of the past.
Darryl Kitching is one of the closeknit family members proud of their past achievements and ongoing love of football in the city.
To show his "pride" in Ipswich and pay tribute to the city's football legacy, he provided a snapshot of the Kitching family's Ipswich football links, dating back to 1903.
"Football has always been in the family," said Darryl, who with brother Mark represented Ipswich in football and Queensland in basketball.
"It's one thing to say you inspire the next generation but now it's their grandkids, another generation, being inspired."
Alexander "Buller" Kitching represented Queensland in 1932, before George "Fat" Kitching earned Australian honours in 1938.
Brothers Keith and Col, and cousin Spencer, all represented Ipswich and Queensland.
Col and Spencer went on to represent Australia.
Col was a a member of the 1956 Australian team and served his country at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
Keith, Col and Spencer played junior football together and progressed into the senior ranks representing Ipswich and winning many premierships.
Darryl said that's why the historic formation of Western Pride is so valuable.
"It's a case of Pride - past, present and future," Darryl said.
"For Ipswich and the region, Pride gets Ipswich football back into the top tier of football in the state, which is very important.
"For the first time in many years, our juniors don't have to leave Ipswich in order to play top-level football and to make representative teams like Queensland.
"Prior to the Pride, in order to make a representative team, they had to leave Ipswich and go and play in teams in Brisbane. But now they can stay here in Ipswich, represent the local community and if good enough, they can progress into Queensland teams and further as possible."
Former Coalstars player Darryl said it was fantastic seeing his children and other young players continuing Ipswich's footballing legacy.
Jay's grandfather is Col, who is still a personality around Ipswich.
Jay's brother Shaun plays for the Ipswich City Bulls.
William and Matthew's grandfather was the late Keith, who excelled in football and basketball.
"Jay very well knows his grandfather Col's feats and my boys know my dad and Col's feats," Darryl said.
"It's amazing that back from the 1950s are still inspiring people today."
George Kitching's granddaughter Belinda also represented Australia in women's football.
Col's son Jon and Spencer's sons Brett and Murray represented Ipswich in the 1980s. They had strong ties with Ipswich United and Coalstars over the years. The trio played in the state league between 1979 and 1982.
In 1981-82, while in Townsville, Brett played against Jon and Murray, who were still in the Ipswich side.
Other quality footballers to play alongside the Kitchings included Cliff Sander, Brian "Chookie'' Vogler, Norm Rule, Bunny Nunn, Al Warren and Graham McMillan.
Preceding these players were Alex Gibb, the first Australian captain in 1922, and his son Lex.
Lex represented Australia in 1938.
The Gibb family was deservedly honoured at a Socceroos match in Brisbane last year.