Coalstars and Ipswich Knights life members Robbie Hughes and Ross Hallett watch the old Ipswich Knights clubhouse being demolished to make way for a new building.
Coalstars and Ipswich Knights life members Robbie Hughes and Ross Hallett watch the old Ipswich Knights clubhouse being demolished to make way for a new building. Rob Williams

Knights' clubhouse comes down

PARTS of it were old and rundown and the bits that weren't were left mud soaked and stinking from last year's floods.

Still, for Coalstars and Ipswich Knights life members Robbie Hughes and Ross Hallett, it was a sad day to see decades of memories reduced to a pile of rubble.

It has been more than a year coming but the Ipswich Knights' Bundamba clubhouse was finally demolished yesterday.

Built in different phases over more than 40 years of Ipswich soccer history, the brick and block clubhouse was brought crashing down in a matter of minutes.

When the twisted debris is cleared, it will make way for a new clubhouse and change rooms, which will be positioned closer to the main field.

Ipswich City Council has released plans for the new building, with construction to begin later this year.

Mr Hughes, who was part of the foundation A-Grade Coalstars side in 1964, said it was a bittersweet occasion.

"It's unbelievable," he said as he watched a large excavator crash its way through the clubhouse.

While the top part of the clubhouse was built as recently as 1988, the older, lower section was put together with the help of players and club members just after the 1974 floods.

It may not have looked flash, but the besser block structure was strong, having seen off floods in 2008 and 2009.

"I'm hopeful that we'll end up better off as a result of this," Mr Hughes said.

Mr Hallett was also at Coalstars in 1964 - the year that the Bundamba Rangers and Blackstone Rovers merged to form a new club.

He played in the under-18 side for one year before moving up to senior football.

His playing career continued until the late 1970s, but his association with the club carried through for many more years as a committee member and president.

Mr Hallett was president of Coalstars up until the merger with St Helens - to form the Ipswich Knights - in 1998.

"It's not all bad news," he said.

"The new clubhouse will be all new and modern - it will be a bit of a new era for the club."



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