Old rivals united against cancer
IT may be the grand final re-match, but Swifts clash with Brothers on Sunday represents a greater battle.
The two teams will play for the Kim Walters Memorial Trophy at Brother Seery Park, in what will become an annual clash.
The game will raise funds and awareness for the Kim Walters Choices Program, which supports women with breast cancer.
The trophy was donated by the Boettcher family, of which Ken is the Swifts Sports Club president and his son Darren the Swifts Rugby League Club president.
Darren grew up friends with Kim, who died from breast cancer in 1998, and her husband –former Swifts, Brisbane Broncos, Queensland and Australian representative Kevin Walters.
Brothers also have an association with the Kim Walters Choices Program so it made sense the two clubs got together to contribute to the cause.
Adding to the significance of the trophy is the rivalry between the two Ipswich rugby league powerhouses, which stretches further back than most can recall.
“I remember they robbed us of one (premiership) in the 1970s,” Ken Boettcher said, half tongue in cheek.
“The rivalry then was like it is today,” Darren said. “Very strong.”
“Everybody likes to beat Brothers,” Ken said.
The rivalry pales in comparison to the battle faced by those diagnosed with cancer however.
The clubs will happily place it on hold to work together this weekend.
“At the end of the day football is just football,” Darren said. “Life is precious.
“Given our association with Kim and Kevin we are happy to be involved.
“We should all work together to raise money for this awful disease.”
The match will be played in a spirit to honour both the cause, and the rivalry, tough but fair – according to the players there to launch the trophy yesterday.
Swifts player/coach Albert Talipeau and Brothers hooker Michael Ryan share a mutual respect.
Both have played in the NRL and have met in two grand finals, with Talipeau emerging the victor on both occasions.
The first of those was the 2008 Queensland Cup decider, when Talipeau’s Souths Logan upset Ryan’s Ipswich Jets.
The other was last year’s grand final, when Swifts got the prize.
The Bluebirds head into Sunday’s clash the underdogs this time, as Brothers have swept all before them so far this season.