Celebrating 20 years

Panthers founding members Pat Barron and Warren Jordan holding the first jerseys from 1997.
Panthers founding members Pat Barron and Warren Jordan holding the first jerseys from 1997. Vanessa Jarrett

BILOELA Panthers Rugby League Football Club will be celebrating their 20 year anniversary next month.

Scheduled for May 5 and 6, Club President and original founding member, Pat Barron said the event will be all about celebrating how far the club has come.

"We have come a long way in the 20 years from when first started,” Pat said.

"It is always a battle because we are only a population of 5,000 people and we are competing against the big towns like Rocky and Gladstone.

"People don't understand how much work it takes.”

Panthers were founded 1997 and played their first game in the North Burnett competition in Monto with an A grade team.

"There was no football for a couple of years and we all sat down in the Bottoms Pub and decided to put it together,” Pat said.

In 1999, the teamed moved over to the Gladstone competition with A grade, Reserves and Under 19's and in 2013 moved to the Rocky competition.

"We had approached Rocky and Gladstone but they wanted nothing to do with us back then,” Pat said.

"And now we are playing with them anyway and we have really strong teams.”

Over the years, the Panthers have had some signification achievements from coming runners up in their first year 1998 in A grade in the North Burnett, 2006 they won Reserves grand final in Gladstone, 2008 they won the U19's grand final in Gladstone and in 2013 runners up in grand final in Rockhampton.

"I hold my head high as a country president,” Pat said.

On the Friday night there will be a meet and greet of players, BBQ, Calcutta Auction and live entertainment.

"We also hope to have all the ex-presidents and the original side playing on the Saturday,” Pat said.

"It is a marvellous thing Facebook, we have been able to get in touch with everyone.”

Boydy Neil was the original president and passed away three years ago.

"I think Boydy would be proud and so are all the other presidents down the line because of all the hard work we have done,” Pat said.

Pat said whole community is welcome to come down.

"It's not just for the old people that played, it is for the supporters as well,” Pat said.

"20 years is a long time for a small town and hopefully we will just get stronger and stronger.”

Topics:  biloela sport panthers rockhampton rugby league rugby league

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