FOND MEMORIES: The 1966 Ipswich Bulimba Cup-winning team.
FOND MEMORIES: The 1966 Ipswich Bulimba Cup-winning team.

Historic era to be remembered

HE was credited with inspiring one of Ipswich's greatest moments in rugby league history, and 50 years later Bob Christison will welcome the Old Boys back to town.

In the early days of rugby league there was no better contest than the Bulimba Cup to test the talent of Queensland.

Against the city slickers of Brisbane, and the country cowboys of Toowoomba, the underdogs of Ipswich would go toe-to-toe in one of the best inter-city competitions in Australian Rugby League history.

The Bulimba Cup ran from 1925 to 1972 and regularly featured players who would go on to represent Queensland and Australia.

Written off before the first boot hit the turf, Ipswich defied the odds in 1966 to defeat Brisbane twice at Lang Park and go on to lift the coveted trophy.

As captain of that historic win, Christison is gathering the former players together for a reunion at Swifts Sports Club on June 18.

"Those were great times," Christison reminisced.

"In those years they pretty much picked the Queensland team from the Bulimba Cup.

"It had the biggest scope of players and it was also during a period when Queensland got a bit dominant."

With players from Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba gathering for the luncheon, Christison said it was a great chance for everyone to get together and remember the good times.

"It's a chance to reminisce and tell each other how good we all were," he laughed.

"Our Old Boys have been going around since 1999, and they are all ex-footballers, officials and anyone with a love for rugby league who get together and have a great time.

"It really highlights the interest that was around in those years and still is today."

Rugby league might look a bit different than it did when Christison was last on the field but some things will never change.

"In our time we played just for the love of it,," he said.

"We didn't have the big pay cheques they play for these days but instead we were playing for higher selections.

"But in saying that the criteria is still there. Always leave your mates with a good feeling and try you hardest."

The reunion is being organised by the Ipswich Rugby League Old Boys Association with special host Bernie Pramberg.

Entry costs $20 per person and is open to all players, officials, referees, volunteers and supporters of rugby league in Ipswich.

Doors open at 10am for a 11am start.

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