The Thirroul Rugby League Football Club celebrated its centenary in 2013, so its time to reflect on the pioneers who created our club back in 1913 and their successors who enabled the Butchers to grow through good times and bad.
We have scored hundreds of tries, won many premierships and fostered players who have gone onto represent our district, state and country. We have enjoyed plenty of highs and survived some dismal failures.
Frank Nowlan reminds us of our literary link with the English novelist D. H. Lawrence who lived in Thirroul for a short period in 1922. He wrote the Novel “Kangaroo” about that time and it seems he watched a game at our local footy paddock. An extract read:
“Just outside the railway station was a football field and Mullumbimly (Thirroul) was playing Wollondindy (Wollongong). Mullumbimly was in royal blue and Wollondindy in a rather faded red. Alongside the roadside buggies and motor cars were pulled up…on the field the blues and reds darted madly about like strange bird creatures rather than men. They were mostly blond, with hefty legs, and with prominent round buttocks that worked madly inside the little white cotton shorts.”
Lawrence certainly did not play with the Butchers, but he did place our football in the literary field.
The authors spent many hours delving into past newspaper records at the Wollongong City Library, football year books, some programs from Coastline Printing and the old Butchers’ Bulletins, but the real feel for our history came through discussions with players and officials from yesteryear.
Naturally enough, in any venture of this nature unavoidable mistakes and omissions will occur. At conservative estimate over 4000 players over the years had donned the blue jumper and obviously all are not included here.
Purposefully, the word blue in describing our jumper has been selectively used. Over the past 90 years our jumpers description has gone through at least three transformations with white, red and black all at some stage being utilised, but blue has been the common element since 1913.
Another common element to emerge in this research was the love of the game. Thirroul players have trained, given all and bled on that same patch of ground outside the railway station; officials have worked enthusiastically, all for the love of the game. It is to all those players, officials and supporters that this short history hopes to do justice.