In the end, rugby league keeps us together

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It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, we all start in the same place and we will all finish at the same place. It might be a dark and sad finish, but its what we do with the big bright part in between that counts.

We all may come from different walks of life, but its rugby league that keeps us together.

It may go quickly and sometimes you probably ask yourself where all the time went. But somehow through all the bad, good and lost memories we remember those first exciting moments we shared with the greatest game of all.

We remember them like they were yesterday, but still ask ourselves how everything has changed so much.

Living in Hurstville in the late 1980′s, it made sense to head to Kogarah Oval and watch the mighty St George Dragons go round. The very first time I heard ‘Simply The Best’ by Tina Turner as I headed into the ground, I was hooked.

Apparently a very young Gorden Tallis played Presidents Cup that day but the only other thing I remember was a Jeff Hardy dropout which barely went ten metres!

Respected rugby league journalist Tony Adams first memories of the game come from almost 45 years ago.

“Souths versus Balmain, 1969 grand final. Watching it at my cousin’s house at age 10. I liked the game but my brother, who knows nothing about football, said I should support Easts because we live in the east. So I did for 20 years. I was there for 1974-5 grand final wins. Great times as a kid, they were a great team”.

The Triple M Grill Team’s Gus Worland remembers the Roosters’ 1975 victory too.

“Roosters ‘75 win. My mum took Jacko and I to the SCG and we were in the Members. What a match. Had chicken sandwiches, a choccy Moove and hot chips!”.

“Had the game won pretty early in the second half. Mum got a parking ticket as she illegally parked as we were late getting to the game. My uncle Nigel had saved seats for us. We had red, white and blue streamers all over the car!”.

2GB presenter Mark Levy remembers a tough time for the Rabbitohs.

“I remember marching from Redfern oval to Town Hall with my dad trying to get Souths back into the comp”.

Tom Waterhouse from TomWaterhouse.com recalls the magic of North Sydney Oval.

“I remember going to North Sydney Oval to watch the Bears play and from that minute I was hooked on loving rugby league. My favourite moment was watching Mark Coyne score that try for the maroons in ‘94. I have always loved Alfie Langer and King Wally”.

The game has given us so much and never demands anything back. It gives players a lifestyle and income many would kill for. It gives men and women the chance to work inside one of the great Australian institutions.

It gives the common man something to support. Something to look forward to every weekend in those cold winter months. This is a game that gives the punter a chance every weekend. Rugby league is a game that will give forever.

Nobody should ever take this game for granted. Buying your team jersey once every few years isn’t enough anymore. Going to one or two games a season isn’t enough anymore. We as fans need to make a concerted effort to truly show our love for the game in 2012.

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