BIT HIT: Brothers' halfback Max Gilmore is not scared to bring down Rainbows' forward Ken Rush.
BIT HIT: Brothers' halfback Max Gilmore is not scared to bring down Rainbows' forward Ken Rush. Bec Singh

GLORY DAYS: Gympie footy club relives 40-year-old final win

Rugby League: The 1970s and 1980s is often referred to the golden era of rugby league, the contested scrums, biff and the anything goes tackles.

It was a time when Gympie had four clubs, Brothers, Wanders, Rainbows and Suburbs.

It sounds like a different time for some of us league fans but the 1978 Brothers grand final side will take a trip back to that golden era when the 1978 premiership side get together next Saturday.

Brothers' A grade players John Tobin and Brad Kennedy were in the Queensland side before the start of State of Origin.
Brothers' A grade players John Tobin and Brad Kennedy were in the Queensland side before the start of State of Origin. Bec Singh

Minor premiers Rainbows were the favourites but the Brothers side battled for their first grand final berth. Brothers scored 15 points in the last 11 minutes of the game to defeat Rainbows 26-18 at Albert Park.

Brothers halfback Max Gilmore remembers the grand final like it was yesterday and said the game had changed since he hung up his boots.

"I don't want to believe that it was 40 years ago,” he said. "It was a different game, it is much faster now. We played under the old 5m rule with a bit of biff on the field in those days.”

THE CHAMPS: Brothers' 1978 grand final winners. Back row: Bill Wilson, Ross Kingston, Danny 'Duke' Waters (assistant manager), Owen Genrich, Malcom Lehman, Brad Kennedy, Ken Bennett (manager), Bernie Dore and John Tobin. Middle row: David 'Spook' Edgar (masseur), Clyde Benson, Malcolm Lehman (president), Mike Dore (captain/coach), Bob Pearce (secretary), Murray McPherson, Danny McGrath (treasurer) and Peter Tobin. Front row: Graham Manning, Michael Nolan, Allan Triechel, Max Gilmore, Mark Daunt and Ron Betts. Absent from photo: Greg Henry, John Marlow and Greg Hickey.
THE CHAMPS: Brothers' 1978 grand final winners. Back row: Bill Wilson, Ross Kingston, Danny 'Duke' Waters (assistant manager), Owen Genrich, Malcom Lehman, Brad Kennedy, Ken Bennett (manager), Bernie Dore and John Tobin. Middle row: David 'Spook' Edgar (masseur), Clyde Benson, Malcolm Lehman (president), Mike Dore (captain/coach), Bob Pearce (secretary), Murray McPherson, Danny McGrath (treasurer) and Peter Tobin. Front row: Graham Manning, Michael Nolan, Allan Triechel, Max Gilmore, Mark Daunt and Ron Betts. Absent from photo: Greg Henry, John Marlow and Greg Hickey. Bec Singh

It was a fight from behind for Brothers with an underdog victory. "We were down 10-6 at half-time but we lifted in the second half. The conditions were perfect, kick-off was 3pm and it wasn't too hot,” Gilmore said.

"I still remember when five-eighth Mark Daunt came on in the second half, scored a try and kicked a goal from the sideline.

"Albert Park is on a slope and we were running up hill in the first half but down the hill and looking into the western sun in the second. It was pretty psychological, it's a downhill run. You would kick the ball and it would just keep rolling.”

The contested scrum in the 1978 grand final.
The contested scrum in the 1978 grand final. Bec Singh

Brothers continued their successful run, winning the 1979 and then 1981 grand finals, but this will be the first reunion for the 1978 side.

"I'm looking forward to catching up with a couple of the guys who have moved and reminisce. Time marches on and you don't see a lot of each other,” Gilmore said.

"There will be a few tall stories and reliving some of the funny memories.”

Gympie Times


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