Saturday 5 August at Chatswood Oval
Next Saturday, Gordon’s last game of the regular Shute Shield rounds, a special reunion will be taking place. It is the 40th anniversary of the 1977 3rd Grade Premiership team.
Many felt that 1977 wasn’t quite the year it should have been, having been 1st and 2nd Grade premiers the year before. Whilst the club was unable to replicate the outstanding success of the top two grades, it was nonetheless an outstanding year for Gordon with the 3rd Grade Premiership being the highlight.
Sydney Rugby Union made the decision to send away a touring team at the beginning of the season which meant Gordon lost 7 players to the team – plus a couple of notable losses of key players which meant that over 80 team changes were made by mid-season. This should not diminish the outstanding results for the year. Four Grand Finalists, two Minor Premierships, three Finalists and one Premiership across Grade and Colts was something to be proud of.
3rd Grade were no doubt the team of the year. Coach Graeme Cavanagh supported by team Captain Bob Sampson engendered motivation, spirit and sound rugby into the team with the fitting reward coming with their premiership victory against Eastern Suburbs in the Grand Final played at the Sydney Cricket Ground. They handsomely won the Minor Premiership with 16 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw, in doing so scoring 287 points for, and 49 against.
The side was full of talent, including 8 ex Colts with many going on to play 1st Grade in subsequent years. 45 players played 3rd Grade throughout the year. Mike Yeomans was the top scorer for the side (including Finals etc.) scoring 10 tries for 40 points, closely followed by Richard Pembroke with 32 points.
The following members of the squad either played or went on to play 100 or more games for the club: Mick Bird, Bob Sampson, Mick Bradford, Ian Moyes, Peter Sherwood, Tony McElroy, Ivo Clarke, John Cooper, Peter Casperson, Wal Freeman, Peter Black, Richard Pembroke, John Dawes, Hugh Gordon, Geoff Quinn, Mike Seton and Mike Powell.
This Saturday in the final round of the 2017 Shute Shield matches against Eastern Suburbs, we honour that great team from 1977 with the FOGS hosting a reunion in their Marquee on the northern hill at Chatswood Oval. At final count, there will be 18 from the squad that year attending. Sadly, there are members who have passed away, and our thoughts will be with them, as will be the players who have advised they cannot attend or have not been contactable. Should be a wonderful afternoon on reminiscing.
Not to be forgotten in the celebrations are the 1977 2nd Grade side coached by Bob Johnson who, having finished the Minor Premiership in 3rd place, sadly went out in the final series, and the 1977 4th Grade side, coached by Kent Gamble who, after finishing the regular season as Minor Premiers, went down in the Grand Final at the Sydney Cricket ground 4 – 0 against Northern Suburbs. This was one of the youngest sides ever to represent the club in Grade ranks.