OVER A FEW COLD BEERS
Gold Coast Rugby Union Football Club Inc (Eagles Rugby) is the foundation club for Gold Coast Rugby having played our first game in the Brisbane competition in 1965.
It was November 1964 and the birth of the club can be attributed to a meeting held at The Pink Elephant Bar within the Chevron Hotel, Surfers Paradise. At that meeting were Tom Perrin, Bob Chester, Bob McDonald, Nap Palmer, Paul Perrin, Ken Hughes, George Cross, John Gordon and Chris Oxenford. Also in attendance was Wal Galloway of the Brisbane Sub-District Rugby Union and Barry French of the Queensland Rugby Union. Over several beers it was proposed, endorsed and sanctioned that starting 1965, the Gold Coast Rugby Union Football Club would form and enter the Brisbane sub-district competition.
Main Beach (top), James Overell Park (vacant, bottom), 1965
FIRST HOME GROUND - RUDD PARK
It didn't take long for the team to find its first home at Rudd Park, Burleigh Heads. This ground is now a caravan park off Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads.
Local knowledge was important when playing as the pitch sloped uphill towards the beach and for additional interest, the field had a concrete cricket wicket in the middle which was covered by sand for training and games.
Changing rooms were the public toilets and showers on the beachfront.
After-match drinks and celebrations were often at Bert Cockerill’s 5th Avenue Motel at North Burleigh. The Gold Coast Hotel at Burleigh Heads was the club's first sponsor in 1965, and offered the players a couple of rooms to change and shower, but importantly, a 5 gallon keg for after-match celebrations!
Chris Oxenford recalls that an important part of the early spirit of the team was the support of ‘The Girls’ who drove the social fabric of the new club. Bi Perrin, Barb Oxenford, Joel McCulloch, Anne Sinclair were great supporters who would bring a plate to after-match functions and were an integral part of club activities.
A NEW HOME - JAMES OVERELL PARK
The Club was based at Rudd Park, Burleigh Heads until 1972 when the Club moved to James Overell Park, Southport. The Overell family provided the land on Brighton Parade to the Queensland State government on the basis that a rugby club would be based at the ground. Our club has held the lease and the rights of use ever since.
A SECOND GOLD COAST RUGBY CLUB
The captain/coach of the 1967 team was Gold Coast rugby legend Bob Sinclair. Bob subsequently left the club to broaden the rugby base on the Gold Coast by establishing the Surfers Paradise Rugby Union Club in 1973. Bob always displayed unbridled passion and enthusiasm to help build the game over many years through many roles at a district administration level.
Chevron Hotel, Surfers Paradise, 1964
EARLY TRAINING SESSIONS
Chris Oxenford recalls the first ever training run in early 1965. The session was held on Main Beach at the end of Woodroffe Avenue, conveniently close to Tom Perrin's house and a cold beer afterwards.
The first formal training sessions were held at the Surfers Paradise Cricket Oval located on the site of the current Surfers Paradise Transit Centre, Beach Rd, Surfers Paradise.
Rudd Park, Burleigh Heads, 1965
THE FIRST SEASON - 1965
The team itself tasted success from the kickoff winning the 1965 Brisbane sub-district premiership. This early success was followed by a runner-up finish in 1966.
The team completed the 1967 season as undefeated premiers winning the A grade “Truth Shield”.
James Overell Park (top), 1972