Life jacket back to club

THE life membership jacket of former Eastern Suburbs Junior Rugby League president Noel Nielsen has been framed and will be unveiled after the local derby between Suburbs and Collegians on Saturday.

Noel died in January this year and his wife Judy will unveil the framed jacket on Saturday.

Long-time club supporter David Cory will officially open the new 240-seat spectator area in front of the clubhouse which will be named the Noel Nielsen Memorial Grandstand.

The unveiling and opening will be after the under-16 game between the two Warwick clubs which kicks off at 3pm Saturday.

Noel and Judy were foundation members when the Eastern Suburbs junior club was formed in 1977.

From 1985 to 1990, Noel was club president and was coach and manager of many teams down the years.

He was patron for the decade before he died in January at the age of 61.

Judy said when Noel’s medical condition deteriorated last year, he said he wanted his life membership jacket to go back to the club.

“He just loved his Suburbs and wearing the jacket,” Judy said.

“Noel had friends in all the junior clubs.”

Son Gavin first played for Suburbs in 1980 and second son Adam in 1983.

Eastern Suburbs president Garry McEwan said he hoped the memorial day on Saturday attracted many past players and office bearers from Suburbs and Collegians clubs, the Warwick and District Junior Rugby League and Cowboys club.

“The jacket has been framed into a fabulous display and we are thankful to Noel’s wife Judy for such a fantastic gift to the club,” McEwan said.

“Noel was a great person and known for his selfless hard work and efforts for our club which helped past players as well as current and future players.

“The legacy Noel left, not only at Suburbs, but for the wider football and general community is immense and I invite all life and foundation members and all touched by his love of rugby league to the unveiling,” McEwan said.

Current patron Paul Roche said Noel made everyone really welcome at Suburbs and got all involved.

“He wore his life membership jacket with pride,” Roche said.

The Nielsen family were also involved with the Warwick Cowboys as supporters, sponsors and regulars at club games and functions.

The first of nine games on Saturday is at 9am.

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