Heart and soul of local sport
IT ALL started after a conversation in the pub over the boots Brian Phelan was wearing when he kicked a match-winning goal in Warwick all those years ago.
“We should frame those boots,” said Allora’s Perry Cronin.
And he did, even though at the time there was nowhere to display them.
Now, 15 years after the first inductions in Allora Sports Hall of Fame – Brian Phelan and his brother Max – the committee is preparing to receive the keys for its new home.
The Sports Museum will be set up in the old Allora Council building on the corner of Drayton and Herbert Sts.
For a town with a population of less than 1000, Allora has produced more than its fair share of sports stars.
Cronin, who is the president of the Sports Museum committee, said he couldn’t pin down the reason for the success.
“If it was something in the water, you’d bottle it,” he said.
There are now 17 sport stars and former sport stars inducted into the Hall of Fame, with plenty still to take their place. A function is held each time a new star is inducted.
“We get a great turnout,” Cronin said.
“It’s like ‘This is your Life’.”
Firebirds netballer Laura Geitz and Wallaby and Reds prop Greg Holmes will be among the next generation to be recognised, while Cronin said there were still a number of people to be added posthumously.
“I’ve collected a lot of things over the years,” he said.
“People probably thought I was an idiot collecting all this stuff, but now we’re finally going to be able to put it on public display.”
There’s no official opening date for the museum, but the committee will be busy adding a lick of paint and arranging the memorabilia in coming months before it opens its doors to the public.
“People have been very generous to us over the years,” Mr Cronin said. “We want to give them back the faith they’ve shown in us.”
Secretary Glyn Rees said it had been a long wait, but it would be worth it for the community.
“We have such a great collection; we’ve had people from the Queensland Museum wanting some of our things to go on display in their museums,” he said.
“It will be magnificent to see everything on display.”
Rees said Allora had bred some special talent over the years.
The league fanatic mentioned some of his favourite stars like Shane Webcke and Rohan Hancock, but he also recognised people like the Gilmour brothers, who weren’t just Allora or Queensland greats – they were world leaders in polo.
“Everyone has special talent,” he said.
“Some people have excelled in three or four sports.”
Mr Rees thanked council for its support in helping identify a suitable building for the project.