Timbertowners prepare to celebrate 100 years of league

Blackbutt Timbertowners president Barry Richardson displays a photo of the original Blackbutt rugby league team of 1913 and the Ian
Blackbutt Timbertowners president Barry Richardson displays a photo of the original Blackbutt rugby league team of 1913 and the Ian "Bunny" Pearce Memorial Trophy ahead of the club’s celebration of 100 years of rugby league in Blackbutt on July 27. Aiden Burgess

IT'S a rich rugby league history dating back to before the start of the First World War.

The Blackbutt/Yarraman Timbertowners will celebrate a century of the sport by hosting the Blackbutt Football Club Centenary on July 27.

The 100-year celebrations will feature a big day of rugby league at Blackbutt Sportsgrounds.

>> Read about three generations of Blackbutt league men

After the action, a dinner at Blackbutt Town Hall will give anyone involved with the club a chance to reminisce.

The latest generation of Timbertowners will take to the field with junior matches to be held before their senior counterparts hit the turf for Round 14 of this year's South Burnett Premier League season.

Timbertowners president Barry Richardson said it would be a great moment for the club to celebrate a centenary of league.

"Considering country clubs have struggled through the years, it's a great achievement for Blackbutt rugby league club to last 100 years as we almost folded five times," he said.

>> Fast facts:

  • Rugby league first played in Blackbutt in 1913.
  • First club premiership won in 1924.
  • South Burnett A-grade premiers in 1968, 1973-74.
  • Reserve grade premiers in 1996, the last premiership the club has won.
  • Played in the A-grade and under 20s in the South West Downs competition from 1960-1964, winning the 1960 A-grade premiership after being undefeated all season.
  • Under 18s squad was undefeated in the 1959 season.

>> Rugby league runs richly through Blackbutt family's veins

The Olzard family of Mitchell, Bobby and Tony have spanned three generations playing rugby league in Blackbutt.
The Olzard family of Mitchell, Bobby and Tony have spanned three generations playing rugby league in Blackbutt. Aiden Burgess

BOBBY, Tony and Mitchell Olzard have pulled on the boots for Blackbutt teams, spanning more than 60 years of the 100-year history of rugby league in the town.

Bobby played for the local side known as the Blackbutt All-Stars from 1952-1953 before a damaged shoulder forced him out of the game.

The former Blackbutt Timbertowners president said it was only natural for the Olzard family to have forged a rugby league tradition.

"We love sport, and we've all got competitive spirits as we don't like being beaten and we hate losing and never give in," he said.

"It doesn't matter what sport we play, it's the driving spirit to compete and to play against the best and beat them."

This driving spirit saw his son, Tony, follow in his father's footsteps by playing senior rugby league for Blackbutt.

Tony played for the Timbertowners seniors from 1985 to 1989 and was captain-coach of the side from 1986 to 1989.

After playing at Stanley Rivers and Nambour in the early 90s, Tony returned to play for the Timbertowners in 1996, resuming his role as captain coach before retiring in 1998.

Tony said his times on the field for the Timbertowners were some of the best moments of his life.

"When I became captain-coach I thought it was the be-all end-all because you have so much pride in the jersey," he said.

"It was the best time of my life playing for the Timbertowners."

Bobby said it was great to see his son and grandson follow in his footsteps.

"I'm proud of them, especially watching them in representative matches and making a name for the family," he said.

Tony's son Mitchell has continued the family tradition as a current member of this year's Timbertowners squad

The 20-year-old has spent recent years playing outside the region after playing as a Timbertowners junior.

He said it was great to keep the family tradition alive by once again donning the green and white.

"It's in the blood and it's always good to come back and play for the Timbertowners," he said.

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