History of the Nambour Crushers

By Phillip Deschamps

1985- The Nambour Crushers Rugby League Football Club was born.

Nambour Crushers is a club that saw 2 rivals from pre – 1985 combine to be the force we are today.

In Juniors, Nambour had 3 early clubs, Bluebirds, Waratahs and Tigers that played under these names until 1974. Bluebirds became the Souths Magpies wearing black and white jerseys whilst Waratahs and Tigers became Tigwahs and then All Whites with them wearing a red and white strip.

In the Senior ranks these two clubs played with a lot of venom and courage when facing-off on the field against each other. Both clubs did have their fair amount of success in Grand Final appearances. Even though Nambour was a small country town, both clubs would frequent their respective hotels and sponsors. All Whites players would be found at the Club Hotel where long time sponsor Bob Grundy would oversee the building of club spirit. The Souths Magpies home away from home was the Royal George Hotel where Harry Balkin would fire the Souths boys up prior to club games.

When we look back at the rivalry between these two clubs, it was the cane train lines of Mill Street that kept these enemies apart. In folk lore, there have been stories of many a knuckle dust on these cane train lines between the old enemies.

Both clubs did have a stable of stars at their disposal. All Whites had names such as John Reddy, Paul Thomas, Sid Clarke, The Swan Brothers – Mal and Ken, Rowan Gaylard, Barry Gills, Joey Paris and Kerry Brown. While the Souths Magpies had names of Evan Blackman, International Ray Laird, Rex Eggmolesse, Dave Patman, The Allen Brothers – Brian, Graham and Des, The Gravenor Brothers – Ronnie, Danny and Peter, International Darryl Higgs and his brother Adrian, The Walker Brothers – Dallas and Peter, Mick Plant, Lorrie Gardiner and the list goes on.

If we look at people at the Crushers now we have Teresa Cordwell who came from the All Whites Grundy Family and married a Souths player in David Cordwell. Greg Oxenham, who played for not only Maroochydore but All Whites as well, has married Tracy from the Souths Deschamps Family. It shows that we finally did come to our senses and join a club that is the envy of all others.

Fast forward to 2005 and the mighty Crushers are 20 years old this season. Where has the time gone? I remember coaching current First Grade stars Aaron and Ben Smith as little scrawny Under 7′s not so long ago.

In the 20 years that we have been together our family here at Nambour has produced a lot of quality players that have represented this club with great honour and distinction. We have had over 800 players represent at Sunshine Coast level, approximately 350 of these have represented the Wide Bay Bulls Division and we have had 12 players play for our State with 1 player, Simona Vavega, making an Australian Merit side only 2 seasons ago. We have had 2 of our player’s join the Brisbane Broncos and we have Nambour boy Ben Ross, down with the Penrith Panthers. With such high quality players and coaches that have been members of our family here at Nambour, it shows why the Crushers have been Premiers on more that 50 occasions in all grades. If you look at the number of Nambour Juniors playing in our current A Grade squad, it shows that the club is reaping the rewards of the dedicated Development Squad’s that the Junior’s build with the help of all the coaching staff from past to present.

So bring on 2005, as no doubt another crop of rising stars will be unleashed to keep the future of this fine club alive and thriving so one day our grandchildren can don the colours of the mighty Nambour Crushers and experience the same true meaning of club loyalty and sportsmanship that we are fortunate to have here at Nambour. To play for the Nambour Crushers, is to play for your mates and wear the Crusher jersey with the emblem that covers our hearts, as that is where our future lies and is the true meaning of playing for Nambour. Not all of our players will reach the heights of the NRL or Queensland Cup, but at the end of the day, when we take to the battlefield of Rugby League, our kids will have learnt the most valuable lesson in life-coaching, and that is to play fairly and hard but always protect your mates and show great discipline and respect for all others. Personally I can recommend you play this great game for this great club for as long as your heart and your body can withstand, as it is when you are not playing, and it is only then, that you realise the true spirit of team mates and sportsmanship. When you achieve the Holy Grail of a Premiership, it is something that you have personally worked very hard to achieve and the special bond that will extend for the rest of your life carries you with great confidence through society’s darkest hours. In a couple of months the pioneers of this club will be meeting to celebrate the past 20 years of the Crushers. I invite as many parents and senior players to attend this reunion as these pioneers set the bench mark that we all strive to achieve. No doubt that the 10 metre try will have turned into a 60 metre burst, beating 8 opposing players and chipping the fullback to score the match-winning try, but that is what the Nambour Rugby League Club is all about – Great memories, great characters great games, great mates and great supporters that last a life time.

This year sees a lot of new players join our family here at Nambour and we welcome you with open arms. Good luck to you all and remember that here at Nambour, you are not a Junior or a Senior, you are a Nambour Crusher.

Go the Crushers!

The Club

22 Crusher Park Drive

Phone: 5441 4642

Club Contacts

Club President
Ray Madsen


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