HAPPY DAYS: Bob Green (middle with beard) and Russell Forbes carry the Houghton Cup after Stanthorpe won the title in 1979.
HAPPY DAYS: Bob Green (middle with beard) and Russell Forbes carry the Houghton Cup after Stanthorpe won the title in 1979. Border Post Archives

Coach Green recalls title win

RUGBY LEAGUE: He came, he saw, he conquered. Bob Green might have only lasted a short while in Stanthorpe, but he left a lasting impression.

He answered the call after an old mate contacted him about making the move. He'd previously played for prestigious clubs across the country - Newtown in Sydney's inner-west and Wests Panthers in Brisbane, the oldest club in the QRL.

"I was coaching up in Townsville - WEA's Football Club. Then I got a call from Gary Duggan one day and he heard some rumours and rang me,” Mr Green said

"I'd signed to a two year contract but they could only afford it for one year and wanted me to coach and do that for nothing. I wasn't doing anything for nothing because it would of kept going and kept going.”

Green and Duggan had known each other from Bob's Panthers day's, where he'd captained them to a premiership in '76 and won one in '75.

"Gary said he could have all my furniture and stuff paid for, come on down and you'll enjoy it. They'd won it the year before and I said 'Well what's wrong with the coach?'

"He told me they just wanted a new atmosphere and someone in the town to lift it a bit.”

He spoke to the wife, who was pregnant at the time with their third child, and decided to make the migration south.

Their third child, a daughter, would be born in Stanthorpe.

The family landed in Stanthorpe in 1979 and Bob would captain/coach them to a premiership.

He admits that it took a little while to settle on their arrival. "I got there and thought 'Jesus Christ - what have I done here'.

"You come from Townsville to Stanthorpe and I remember waking up one morning and it was minus 5 degrees and I thought 'Stuff this'.

He lined up alongside player's such as Russell Forbes, Wayne Cosmo, Russell Crisp, Terry Howard, John Hendry, Greg Appleton, Joe Bennett and Phil McMurtrie to name a few. Bob fondly remembers 'Obie' O'Brien.

"I had some good times there. I remember Big Obie. I used to love the way he'd take his boot off to kick a goal. I didn't think you were allowed to but he got away with it.

"We worked on the roadworks a bit together.”

After his stint in Stanthorpe he went back to Brisbane to coach Wests Panthers Reserve Grade.

He now resides in Ferny Hills in north-west Brisbane. Bob and his wife Linda will make an appearance at the dinner celebrating Stanthorpe's 100 year's of rugby league on August 3.

It's been 40 years since he lived in Stanthorpe and it'll be the first time he's come back and stayed any more than a few minutes passing through.

"I've got a beard now. I had a beard when I was playing but it's not black any more... it's every colour - like a rainbow.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to town though,” he said.

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