The 1978 reserve grade premiership winning Gremlins.
The 1978 reserve grade premiership winning Gremlins. Contributed

Gremlins set to toast 40-year title milestone

Rugby League: The band's getting back together as the golden generation of the Stanthorpe Gremlins unite for a trip down memory lane.

This weekend the premiership winning reserve and first grade sides of 1978 will join up for a commemorative celebration to mark 40 years.

It was a special time for the club. The '78 double came on the back of a first grade title in '74 and was followed up in 1979 when both outfits claimed the title again. For a trio of brothers, those years bring back fond memories. Robbie, Peter and Owen O'Brien were a pivotal part of the winning sides.

"I started off coaching reserve grade and playing reserves but half way through the season I ended up playing first grade,” Robbie (pictured front row, second from left) said.

His two brothers played reserves and Peter took over as player coach when Robbie stepped into A Grade.

"We had pretty good sides then. We had to beat Goondiwindi in the major semi at Gundy to make the grand final. Reserve grade did that too. Both sides went straight into the final where reserves played a rejuvenated Gundy and Collegians in first grade.

"I remember Russell Crisp scored the last try. I know we got two kicks at a goal cos Russell got hammered after he scored.”

Gordon Boney would slot the two conversions for a seven-point try and they'd hold out to win by seven. He remembers the late Greg Appleton fondly. Appleton was player coach of the first grade side.

"He come back from a broken arm. It happened about half way through the season and he came back with about four games to go.” For Robbie it was special to enjoy the wins with his brother's, who'll both be around for the celebration this weekend.

"I'm not as involved as used to be any more. I was time keeper for probably 30 years or something for junior games,” he said.

The teams will meet up for lunch at the RSL at 11.30am on Saturday before they cheer on the Gremlins and then enjoy a few drinks after the game.

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