Roosters celebrate club’s 60-year legend

The Eastern Suburbs Rugby Football Club, the only rugby club on the Eastern Shore, has paid tribute to founding member Cliff Wright, a legend of the game who was instrumental in the club’s formation 60 years ago.

Mr Wright was presented with a framed certificate of appreciation, a wall plaque celebrating his contributions to the club was unveiled and a perpetual trophy was named in his honour.

“I would like to thank everyone who attended the event and honouring Mr Wright’s outstanding contributions during the formation of our organisation,” club president Kristi Leitch said.

“It was a special evening as we acknowledged everything our founding members did for our club all those years ago.

“The warmth and welcome extended by our members made Mr Wright and his family feel truly appreciated.”

As player for the Gordon Rugby Club, Mr Wright was driven by a desire to foster regional rugby.

Fellow founder Jack Clark registered an under 18 team in the Tasmanian Rugby Union under the name Eastern Shore RUFC in 1964 in an effort to keep Clarence High students playing rugby after leaving high school.

While other clubs had agreed to take the team on, Mr Wright argued that it should keep going as a separate entity and offered his services as coach while still playing for Gordon Rugby Club.

The team trained under lights at the Lindisfarne Football Club ground with exercise runs from Mr Wright’s Lindisfarne home to the Tasman Bridge and back.

Eastern Suburbs negotiated a lease with the Clarence Commission in 1967 to play at North Warrane Oval and by 1970 had paid for and erected flood lights at the ground.

In 1976 the organisation became the first rugby club in Tasmania to build its own licensed club rooms.

The club is still going strong today and the senior side will face Taroona in its first game of the 2024 season at North Warrane Oval on 27 April at 3pm.

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About the Author: Simon Andrews

Simon is a passionate journalist and finds joy in uncovering and sharing locally resonant stories, immersing himself in the hearts of communities. He can often be spotted out and about sourcing grassroots news for the Hobart Observer and its sister papers.

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