January 21, 2020
Memories of past glories were shared in Blackbutt on Saturday when veterans of the winning 1973 South Burnett Rugby League grand final team gathered for a special reunion.
The combined Blackbutt-Kilcoy side defeated Murgon in a hugely entertaining game during which League legend, Ian “Bunny” Pearce, stole the show, taking out Man of the Match and scoring a try, kicking two goals and a field goal.
Murgon had been aiming to capture their third A Grade grand final win a row, after taking out the 1971 and 1972 trophies.
Newspaper reports from the time capture the atmosphere at Wondai Sportsground: a huge crowd and a record gate.
The veterans of that epic 1973 Blackbutt-Kilcoy team were joined at the Radnor Hotel on Saturday by players from both clubs across the years.
Sadly, Pearce, who went on to captain Queensland in 1975, was missing.
He was tragically killed in a car crash in 1993 but his memory lives on in Blackbutt with the local sports oval named in his honour.
The 1973 reunion was organised by former Wide Bay Bulls player Glen Argent, from Blackbutt, and current Kilcoy Yowies club president Todd Harrison.
A table was piled high with memorabilia from the winning era, including trophies and photographs which were pored over by visitors.
The Yowies club donated a commemorative plaque which will now hang proudly on the Radnor Hotel’s wall.
1973 Blackbutt-Kilcoy captain coach Les Clarke (who also kicked a field goal during the memorable match) was given the honour of unveiling this memento.
Memories were a little sketchy, but it appears Kilcoy and Blackbutt fielded a joint team in the South Burnett competition from about 1970 to about 1977, before Blackbutt then joined up with Yarraman.
For the record, Blackbutt-Kilcoy sides also made it into the grand finals in 1973 for Reserve Grade and Under 17s, but were defeated by Kingaroy and Barambah Magpies.
1973 scoreboard: Blackbutt-Kilcoy def. Murgon 15-10. Blackbutt tries were scored by Bunny Pearce, Ross Richardson and John Charlton. Pearce kicked two goals and one field goal. Les Clarke also kicked one field goal. Murgon tries were scored by Harry Pickering and Barry Braithwaite. Terry Hammond kicked two goals. NB. In 1973, tries were worth three points.
- Related article: League Legend Remembered At Museum