June 30, 2021
The memory of one of Nanango’s favourite residents will live on thanks to the renaming of the sports fields in Burnett Street.
The fields, which are run by the Nanango Sporting Association (NSA), now bear the name of the late Alan Downie, who died peacefully in June last year, aged 61.
A large crowd of more than 100 family, friends and NSA members gathered outside the main gate on Saturday morning to witness the official unveiling of the entrance arch that now welcomes visitors to the Alan Downie Sports Fields.
Alan, who moved to Nanango from Mt Binga in 1981, joined the association soon after the grounds opened in 1983 and was a much-valued member right up to his death.
Over the years, he served as the NSA’s president, vice-president and groundsman.
The sports field is the home of the Nanango Scorpions cricket club, the Panthers soccer club and the Nanango Kennel Club.
Alan was a keen soccer player and supporter, coaching both junior and senior Panthers’ men’s and women’s teams.
Women’s team captain Cass Kelly recalled that one of Alan’s proudest moments came in 2017 when the Panthers First Division team won their sixth local premiership in a row – a local record that still stands.
“But he was always one of our biggest supporters, win, lose or draw,” Cass said.
The idea to rename the sports fields in Akan’s honour was a unanimous decision of the three sporting clubs which have their homes at the ground.
The wooden archway was crafted by the Downie family.
Catering on the day was organised by Cr Roz Frohloff through the South Burnett Regional Council’s discretionary fund.
Cr Frohloff said she also hopes to use the fund to get the archway illuminated with spotlights later this year.