Paddy Alberts, centre, with members of the Winston Alberts Memorial Team … the jersey design echoes Cherbourg Hornets’ jerseys from years ago (Photo: QRL)

February 6, 2024

Cherbourg Hornets’ veteran Paddy Alberts will be leading a very special team at an Indigenous rugby league carnival in Nambour this weekend.

The Sunshine Coast Bunyas carnival will kick off on Friday night followed by two days of league action featuring 11 teams.

Paddy will be leading the “Winston Alberts Memorial Team”, named in honour of his late father who died in December 2021.

Many of the team members are either related to Winston or are players who learned their skills from him.

Paddy told the QRL it had always been his goal to honour his father at a cultural carnival but the weekend had now taken on extra significance after his partner, Rochelle Davidson, died recently.

“She was a big part of this team; she helped me put this team together with me for my dad, and I lost her,” Paddy said.

“I got around the boys and spoke about how passionate she (Rochelle) was about it. She was a big Cherbourg supporter… and would just be there for me and my friends to support us all.

“She was so excited for it and couldn’t wait to see all the boys in action. We’re going to come down and put on a show.

“It’s about having pride in ourselves and where we come from, and our community.

“It’s something that’s important to everyone to be in a team to represent where they come from, their family, their background and their history, but for me personally, my father was a passionate Cherbourg man and played for Cherbourg Hornets all his life and I wanted to honour him in this way.

“He played for the club for years, won grand finals and always supported me and the rest of the Cherbourg boys, no matter where we travelled.

“He had an impact on a lot of young people around me and my brother, we all stayed under the same roof and he always spoke about how passionate he was and his mates was for the game and how they became strong and travelled around and won games.

“He was my hero. He was a big inspiration.”

The Winston Alberts Memorial Team will be playing in a jersey designed by Paddy, Rochelle and other members of the Alberts family.

Other teams scheduled to take part in the carnival are defending champions Coastal Blacks, along with Cherbourg United, Undumbi Connections, Cunnamulla Connections, North Coast Cowboys, Koori Brothers United, Akeem Davidson Memorial Team, SWQ Mandana, Sunshine Coast Bunyas Black and Sunshine Coast Bunyas Yellow.

FLASHBACK: Paddy Alberts celebrates after scoring under the posts for the Hornets


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