Seagulls Club to host tribute day to stalwart Col Hayes
COL Hayes says the most memorable day of his 63-year association with Seagulls Rugby League Football Club was October 1, 1971, when the club was first granted a liquor licence.
"I missed the first beer because I had to go to Murwillumbah to the magistrate's court to pick up the (liquor) licence," recalls the 78-year-old Tweed Heads South resident.
"But I made up for it over the years."
The club will pay tribute to its former general manager at its Intrust Super Cup match against Norths Devils this weekend.
Col joined as an under-18 player as a busy five-eight in 1951.
After retiring from the playing field in 1962, he went on to hold most of the key executive positions, including secretary and president, and was mostly at the helm, as general manager, over a 20-year period.
He was one of three officials to act as guarantors on the loan to build the first licensed club. On December 26, 1972, a freak storm blew down the Gollan Drive Club, and Col and his team were forced to rebuild.
Over 10 years, the club went from a tin shed to a mammoth $11 million premises.
The new-look Seagulls opened in February 1983 with a huge casino poker machine area, four types of dining areas and a 1500-seat auditorium.
Col's former secretary, Denise Bahr, said Col was the father of football at Seagulls.
He steered the club through thick and thin and brought them through to the next era when Tweed Heads and the Gold Coast had their first national football team, the Giants, in 1988, with Seagulls providing the funding as the first major sponsor.
Col retired from Seagulls in 1990, but is not forgotten.
This Sunday, the club he loves dearly will hold a tribute in his honour, prior to the Intrust Super Cup match that kicks off at 3pm DST at Piggabeen Oval, West Tweed.