Kevin’s Days in Harden

Kevin Day writes: On Fathers’ Day this year I was given the book ‘Uncommon Heroes’ by John Ellicott. I was particularly interested in the chapter on Group 9 and the history of the Maher Cup.
kevindayhouseIn 1959 I was working for the Electricity Commission of NSW.  We were building a wood pole transmission line from Murrumburrah to Boorowa.  I was sent from Sydney in late March to work there for 3 months at the construction depot.  I was 22 at the time. I was able to secure board with a Mrs Franklin and her grandson I think his name was Reg.  The house was at the entrance to the Murrumburrah Showground.

I had been playing junior league football in Sydney, with Renown United in the St.George competition, we had some success in the C and B grades.

I was in the Murrumburrah Hotel one night when a couple of guys connected to the junior league club I belonged to in Sydney came through (they had a horse with them and were on their way to the races somewhere down that way). They mentioned to whoever was there that I had played junior football in the same team as Reg. Gasnier, who was making a name for himself at the time. After that I was approached to have a game, which I did, and the rest is history.
In Sydney I had been playing lock, but as the captain coach Matt Grenfell was the Harden lock, he played me in the centres.  All up I think I played in six games in both Group 9 and the Maher Cup before having to return to Sydney.  I remember the following games: Sunday 17 May against Barmedman, won 19-8; Sunday 24 May against Boorowa; Maher Cup 30 May against Coota 17-8; Sunday 31 May v Junee 40-7; and 6 June Maher Cup aganst Gundagai 10-3.

I was only a team player (no star) I enjoyed playing and hope I contributed in a small way to the teams success at that time. It was not until many years later that I was made aware of what I had been part of, and how good that team was.

Admin. adds:
On 13 September 1958 Harden won the Cup from Wyalong and defended it for the entire 1959 season – continuously for some  27 Saturdays until 2 July 1960. This is an all time Maher Cup record.  Of course the team had also to back up for tough Group 9 games every Sunday.  When Kevin Day was in Murrumburrah it was in the relatively early days of that incredible run.

Below are two clippings from the Harden-Murrumburrah Express of 4 June 1959.



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6 thoughts on “Kevin’s Days in Harden

    • Hi Paul. Yes I love your book. I mention it in a number of places on the site, including in the Bibliography on this page If you want me to put your phone and or address in the bibliography, I am most happy to do so – so that people can contact you to buy the book. Actually I could also out an image of the book with your details on the site – it would make a bigger impact. I do have your details already. Cheers, Neil

  1. HI, would you know of a Frederick fred woods, who I believe would have played for harden-Murrumburrah,could have been around late 40s or 50s..may have been the 60s..he played in the maher cup…….cheers merv

    • Hi Merv. Yes Fred, also known as Froggy, Woods played at least 16 Maher Cup games for Harden from 1952-1959 usually in the 2nd row, although he also played lock and in the centres. There are four team photos in which he is represented in Paul McCarthy’s book – The Maher Cup: The Harden-Murrumburrah story.

  2. I was playing Bb Bass in the Harden Brass Band in 1959 and each Saturday we marched from the Railway Institute up the Main Street then round to McLean Oval where we marched around the oval and were allowed to sit on the sideline to watch the game. We played at half-time then when they won we played the Victory March back to the Band room.
    Then it was over to Mrs McLean’s Grand Hotel for a couple of beers before 6 o’clock closing.

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