Dee Why RSL ready to celebrate 70 year milestone
When people think of George Best, they probably do not normally think of Dee Why Football Club, but once upon a time the Belfast Boy did don the Dee Why kit, albeit briefly.
The European Cup winner one of Manchester United’s famous Busby Babes played one game for Dee Why in 1983 and his fleeting appearance is just one of many stories the club is recounting as it prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary.
Nathan Radford is co-ordinating the celebrations and he said he was revelling in the opportunity to delve deep into the history books, which extend far beyond his own 19-year association with the club.
“I was just 19 when I came here. I’d just come back from the Waringah Dolphins and then came to play Premier League for Dee Why, and I haven’t left,” Radford said.
“I still play in the over-35s division one team … and the history that has been coming through in preparing for the event has been great.
“The club was established in 1946, the year before Manly-Waringah … but we’ve even found newspaper articles about Dee Why players winning trophies dating back to 1926.”
It’s not just on the pitch that Dee Why has been creating stories.
Before Sir Robert Askin was Premier of New South Wales and opening the Sydney Opera House with the Queen, he was involved with Dee Why, while former club president and life member Bryan Emery was also a youth development officer for Football Federation Australia when it was known as Soccer Australia.
To celebrate the anniversary, Dee Why will be calling on some big names from its past, with former Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss who coached the club to its last premiership in 1996, as well as former National Soccer League player Steve Hickman who coached the club in the mid-2000s.
It all adds up for a great party.
“We’ve hired Dee Why RSL’s main show room for close to 350 guests,” he said.
“We should have some A-League player guest and the FFA’s technical director Steve Hasley said he’s happy to help out too.”
-By Matthew Galea