The Cumberland Throw

Bob O’Reilly Interview – Part 3

The third part of The Cumberland Throw’s interview with Eels legend, Bob “The Bear” O’Reilly.  In this extended viewing, Bob recounts with us the amazing 1981 Rugby League season in which Parramatta won their maiden premiership.

“Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead”

Sit back and enjoy this as much as we did, the humour and touching stories from this absolute legend of the great game of Rugby League.

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14 thoughts on “Bob O’Reilly Interview – Part 3

  1. Trapped in the 1970's!

    Guys, thanks so much for putting these interviews together and I’ve loved every minute of them.

    The Bear was always a favourite being a Guildford local but it was more about the larrikin in him and the stories that my father told of his exploits around the district. My old man followed the eels from inception and had hardly missed a game since 1947 and we were both there at the GF in 1981 as we were in 1976, 1977 and the replay.

    When Cronin kicked the goal to make it 17-11 I turned to speak to my father and he was gone. He couldn’t stand it and had gone to sit on the supporters bus which is where I found him much later on and confirmed the good news of the win. He wasn’t an emotional guy but his eyes misted up and what it meant to him was more than apparent.

    Those interviews bring back so many fond memories not only of the team, but special times shared with friends and family and for me they were the best times I spent with my father. Going to the footy was on weekend ritual. We followed them everywhere, win or lose, premiers or wooden spooners and beneath that there were some life lessons along the way.

    Well done, thanks again and keep the interviews coming.

    1. sixties

      What a touching anecdote to share mate. I have spoken to Bob today about the videos going on line this week and will try to speak to him again this weekend. I’ll encourage him to read these great comments.

    2. Parramatta Tragic

      A wonderful anecdote Trapped and true for a lot of us I am sure . When the full time siren rang my Dad was openly in tears also. During the game, the guy sitting in front of us kept badgering The Bear relentlessly with comments like “your too old and slow” etc. It was with great delight that we gave it to him when Bob set up the Atkins try and went on to be man of the match.

    3. DK Eel Post author

      Thank you for sharing that brilliant story.

      It’s been a real pleasure not only filming these legends, but cutting it together and sharing it with everyone.

      Thank you also for the wonderful feedback on these videos. It certainly makes the long hours putting these together for all of you worthwhile.


  2. Jack

    That gave me goosebumps! What a champion, amazing story, could only imagine being at the leagues club after the grandfinal win and being carried to the front door.

    1. sixties

      It was quite a night to be at the club Jack. That day will live in my mind forever and it was brilliant to listen to a player’s recollection.

  3. Steve M

    Really enjoying the interviews, great job guys!

    Bob O’Reilly lived up the road from us at Mt Pritchard, I was only young at the time, but brings back some good memories of following his career and my dad.

    Incredible he was 16-17 playing first grade back in those days….amazing!

    Anyway looking forward to seeing more of these interviews.

    1. DK Eel Post author

      Cheers Steve, I’ll have one more part to upload very shortly as Bob chats about life post football and his continuing passion for the game

  4. Ecniv Eels

    This is wonderful,
    All those emotions at the SCG of our Eels winning. What a magnificent day.
    Bob, thanks for the memories. You are a true champion Bob and i was lucky enough to witness the beginning of this very famous Parra era.
    Thanks TCT for very professional interview.

  5. Steven Walker

    Forty20, Sixties, DK .. just gr8 stuff – fantastic site!

    I am a Granville boy from 1960 … Granville Diggers and Junior Eels a very long time ago.
    Life long Eels tragic … 1981 i was in the UK at GF time .. listened to the game on BBC radio at some unbelievable hour of the night and watch the game at the Kangaroo Club in Earls Court a few days later. As i type i can remember the cheers, the singing and the tears i shed that nite .. 000’s of miles away but it felt like i was there.

    Both interviews so far AAA (cant get any higher with Moodys) .. i have seen folks ask on other sites about trying to get one the mayor of Parramatta, Thornett … i grew up with Peter Delany, Arch Brown, Ivor Lingard, Phill (sticks ) Mann, Grahame (shovel) Oling, Michael (metre) Mosley, Ron Hilditch (he scored in 86 !!!) … fingers crossed some of of younger supporters get to hear from these club legends and many many more like them.

    Again gr8 site .. keep it coming

    1. sixties

      Thanks Steven. We will keep doing our best to interview our legends. So far, and we have 3 more lined up, everyone has been happy to talk. However, we are just doing this in our spare time so it’s likely to be around one legend per month. We’re glad to give the fans something to enjoy.

    2. DK Eel Post author

      cheers Steven,

      To echo what Sixties said, it’s been a pleasure interviewing these legends.

      What’s important to me is that we’re able to bring the stories of these guys to everyone, that modern fans are able to gain a connection to the history of the club and the game itself.

      Glad you’re enjoying the interviews.

      Can’t wait to bring everyone more .

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