It’s well known that Parramatta coach, Brad Arthur is passionate about the Eels. His resilience and stoic support of the club during this tumultuous year is becoming the stuff of legend.
However, in saying farewell to Parramatta Stadium, there’s a piece of the Arthur family history that many may not be aware of.
I’m proud to be able to share it with you.
Cumberland Oval – April 12, 1947
Parramatta played its first match at Cumberland in their first year in the premiership. As they take on the Newtown Bluebags, a crowd of 6000 is in attendance as the home town heroes go down 34 to 12.
In that crowd, at that first match, were 3 generations of the Arthur family. Brad’s father, Ted, was only a young baby. He was taken to the match by his parents, Lindsay and Joyce. Along with the young family was Brad’s great grandfather, Noel.
A family’s association with the Eels begins from day 1.
Parramatta Stadium – March 16, 1986
After spending four years at Belmore Oval, the Eels played their first Premiership match at the new Parramatta Stadium. What an event it was. Over 26000 people turned up to watch the Eels trounce the Dragons by 36 to 6.
Joining the crowd again were 3 generations of the Arthur family. A young Brad was there with his father Ted and his grandmother Joyce.
So passionate were they about the Eels, so strong had the bond with the club grown, that Joyce held executive positions on the supporters club committee whilst Ted was involved as an assistant coach and selector for Eels junior representative teams.
If Joyce had seen her grandson become coach of the Eels, how proud she would have been.
Pirtek (Parramatta) Stadium – August 29, 2016
The Eels will be saying goodbye to Pirtek Stadium in an emotional evening against the Dragons.
Ted Arthur will again be there. Along with his wife Carol, he’ll be watching his son, Brad, coach their beloved Eels. Brad’s wife Michelle and daughter Charlotte will also be there, proudly watching Matthew and Jake fulfil their ballboy duties.
History links the Arthur family with the Parramatta Eels.
Three generations of the coach’s family have been on hand for three milestone events in the club’s history. It’s an association that spans the 70 years of Parramatta’s existence.
You can’t get more blue and gold than that!