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Yarn Of The Month (some Great Stories)

02. The Day they Burnt down Cumberland Oval - 1981

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Saturday, May 05, 2012

YARN OF THE MONTH #02 ..... (original entry date) 2nd April 2005


Get some more beers, or make another
coffee, take your time and have some fun.

Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.


The Day they Burnt down Cumberland Oval - 1981.

See additional entry below from Taity 07/06/2006

From Misty Bee, a member of the Parramatta Forum off the League Unlimited Forum

I was there!!!!!

Cumberland oval was the closest thing a fan had to being part of the game. The old ground smelled of a combination of beer, sweat, blood, dirt and tobacco. It seated 2000 people, and 22000 would cram into it. Clouds of dust rose from the ground when big bodies collided. It was a gladiatorial cauldron the likes of which, atmosphere wise, does not exist today.

There was discussion about converting the old girl into a modern stadium. With Denis Fitzgerald fresh in the job, we would still be waiting. However, somewhere some brillinatly minded Parra fans decided that a champion team deserved a champion's ground.

I was at the SCG for the game. My mates and I drove back to the Leagues Club, but as we approached, we noticed some activity at Cumberland. We went over, and discovered people going berzerk. The fence palings that ringed the ground where ripped of and strewn everywhere. Signs were ripped down, seats were ripped up. The dressing rooms and canteens had been looted. Toilets were smashed, shower heads were ripped off, and tomato sauce was strewn everywhere.

Funnies t thing was the old scoreboard, a fibro structure on a 6ft brick stand. A group of blokes were on the stand, trying to rip down the clock. below, some other blokes decided to burn the stand. Up top, blokes began to realise that they were being burned, but still reefed at the clock!!!

The most surreal moment was the sight of a well dressed woman, savoring the moment quietly in the grandstand, while the mob rampaged around her at the seats! THAT Was the passion that was unleashed when Parra truimphed. A far sight more passionate and determined than the johnny come lately softc*cks who cannot see life beyond Brian Smith!!!!!

(Hey this is some sort of a disclaimer here - these are the opinions expressed by Misty Bee)


Taity, Sydney,

I was at the SCG 1981 along with my Family and about 20 other friends, for our yearly gathering to see the Grand Final. It never mattered who was playing, we all just wanted to see the G.F. This year was a little special as growing up in the Parra District and my Father been an Official for Parra it was pleasing to see the Eels finally getting up to win ( To get the witch off there backs ).

After the celebrations at the SCG we all headed back to Parra to welcome the team. While trying to get into the club through the crowd, the word got around that Mr. Ron Casey was going to meet a Parra supporter in the middle of Cumberland Oval to pay a bet that he made on his radio show earlier that week. So a few of us younger ones opted to go to the Oval instead of waiting in line to get into the club.

A quick walk across the car park we where at the oval and could not believe what was happening. As being young and stupid we joined in the mayhem, our first point of call was the dressing rooms to see what we could find? After a few minutes in the dressing rooms we could smell smoke so we opted to get out quickly, we ran through the players tunnel and the smoke was much thicker, once we a merged from the grandstand we looked behind us to see the middle of the stand was a blazed. By that time the stand wasn’t the only thing alight – there where fires all around the oval with the scored board well alight as well.

But among all that the funniest thing ( ??? ) was seeing this man scaling up the goal post at the scoreboard end to get the flag off the top of the goal post. A couple of blokes where at the bottom of the goal post and thought they would give the spider man a hand by seeing if they could push the goal post from one side to the other. The goal post in question started to get a good swing up and then in slow motion the goal post started to fall with spider man still on top of the post. After hitting the ground the spider man jumped up and waved his part of history. Shortly after this the fire brigade and police arrived and the crowd quickly departed.

After all that excitement we then headed to the club to see the players. We a merged from the club and it was daylight, even not been a Parra fan it was a night and a part of history I will never forget.


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