Lithgow Bears celebrate 35th anniversary

Step back in time: Some competitors and supporters decked out in the Lithgow Bears' retro strip during a game in July. Picture: SUPPLIED.
Step back in time: Some competitors and supporters decked out in the Lithgow Bears' retro strip during a game in July. Picture: SUPPLIED.

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For thirty five years the Lithgow Bears Rugby League Football Club has been built on the spirit of sportsmanship, courage, friendship, a sense of belonging, fun, fitness and family.

With the dedicated support of the many people who have been a part of the Bears’ family during the past three decades, these foundations have built a strong sporting club which takes pride in being an active part of the Lithgow community.   

On Saturday, November 11, the Lithgow Bears will gather at the Workies Club to celebrate the club’s 35th anniversary. Past and present players, together with sponsors and supporters, are all welcome to share memories of past glories, tall tales and fond recollections. 

From happy and humble beginnings in 1982, when a group of friends enjoying a beer at the local decided that they wanted to play football for fun, the Bears have always welcomed everyone – regardless of background or ability to play rugby league!

With the backing of original sponsor, Tobin’s Transport, the Bears pulled on their distinctive black jerseys with the red V and laced up their boots ready to play.

After more than a decade of enjoying footy, the Bears were rewarded for their hard work on the training paddock and playing field, claiming the premiership in 1995. The club again came close to title glory in both 2010 and 2011 with appearances in the grand final and have proudly claimed the minor premiership on a number of occasions including 1992, 1998 and 2012. 

Proving that loyalty is stilled valued at the Lithgow Bears, there have been a number of players who have contested more than 100 games for the club, and Mark Denley is the only player to have racked up a remarkable 200 plus games. There are also a great number of life members of the club – those who have been with the Bears for more than 10 years.  

This Saturday’s Bears 35th Year Reunion will be a night of celebration including an historical presentation by Bears’ life member and past president, Geoff Wheeler. There will be a sideshow, a rendition of the Bears’ victory song (as well as the famous song of the Bears Hey Baby), a raffle, and merchandise for sale. The Bears’ head, which sat on the courthouse wall for years, will be on show.