There’s a strong nostalgic pull to seeing your former favourite footy players run out again years after they’ve retired.
It’s like seeing the Rolling Stones on tour in 2018; sure they’re past their heyday, but when you’re there you see what made them superstars.
So, when a group of former Raiders pull the boots on again for The Pie in the Sky charity rugby league match later this month, they’re sure to be met by a crowd of Raiders tragics hoping to wind back the clock.
An All-stars side featuring Alan Tongue will take on the Queanbeyan Blues, led by Terry Campese, all raising money for charities Treehouse and Respite Care for Queanbeyan.
Tongue was initially nervous when he took the phone call, but said that quickly fell to the wayside.
“This is another way for us, even though our best years are behind us, of being able to contribute back to the Raiders and the community who looked out for us.
“To play against the Queanbeyan Blues and Campo’s side is going to be really special; that club is a valuable part of the local community.”
The All-stars side will see Tongue play alongside fellow former Raiders Joel Monaghan, Mark Herbet, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and plenty more, and be coached by NRL ‘immortal’ Mal Meninga.
“They’re some guys I’ve got some really special memories with and they’re entertainers, so I’m sure you’ll get to see some of those skills, even if they’re not as sharp as they were back in the day.
“At the end of the day footballers are competitors, and I think you’ll see that when we get out there.”
Tongue is optimistic this can become a fixture in the local sporting calendar.
“If we can keep that momentum going that would be great; it might take us 12 months to get over it so it couldn’t be any more often than that,” he smiled.
The Pie in the Sky charity match between the David Reid Homes All-stars and the Queanbeyan Blues will take place at Seiffert Oval, Queanbeyan on Friday 28 September 6.30pm. Tickets $10, children 12 and under free.