“We Wore the Purple and Green” captures the struggle of a small community to join their bigger neighbours in one the most respected rugby league competitions in the world.
Well into the 1980’s the Foley Shield was regarded as the strongest country rugby league competition in Australia and a stepping stone for bigger things. The Whitsunday Rugby League had almost immediate success playing in two Foley Shield Finals in their first five seasons and winning the Foley Shield in 1973.
The book captures what happened in sport in regional Australia with the mechanisation of the sugar and coal industries and the move by governments to take business opportunities away from the country. Prior to the Foley Shield, the many great players of the smaller regions stayed, played and worked in the community but with the exposure of the State League in the early 1980’s and the movement of our better players to the Brisbane and Sydney clubs it was inevitable that the smaller communities would struggle.
The champion teams and champion players of the time are captured in the 378 pages that contain 445 photos, many in colour.
Tony Price gives his sometimes controversial opinion about the state of the game and the impact on the small regions, but when it is all said and done, it’s a great read and if you are passionate about the game it’s great value.