Floodboat diplomacy

Like many areas of Queensland, the Tweed Valley in northern New South Wales has been hard hit by floods, with the Tweed River Jockey Club track at Murwillumbah recording its worst inundation, and it has had plenty.

It brought back memories of the arrival of Widnes (England) forward, Brian Atherton at Murwillumbah in 1973 to take on the job as captain coach of the Brothers club.

Atherton and his wife, Carole settled into their new home on the banks of the Tweed River only to have a significant “flood event” occur a few days later, with surrounding streets taking on a Venice like appearance, stranding the young couple.

Waiting for the waters to recede, the Athertons settled down for the evening meal only to hear the call “Brian, Brian” from somewhere out in the flooded wilderness.

Looking out the window Atherton saw a row boat with several Brothers officials on board.

“Training’s off tonight, Brian,” yelled the president, George Harris.

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