FLASHBACK: September 1971

Wynnum-Manly fielded a father-and-son combination against Brothers in a Brisbane Rugby League ‘Special Second Four’ competition match at Lang Park.

Wynnum coach, Paul ‘Pappy’ Pyers, then 36, played centre, and his son, Paul Jnr, 17, who was still at high school, played halfback.

The Pyers had played together earlier in the year, but only briefly, when Paul went on as a replacement. Paul Jnr., who only turned 17 in August, had been regular C grade halfback for Wynnum.

Paul Snr, who played 11 matches for Queensland between 1957 and ’59, said it had always been his ambition to start a match alongside his son.

Prior to the Pyers combination, the best known father and son pair in Queensland was arguably that of Herb Boshammer and his son, Kev, who played together as prop forward and hooker for Toowoomba All Whites in the 1940s.

The Pyers’ combination worked well for Wynnum, who thrashed Brothers 44-17, with Paul Jnr. scoring three tries, one a 75 metre intercept. Paul Snr. scored a try and kicked a goal, to make the family contribution 14 points.

But top points scorer was Wynnum fullback, Bob Patterson, a former soccer player. New lock, Lester Young and second rower, Wayne James were among Wynnum’s best forwards.

Brothers’ second rower, Doug Haigh scored three tries, while Nev Harman landed four goals from four shots. Brothers’ halfback, Johnny Smith was superb in cover defence, and he had plenty of that to do.

In the early match, Wests came from behind to beat Redcliffe 29-13, with halfback, Des Lea in great touch for the victors.

Paul Pyers Snr

Paul Pyers Snr

The special second four competition was played on Saturdays, and involved teams that missed the finals. The competition was sponsored by Radio 4IP, with $1,000 prizemoney up for grabs.

Footnote: I interviewed Paul Pyers Snr at his Carseldine house in 2014, ahead of the 1959 Queensland side being special guests at the naming of the Queensland Origin side. Paul had so many great yarns, spiced with fruity language. I also remember him bringing lads from Nudgee College to Norths St Josephs Rugby League club for weekend footy. Nudgee is a big rugby union school, but many of the lads prefer league, and Paul ensured a number of them kept their involvement in the 13 man code.

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