PROUD MOMENT: Desley Oates with Cities president Stephen Duff at the naming for the new field, The Darcy and Desley Oates Oval.
PROUD MOMENT: Desley Oates with Cities president Stephen Duff at the naming for the new field, The Darcy and Desley Oates Oval. Molly Hancock

Cities honours club legends

CITIES Rugby League Club has unveiled the name of its new, second oval at the weekend, honouring two of the club's most devoted members, Desley and the late Darcy Oates.

On Saturday, past and present members of the club gathered at the Arthur Beetson Oval for what the crowd thought was the unveiling of the Darcy Oates Oval.

However, much to Desley's surprise, the club named the second field the Darcy and Desley Oates Oval.

"To have this oval named after myself and Darcy, I just can't put it into words, it's such a surprise.

"It was such an honour when it was just Darcy's name but, to have both of us, I have been left speechless,” Mrs Oates said.

Cities president Stephen Duff said Darcy was a patron and did everything for the club and they also wanted to honour all Desley's hard work.

"I understand this might be a bit of a sad day for Desley but it is a joyful one too. This is a testament to rugby league and mateship,” Mr Duff said.

The new oval is set to be the home for training sessions and junior rugby league sides in 2019.

"We originally put in for a grant of nearly $100,000 and the total cost of the project was $150,000. We had support from not only Central Division, but our local state member, Maranoa Regional Council and councillors Geoff McMullen and Peter Flynn and, without their support, it would not have got off the ground.

"The reason the new oval was pushed is because in 2019 we will see a junior club integrate into our club.

"Cities will run teams from under-6s through to Agrade.

"The new oval won't only bring us a junior club and somewhere to train, it will relieve us from our current oval so it can be maintained in a better condition,” Mr Duff said.

Master of ceremony Paul Lavelle and Mr Duff said without the support of the crowd funding, the oval would not have been possible.

"We had crowd funding to achieve this oval and the total amount raised by everyone here and sponsors is $17,210,” Mr Lavelle said.

"We ended up only having enough money to turf half the oval, so we made the decision to put our ticket to crowd funding and, with that assistance and Central Division matching dollar for dollar, we were able to turf the whole oval which is fantastic,” Mr Duff said.

Maranoa councillor Peter Flynn unveiled the new sign and congratulated Cities on the marvellous project.

"On behalf of the Maranoa Regional Council, it is great to see something like this come to fruition.

"The Department of Sport and Recreation has been extremely generous in the Maranoa region,” Peter Flynn said.

The first game, of junior rugby league, is set to played on the new Darcy and Desley Oates Oval in 2019.

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