League Nines and Old Boys raises money to help Bodgy’s battle
MORE than two dozen games of rugby league were played in less than a day, but the most important element of the Kirstin Albeck Memorial Nines Tournament was what happened off the field.
The charity event, held every year in honour of the former Wallumbilla resident, raised more money than last year’s event for former Herefords player and volunteer Owen Lingard.
The man known affectionately as “Bodgy” has been battling various illnesses for the best part of a decade.
Lingard, who could not attend the event, is on kidney dialysis but wants to return to Roma and live at home.
His former team pulled on their jerseys to show their support, with Wallumbilla Old Boys going down to the now-defunct Wattles club 18-6 in a friendly match at Gallas Fox Park before the final of the Nines.
Bodgy’s wife Thelma was tearful when she watched hundreds cheer for her husband after the Old Boys game, overwhelmed by the community support.
“If he could be here right now, he would be – he has always loved rugby league,” she said.
“I got here about 12.30pm and the people just kept coming through the gate.”
The money raised will be used to retrofit the Lingards’ home to accommodate Bodgy’s medical needs.
On the field, Wallumbilla-Surat could not overcome the Dalby Diehards in the final, losing 18-4.