Oakey thrives under Darryl's fun focus, dedication

One of the best things about being involved in rugby league is the family and community you are fortunate enough to be a part of.

For four years, Darryl Williamson has been the driving force at the Oakey Junior Rugby League football club.

Spend 15 minutes on the phone with him and you have to agree that his love for rugby league is second to none.

Williamson (pictured above, on left, with Jason Lee and Shane Lucht) gave one of the best answers to a question anyone could conceive of.

Asked what keeps him so involved in rugby league, and he said it's not a chore to come to footy - you have to make rugby league a family day out.

Darryl Williamson, right, with Darren Bennett from Southern Stars Air Conditioning.
Darryl Williamson, right, with Darren Bennett from Southern Stars Air Conditioning.

Fun focus

It is this "winning comes second" nature that had driven Williamson's work as the club's president since 2015.

For the 50-year-old himself, it has been 45 years since he first donned the Oakey jersey. He was barefoot at the old Showground in Bridge St.

"I was scared because we had to get dressed in the Chicken Pavilion. Cages everywhere; looked like a jail," he chuckled.

For Williamson, it is about "kids enjoying playing footy".

"Winning will come eventually after that," he says.

Service his signature

After 31 years of playing the game, Williamson pivoted to be a rugby league administrator; president, vice-president, coach, first-aid officer and team manager.

This sense of service to his community is not uncharacteristic though. Williamson is a senior firefighter based in Toowoomba. He officially joined the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service 30 years ago in October 1988.

Williamson joined his family on the life member boards at Oakey in 2017 when he was made a life member of Oakey Juniors. His brother, Shane Williamson, current Oakey Seniors president, is a life member of the Senior Club. Their dad is a life member of both the junior and senior club.

Rugby league is in his DNA and he is eager to show others how to do his job.

"I will still be involved in footy next year as I want to keep my two boys (Cruz and Blake) playing footy," he added.

Wife great support

Williamson is the first to thank his wife, Trudy, for allowing him to spend his spare time doing footy work.

He said, "Make sure you thank my wife!".

"Some weeks I am away every night for meetings."

Player jump

His dedication to the game is statistically shown through the increase of player numbers at his club in the past four years (up more than 150 per cent).

Williamson is committed to his local footy club, and wants to give every kid every chance to play the greatest game of all. He is more than just a club president but a role model and mentor to many. He is big on family and he is big on community.

Williamson is a fine example of what makes rugby league great.

*Wyatt Cook-Revell is a QRL correspondent covering the Toowoomba Junior Rugby League