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The saying goes, “tough times don’t last, but tough people do” – and if one club fits that mould then it has to be the iconic Valleys Rugby League Club.

Since the demise of their senior team back in 1995, things have slowly been getting back to the old days of the mighty Diehards with the club now boasting senior teams in Brisbane's In Safe Hands Cup competition.

Amazingly though, a core group of volunteers – led by club president Danny Walker – look to have the club’s future in safe hands.

One of those core volunteers is Craig Nilsson.

Nilsson can be seen and heard each game day with his sidekick Luke Gatehouse (pictured below) ground announcing in the 'tower' at every Diehards home game - rain, hail or shine.

The 'tower', as it is affectionately known, is a small broadcasters box that sits perched above the dressing rooms of Emerson Park.

There you will find the likeable Nilsson beaming out scorers names, team line-ups and scores from other games from around the grounds.

"Luke Gatehouse and I answered the call for volunteers to help with ground announcing on Valleys Facebook page for the 2013 season," Nilsson said. 

"I didn't have the time to coach or manage a team myself and wanted to be involved in rugby league in some capacity, so I thought I could get involved this way by ground announcing.

"Apart from the amazing view of the field, I thought we could play music when teams run out on and at half-time just to add some atmosphere for both the fans and players.

"I also like to update people with around the grounds scores for BRL, Cup and NRL and play the original Valleys club song over the PA if the BRL boys have a win."

Nilsson, a Diehards tragic, lives and breathes royal blue and white spanning way back to 1982, but it wasn’t always the blue and white of Valleys that Nilsson wore.

“I used to play for Souths Magpies as a kid and remember playing Valleys at Davies Park for the under 9s before the BRL A Grade," Nilsson said. 

"When I was running off at the end of our game, I ripped off my Souths jersey so that I could put on my Valleys jersey much to the amusement of my dad.”

Nilsson, along with Gatehouse, are now key components on game days and for the future of the Valleys club going forward.

“We took it seriously in the beginning and tweaked a few things along the way, but now we have added a few of our own touches like the music and scores," Nilsson said. 

“You could say that Valleys is my second home during footy season... I’ll always be a Diehard.”

Diehard by name, diehard by nature, the world needs more volunteers like Nilsson.

With the Diehards top tier sides playing away at West Brisbane Panthers this weekend, you can still catch all the action at Emerson Park as the Intech Men’s Open 2 side take on North Lakes Kangaroos on Friday at 8pm. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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