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When Booval Swifts won the 1971 grand final 21-6 against Norths Tigers, Ross Nunn had ticked off a life goal and this Bluebird was ready to fly to the bay when Wynnum Manly came knocking.

Nunn would play for Wynnum Manly from 1972 and then return to Ipswich in 1979 enjoying six years of BRL at Wynnum Manly and one season at Easts Tigers.

Ross Nunn Q&A

You win the 1971 Ipswich grand final for Swifts and head off to Wynnum Manly. How’d that come about?

We won the grand final and Wynnum Manly came up to watch the game looking for players for 1972 and they approached a few of us regarding playing for Wynnum Manly in 1972.

The players signed were Ken Churchill, Barry Grifiths, Lionel Tewes and myself. We would all head off to Wynnum every afternoon after work, which was a trek from Ipswich in 1972.

I drove brewery trucks so I’d get home from Wynnum at 11pm some nights then be up early the next day to drive the truck.

It eventually wore me down, I retired at 28.

Wynnum Manly was doing it tough in the 1970s?

Yeah it wasn’t the glamour side from the 1980s just yet. In 1972 we won two games and came last, 1973 three wins and came last. Then 1975 made finals for the first time in 16 years, so things were turning around.

Jim Lewis - Wally’s dad - was coach when I first got to Wynnum and he was a fantastic coach. He knew football.

We won the 1975 Reserve Grade grand final under Jim Lewis, we beat Norths 23-9.

Not only do you make the finals in 1975 but knock off the favourites Easts Tigers 9-7?

Tom Berry was the coach in 1975, Easts were the favourites and Des Morris was captain-coach. Tigers smashed us 27-4 just before the finals.

I remember John Dowling our hooker was tremendous that day. To beat the Tigers was pretty special but then we got beaten by the Dolphins the next week.

Nev Hornery came to Wynnum and played for Booval too in 1977 - how nasty was he?

Nasty Nev, he was crazy, absolutely mad, but he was also a great bloke. He taught Wynnum how to win and what it takes to win.

I never played against him. If you were playing against 'The Hornet' you needed to be watching him because he would be watching you and waiting.

He could do anything on any given day. He could never be accused of being predictable.

Noel Kelly love 'The Hornet' - that carries a lot of Ipswich currency. He played for Brisbane against the English in 1975 those English forwards would have had nightmares for years.

After training he would ring home and ask his wife to put the food out he’d bought that day and we would all go over there and watch the English soccer and listen to his stories and eat prawns.

They’re great memories.

Ipswich is such a rich league history of going to Brisbane and playing BRL and succeeding. There were so many great players you got to play against from Ipswich in Brisbane.

You’re right, to play for Swifts my whole life, live in Hamilton Street and go to Wynnum is one of my great joys.

Jeff Denman, Ian Robson, Rod Morris, Des Morris, John Crilly, Hugh O’Doherty, Ken Churchill, Kev “Chika” Stevens, Terry Creedy, John Young and many more Ipswich was great for recruitment for Brisbane.

I loved my time at Wynnum Manly, they are a great club very supportive and very loyal so much in common with where we came from Ipswich. I enjoyed the opportunity this gave me to play BRL in those memorable years.

Who was the best player you played against?

So many great players in the BRL '70s style, to pick one is difficult but a stand out for me was Tony Obst. Tony was a great player and friend of mine; he sometimes gets overlooked, but he was a solid fullback who didn’t give anyone an easy path to the try line and his strong runs kept opponents scrambling to hold out the Redcliffe and Queensland attack. Bevan Bleakley was another Redcliffe player who was tough and fair and worked hard.

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