Your Wests Tigers Story and When you started supporting them

Wests Tigers Discussion
Goose
Member
Member
Posts: 4619
Joined: Tue 21 Sep, 2010 2:46 pm
Location: Concord

Re: Your Wests Tigers Story and When you started supporting

Post by Goose » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 12:34 am

Love these stories, I've told mine a few times over the years here.
I actually don't know how I started, my too grand fathers were mad football fans, one a Canterbury man, the other a panther, I was the first grand child to get into football for both of them. They each took me to the footy alot, I had both Penrith and Doggies flags and jerseys. I think I didn't want to pick one over the other, I briefly chose the eels as they were the guns, and stopped because I was told you can't pick the best team, I was only 5 or 6, for whatever reason I moved on to the tigers, not sure why.
Not long after this I met Wayne Pearce as he was the guest judge on its a knock out, he saw my tigers scarf and picked me up, I was sold for life from that minute on.
A couple years later when we were in the grand final, I was ad staunch as they come, they were raffling a signed ball with 100 tickets for $2 each, my whole allowance for yhe school fete, I spent it on the ticket and watched my sister go on rides all day, it was worth it I won. The signed ball sits in my office still.
The merger never put me off too much.


User avatar
happy tiger
Member
Member
Posts: 39659
Joined: Sun 27 Feb, 2011 4:49 pm

Post by happy tiger » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 12:53 am

Goose wrote:Love these stories, I've told mine a few times over the years here.
I actually don't know how I started, my too grand fathers were mad football fans, one a Canterbury man, the other a panther, I was the first grand child to get into football for both of them. They each took me to the footy alot, I had both Penrith and Doggies flags and jerseys. I think I didn't want to pick one over the other, I briefly chose the eels as they were the guns, and stopped because I was told you can't pick the best team, I was only 5 or 6, for whatever reason I moved on to the tigers, not sure why.
Not long after this I met Wayne Pearce as he was the guest judge on its a knock out, he saw my tigers scarf and picked me up, I was sold for life from that minute on.
A couple years later when we were in the grand final, I was ad staunch as they come, they were raffling a signed ball with 100 tickets for $2 each, my whole allowance for yhe school fete, I spent it on the ticket and watched my sister go on rides all day, it was worth it I won. The signed ball sits in my office still.
The merger never put me off too much.
These stories are great Goose

Apart from the nuffie who rambled on about the BRL , Easts Tigers this Easts Tigers that

Last time they won a premiership Moses was fullback and Ben Hur was a rookie

User avatar
guyofthetiger
Member
Member
Posts: 1007
Joined: Sun 19 Feb, 2012 6:09 pm

Post by guyofthetiger » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 1:00 am

Raised in Pennant Hills on the fringe of Ku- Ring-Gai Chase NP in the 70s.
Not sure how I became a Tigers fan but I was obsessed. Systematically raided the maxwell house jars of 2c coins on top of the fridge (amongst the jars of funnel webs unlucky enough to come across my mum and a can of fly spray.
Crush, kill and destroy!
Said that golden Android!
Pineapples from the Dawn of Time

User avatar
Winnipeg
Member
Member
Posts: 1152
Joined: Fri 15 Jan, 2010 6:57 pm

Post by Winnipeg » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 2:29 am

Neither of my folks are football fans. Dad grew up in the shire (back when it was st George territory) and his uncle was apparently the hot dog man at Kogarah Oval but he didn't really enjoy league so had no real ties to the team.

We grew up in and around the leichhardt area and I guess it was a case of supporting the local team... But it also helped that the Tigers of the 80s were pretty special. I was 6 and then 7 when we lost in 88 and 89 and jeez they hurt, but I think the seed was planted then.

My first game was at some point during the 80s or early 90s, my uncle took me and my brother to either the cricket ground or sfs to see us play souths, we smashed them and sirro scored a bunch of tries, I have never managed to find which game that was in the records, maybe I imagined the finer details. I remember the noise of the crowd very clearly though.

By the time I was a teenager and could take myself to leichhardt (and with the Alan Jones era behind us) I had a few mates who were also mad keen tigers fans so it was extremely easy to get to games and have fun. My memories of that last period of Balmain is... The Dragons pulling off some miraculous wins against us... Bloody blacklock scoring after the siren is still raw as anything.

I think i remember my first WT game... We played a trial at leichhardt against norths and belted them, I remember it was a first good look at the mcguinness boys. I made it along to quite a few games at campbelltown in the first 3-4 years of the wests tigers but don't make it out there too much any more. The drive home after a loss is too painful!

In fact I haven't made it to many games at all in the last 2 seasons, with a couple of young kids at home... But I'm hoping to be able to take my kids out to watch the mighty Tiges in the very near future. Not this bloody weekend though, I'm working.

I've got a great photo somewhere of me wearing Balmain socks (which is all my folks would stump up for) and a Collingwood jersey that mum got from vinnies... This is in about 87... The original Tigerpie!

User avatar
Tigerdave
Member
Member
Posts: 10791
Joined: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 6:04 am
Location: Lismore

Post by Tigerdave » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 6:30 am

Dad was a Balmain supporter, but it took me a while to get into league, really started following by the end of '87 (around the age of 14).

When the merger happened I was "meh" about it, but I liked that Junior was still the coach. He did his best trying to resurrect Balmain after the pretender Alan Jones, but the writing was on the wall.

After Junior left though and they brought in Terry Lamb, that was about it, I wasn't all that interested. It wasn't until '03 when Sheens came in that my interest in the Tigers was renewed.

Growing up in Sydney though I only managed to get to a few games, 3 times out at Parra Stadium, one of those was when Balmain had their play-off for 5th position against the Knights, and then out to the SFS when Balmain played Manly the following week.

After moving up the coast the only game I managed to see was a trial game in Ballina in around '94 maybe?, against the Steelers from memory. It was a double header as Manly played Norths or maybe we played the Bears and Manly played the Steelers, can't quite remember.

Long time between drinks before seeing my first Wests Tigers game, which was last year at Skilled Park, then again this year.

Hopefully I'll be able to get to more down the track.


User avatar
Juro
Member
Member
Posts: 2640
Joined: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 9:15 am

Post by Juro » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 9:19 am

Grew up just outside Parramatta, so followed the Eels (not very closely) until the start of 1986. As my one real act of teenage rebellion, I changed to supporting Balmain. I liked their style of play, their jersey, their emblem.

I remember watching the Eels win the 86 grand final and not giving two hoots. So I knew my connection with Parra was well and truly over. On the other hand, the 88 and 89 losses cut me to the bone.

My first home game at Leichhardt was probably in the early 90s. I went by myself to a night game and had no idea where to park. I parked in Haberfield and trekked up the hill to the game, surrounded by people in black and orange. The atmosphere was unbelievable. I remember struggling to walk down a dodgy dirt path down the hill in the dark.

Took my then girlfriend to her first game of footy for Balmain's last game at Leichhardt. Freezing cold, drenching rain. Dropping her off afterwards, she asked when I was going to take her again. No wonder I married her a few years later.

Her next game happened to be at the start of 2000, Campbelltown vs the Broncos. Also my first game down there. After the lean years of the 90s, there was fresh hope that we could have a team that could compete. The way we stood up to the Broncos made me so proud.

We of course were there for 2005. I remember someone standing in front of me at the end of the 1st semi vs the Cowboys, saying "It doesn't get better than this!". I said "You never know. It just might." And it sure did!

My son got the footy bug at the age of 5. Until then, he didn't show any interest. Then overnight, he became obsessed. Took him to his first game in 2012, vs the Dragons at the SFS. He was so disappointed when we were struggling in the first half. But we came home with a wet sail for a great win. I laughed so hard when I saw a trademark Benji flick pass right in front of us toward the end of the game.

My daughter is only 3 and the bug hasn't bitten her yet. She's been to a couple of games, but she is more interested in the cheergirls, mascots, chips and balloons. I'm a bit worried that she seems to like the Rabbits...
I've been a member since 2012. We last played finals football in 2011. Just saying...

User avatar
Juro
Member
Member
Posts: 2640
Joined: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 9:15 am

Post by Juro » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 9:45 am

These sorts of threads have come up several times over the years. It is interesting that more and more people now follow Wests Tigers who did not originally follow Balmain or the Magpies.
I've been a member since 2012. We last played finals football in 2011. Just saying...

yeti
Member
Member
Posts: 1283
Joined: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 5:38 pm

Post by yeti » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 10:37 am

Amazing reading these stories. I used to sit on my dad's lap to watch the second half of the footy live on Channel 9 on a Sunday arvo on our black and white tele. The first team I remember seeing was Balmain. I loved their jerseys (even if you couldn't tell the colour) and it all went from there. So, I used to go out to Leichhardt with a good mate of mine and watch Balmain get smashed most Sunday afternoons. Even went out to Lidcombe once and saw them get the worst flogging i've ever seen - Wests 62, Balmain 5! Stephen Knight just carved us up. As Balmain scored the last try of the match, I reckoned we could've won it if the game had gone on for another 80 minutes. Some great players in the 60s and 70s - Gary Leo, John Spencer, Joe Walsh, Bob Smithies, Len Killeen. And some pretty forgettable ones - Denis Manteit, Kevin Timbs, Mark Tonks, etc.
Oh, and my old man was a mad Maggie supporter, so the JV was a match made in heaven as far as I am concerned.

User avatar
tiger sean
Member
Member
Posts: 395
Joined: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 9:34 pm
Location: Brisbane

Post by tiger sean » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 10:55 am

My dad grew up living around the corner from leichardt oval. As a 4 year old in 1964 he played footy and would ride his bike to play for the juniors at leichardt so naturally he grew up as a staunch balmain supporter.

From birth I was brainwashed and I got the tigers bug. I was born in Western Sydney but grew up in the Shire before as a family we re-located to the south west of brisbane where I still live today.

My earliest memory of the tigers was going to a match at leichardt in the late 90's only to see the tigers get belted by St George. As I was only 7 when the merger happened I didn't really care as long as they were still the tigers. My Dad hated it but because I still loved it he came around eventually.

I also remember going to a sold out Leichardt in 2004 and watching the Tigers give the Eels a lesson. That was a great memory the atmosphere cannot be beaten.

We moved to Brisbane at the start of 2005 when I was 12 and part of the deal in moving to Brisbane was we had to get Foxtel so I could still watch the footy. Dad and I enjoyed that year immensely! We didn't have tickets to the Grand Final so the week leading up I had permission to take days off school and search e-bay and other sites for tickets. Late Friday afternoon we ended up paying 5 times the asking price for 2 tickets we packed our bags and drove down to Sydney and made it to the Grand Final. What a memory! I distinctly remember after the game about to get on a train and an old bloke came up to me and said "Son enjoy this, it may be the last time you see the Tigers win something." And to this point he is still correct, haha.

But I still love my Tigers and my parents live over-seas now but my old man was back in Australia for a few days and it happened to be when the Tigers were playing at the Gold Coast so we drove down together watched the match just like old times and had a ball it was great to see the Tigers future in action.

Tigers till I die!

User avatar
851
Member
Member
Posts: 5814
Joined: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 6:38 pm

Post by 851 » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 11:22 am

My dad was Bulldog fan and my mum a Balmain fan,but for me I just loved Tommy,I started following Wests in about 1971,my parents never pressured me to follow the dogs or tigers.
I got my first wests jumper as a present from my god mother in 1972,as we couldn't afford to buy one,my uncle was a Manly fan and he would take me to a lot of Manly Wests games.
Dad would take me to see some Wests games,but as we live in Lithgow it is a bit of a drive,so my mate and I,who is a saints supporter,would catch the train from Lithgow,but it didn't stop at Lidcombe.
So we had to get off at Auburn and come back one station,sometimes we would con the driver to make an extra stop and let us off at Lidcombe.
My sister was a Balmain supporter,and so was my mums 3 brothers,so the merger was easier to take.
I have applied the same non pressure theory to my 2 kids as dad did with me,I have one Weststiger supporter,and one Rooster supporter.
Anyhow both my kids have seen their team win a premiership,so that's a bonus,as I never got to see my team win until the same year as my youngest daughter did.
Go hard or go home

Goose
Member
Member
Posts: 4619
Joined: Tue 21 Sep, 2010 2:46 pm
Location: Concord

Post by Goose » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 12:53 pm

love these stories!!

tiger333
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed 19 Mar, 2014 12:41 pm

Post by tiger333 » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 1:11 pm

Hi there,
I just have to say I love reading the posts here, its a great way to keep up to date with the team and the community.

I first started supporting the Magpies towards the end of 1973.
By 1974 I was fully committed and passionate Magpie supporter and tuned in to as many games as I could all the way up to the Merge.
I have five brothers.
Each brother supported a different footy team which made Sunday afternoons really memorable and the rivalry between us was just fantastic... and yes there were plenty of dummy spits about controversial decisions (they will always be a factor in the game I guess).
I remember catching the train from Liverpool to Lidcombe Oval to watch games...I must have started doing this at the tender age of 13-14. Those games at Lidcombe were a highlight for me.
A memorable moment at Lidcombe was that goalkick by prop forward John Donnally from halfway to snatch a win against St. George. Great stuff (nobody gave it a chance to get over). Can't remember the year but I'll never forget the kick.
I always remember the tension and excitement the scrum created back in those days because you never knew which way it was going to turn out. I think there was a about a 70% chance the team who put the ball in would win it back, but it was never a sure thing.
I think I miss that from the modern game.
Even though I was sad the Magpies had to merge I did feel a resonance with Balmain more than any other club. There was a similar mindset between the clubs which I think made the transition work.
A part of me was happy to accept a tiger as the symbol for the new club...I always loved tigers.
Winning the grand final in 2005 was a great highlight for me as a long term supporter and to finally taste the ultimate prize was a true joy.

User avatar
851
Member
Member
Posts: 5814
Joined: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 6:38 pm

Post by 851 » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 1:20 pm

Tiger333 I remember Dallas kicking a field goal one day as well,Roy Masters said he should retire his kicking boots after that one.
Go hard or go home

User avatar
old man tiger
Forum Suppoter
Forum Suppoter
Posts: 1108
Joined: Tue 14 Jul, 2009 10:37 am

Post by old man tiger » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 2:07 pm

Great thread, great stories. Can't wait for Sunday!

I never chose Balmain, they chose me! I think it was the colours and that a few of my family went for them. At the end of 99 i was devastated, didn't think I'd ever support league again. Then when Laurie died after more or less accepting the merger I decided I couldn't throw in the towel and dog the team if he didn't. I turned the radio on to listen to game one, and nearly had a tear in my eye at full time.

I'll never turn my back on Wests Tigers now, that's it, if they move I'll support them, if they lose every game for a decade I'll support them, if they win the comp again I'll not only support them but let everyone within a million miles know about it.

The thing I love about this is how many younger fans follow us as Wests Tigers, because of guys like Benji and times like 05. I think next time I'm down about a loss I'll come to this thread instead of the post game autopsy.

Stay strong Tigers!

User avatar
jirskyr
Member
Member
Posts: 5566
Joined: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 12:00 pm

Post by jirskyr » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 3:15 pm

Juro wrote:These sorts of threads have come up several times over the years. It is interesting that more and more people now follow Wests Tigers who did not originally follow Balmain or the Magpies.
I'm also interested how many people sort of "fell" into supporting Tigers, e.g. they rebelled against their parents, or only had orange shoes to wear on mufti day, or the kid next door followed Tigers, or saw a memorable game on TV.

And the younger generation whose first memories are of games from the early 2000s; the Balmain and Wests stuff only in the history books.

My story is the traditional approach, my Dad's family are from Leichhardt and Lilyfield, way back, and I was indoctrinated from birth. Most kids at school were Balmain supporters too, so family or friends we all cheered alike.

By the mid 80s I was old enough to understand the game properly and Balmain were becoming that team of greats that both thrilled and demoralised me with the 88-89 GF losses. Wayne Pearce is still my hero after all these years.

When we merged in 2000 I had no regrets, Wests were always a respectable team, battling through many tough times just like Balmain. We both had success from times long past, lots of tragic losses, lots of heroes and roughly the same enemies. It's funny how these days I now consider the Magpies back-story as something I can own too, even if as an old Balmain supporter I am not quite as familiar with all the details.

Speaking of tough times, I often onder what the experience is like for Broncos or Storm supporters, never really having known long-term failure. For Brisbane, not making the finals once is a tragedy, but old Magpies and Tigers supporters knew year after year of cellar-dwelling performances.

That's why I am bemused how upset people get these days when WT have a lean trot, the expectations are so much higher. Not making the Top 8 is deemed unacceptable even though half the teams have to be on the bottom.

I will never forget 92-99 (and really 00-04 too) when you were just happy to jag an individual win, doing the best to ignore the fact that your team rarely got anywhere near the top of the table.

User avatar
happy tiger
Member
Member
Posts: 39659
Joined: Sun 27 Feb, 2011 4:49 pm

Post by happy tiger » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 3:53 pm

It just happened that the first game I watched was a Wests game the 77 Amco Cup final

Like Watto I knew half the junior Broncos squad coming through during their formation years

I'm loyal to my teams I pick

My first AFL game was the first 77 AFL GF (it was tied ) Collingwood v North Melbourne and I picked Collingwood

My first EPL game was the 1980 FA Cup final between West Ham and Ipswich (and I lived in Ipswich LOL) and went for West Ham

owley girl
Member
Member
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu 03 Sep, 2009 4:14 pm

Post by owley girl » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 6:00 pm

Family (and extended family) all lived in Balmain from way back when, and have an old relative who played in the 1969 Grand Final, so had no choice but to follow the Tigers or would have been kicked out of home. I grew up in South-West Sydney so merger with Wests was perfect. Would have stop supporting if they merged with Parra or Manly. Yuk!!!

User avatar
Flippedy
Member
Member
Posts: 7913
Joined: Mon 19 Oct, 2009 10:58 pm
Location: Central Coast NSW

Post by Flippedy » Thu 03 Apr, 2014 8:28 pm

Tigersman wrote:
Milky wrote:Used to be a bulldogs supporter, it was Harmony day at school in year 4 and needed something orange to wear, I had nothing so I decided to go to sneakers to pick something out and I decided to buy a Wests Tigers shirt. From then on I supported the Wests Tigers, when I discovered that there is a fan forum I sort of got more into Rugby League and learn as I go. Remember when I sat there crying after losing to Saints, Warriors and Roosters in the finals HAHA
.

Same and same lol. I didn't really ''support'' the dogs my family did I have an Arabic background so I was pushed into going for the dogs lol.
Are you sure you guys aren't the same person? :mrgreen:
Sooner or later, next year has to be this year - Ricksen

Post Reply