The Gooloogong Cowboys will remember former teammate Garry Smith this Saturday when an inaugural Memorial Challenge is played in his honour at Sid Kallas Oval, with all money raised going to the Men of League Foundation.
During the 2015 rugby league season, when he was playing for the Gooloogong Cowboys, Garry was killed in a car accident. In an effort to remember their mate, friends of Garry organised a Memorial Challenge, and have been amazed by the reaction of the community.
“We’ve been very happy with the support, everyone wants to chip in,” organiser of the challenge and former Cowboys’ strapper Steve Sinclair said.
“Everyone that knows Garry has got behind it. We’re just hoping for a couple of sunny days now to get 200 or 300 people through the gate.”
Garry came out of retirement during 2014 to join the Gooloogong Cowboys for the remainder of the season and he went around again in 2015.
He played most of his junior footy in Cowra, graduated to the senior squad and played a number of years for the Cowra Magpies reserve grade side.
Many teammates from Cowra also played alongside Garry at Gooloogong, and will take to the field for the Cowboys in this Saturday’s Memorial Challenge.
Gooloogong will play Canowindra (Nugget Cup) while Binalong and Burrengong face off, with the respective winners of each game playing off for the Garry Smith Memorial Trophy. The losers will play a consolation final.
Prior to the finals, Binalong and Burrengong league tag teams will play an exhibition match. Each game will play 20 minute halves. An award will also be given to the day’s most impressive Gooloogong Cowboys player.
Steve Sinclair said he’s hoping Gooloogong rugby league great Royce Simmons will be able to attend, and confirmed former Parramatta Eel Ian Hindmarsh will be present.
There will be a number of raffles drawn during the day and two signed jerseys will go under the hammer. One is 1963-64 Kangaroo Touring jersey, the other is a Gooloogong jumper signed by a number of former and current rugby league legends including John and Stuart Raper, Robbie Farah and Aaron Woods.
Gates open at 12pm with the first game set for 1pm. There’ll be bar facilities and a canteen as well as kids activities such as a jumping castle and face painting. Entry is $5, under 16s is free.