Greatest of foes but a joint force off the field

YARRAWONGA and Albury will put aside the fiercest rivalry in recent Ovens and Murray history to raise money for Tiger footballer James McQuillan.

The clubs have joined forces to organise a sportsman’s lunch before their blockbuster clash at J.C. Lowe Oval on June 21.

In a huge coup, AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick has been secured as guest speaker.

Albury president Gavan Schultz said yesterday the support shown since McQuillan suffered spinal injuries in round one had been incredible.

“From day one the Yarrawonga club led by Glenn Brear, Chris Kennedy and Drew Barnes has been on the front foot in every way to assist James, his family and the Albury Football Club,” Schultz said.

“Chris has visited James in Melbourne and they have been so supportive.

“It’s amazing how two arch rivals can just come together and work through a tragedy like this.”

All proceeds from the sportsman’s lunch will go to the James McQuillan Future Fund, with the $150 tickets including a two-course meal and drinks between 11am and 2pm.

Schultz said he expected plenty of emotion throughout the day.

“I’m sure there will be a really surreal feeling at the game because it’s the first time the clubs have come together since James was hurt,” he said.

Ticket inquiries can be made on (03) 5744 3896 or (02) 6021 1180.

Saturday’s interleague match between the Ovens and Murray and Hampden leagues raised $3300 for the future fund.