Canberra Raiders Coach Ricky Stuart (Raider #98) made a special trip to the South of Canberra on Monday afternoon, to have a cup of tea with one of the clubs oldest and longest serving supporters Myrtle Kelly.
Myrtle recently celebrated her 98th birthday and still watches her beloved Raiders every week from her home in Kambah.
As a surprise for her birthday, her son Peter Kelly helped organise a special visit from the Raiders Coach, who in Myrtle’s eyes is her favourite Raider of all time. Among Myrtle’s fondest memories include attending Raiders matches in 1982 to watch David Grant and then supporting the team right through their glory years, with players like Mal Meninga, Gary Belcher, John ‘Chicka’ Ferguson and Bradley Clyde also among her favourite stars of years gone by.
Myrtle is still actively involved in her local footy tipping competition and takes the Raiders every week.
Myrtle’s son Peter Kelly is a former rugby league official who happened to be a touch judge on that fateful day in 1993, when Ricky broke his ankle as the team was steaming towards the finals.
Ricky Stuart said he enjoyed the opportunity to meet one of the clubs longest serving supporters and made a promise to her is the current team could take their early season form into a fourth premiership for the club.
“I’ve long said we have the best supporters in the NRL and Myrtle is an example of the type of people who love this club,” Stuart said. “Her love and passion for the team is infectious and we’re proud to have her as a supporter.”
“I’ve made a promise to her if we win the competition this year I’ll come back down to Kambah and have a beer with her to celebrate.”