Members' Week Article: Gabrielle McKechnie
As we celebrate Member Appreciation Round this week we're bringing you a series of articles written by our members about why they love being part of the Blue and Gold Army! From the friends they make, to being part of our great football team - all the reasons why they love being a member.
Read today's member article, written by Gabrielle - who has been a life-long Eels supporter, but only became a member for the first time this year:
I was born with one blue and one gold eye.
I have always been a die hard Parramatta fan.
I grew up in Blacktown and went to school opposite Cumberland Oval and that just reinforced my devotion to the Eels.
I remember sitting on the hill at Cumberland with my Dad and my family watching the Eels go round and we always met up with two guys in the crowd called Noel and Bob (who I would love to catch up with if possible to find them!) and we shared coffee or tea and sandwiches.
A guy use to walk around selling peanuts in the shell or sugar coated for 20 cents. He called my sister Sunny and we christened her that at each game.
Both my sisters went on to be Cumberland Cowgirls and my whole family was at the 1981 Grand Final win. Mum with my sisters the cheer girls and Dad, my brother and I on the SCG Hill.
I remember the girls dancing and a great big Chinese style Eel dancing on the field. I also remember in the week leading up to the grand final that we ate Parramatta coloured iced donuts.
After the heartache in the 70s, 1981 was our first grand final win. The Parramatta Eels beat the Newtown Jets and we all ended back at the Parramatta Leagues club afterwards. I had never seen my Dad cry with joy before - I'd say we were all 'eelated'!
My favourite player was Ray Price - I use to get in trouble in English at school for writing poetry about him!
I thought he was the hottest footballer in town. He was a war horse and no matter what adverse situation he was in, Ray would always swagger off the field at the end of the game. He used a praying style of stance that always fascinated me and would wait for the ball to rebound of the posts.
I became a member this year, in 2013 and bring along my dad, my nephews and some other Parramatta diehards from work, and have nothing but praise for the Membership team which is professional and friendly and always available to help at each game.
I am definitely renewing my membership for 2014 and for many years to come.
I wish Ricky Stuart and the future Eels all the best and will always support then no matter win lose or draw.
As we have always said in our family home: There is always next week!"
Click here to see more about how we're celebrating Member Appreciation Round this week!