The Dyldam Parramatta Eels bid farewell to Pirtek Stadium with a 30-18 victory over the St. George Illawarra Dragons on Monday night in Round 25 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
In an emotional night for the Blue & Gold, the vocal crowd of 13,553 provided an electric atmosphere to steer the boys to a truly memorable win in their final home game of the 2016 season.
The night also honoured our record-breaking 23,743 members in season 2016 ,with several tributes on the night to thank the Blue and Gold Members for their continued passion & loyalty.
With the stage set & Pirtek glooming, our loyal Members & fans rushed through the gates from 4:30pm to get their hands on our exclusive Farewell to Pirtek pennants & commemorative programs.
In one of our best Member attendances of the season to date, the celebration began just prior to kick-off with Member Councillor Marcus Stepanek & his young son, Oscar raising the Blue & Gold Army flag.
Mr Stepanek makes the long commute up the Hume Highway from Canberra to each Eels home game & was honoured to be a part of the special celebration.
‘It was an absolute thrill & honour to raise the flag at the last game at Parramatta Stadium,” Stepanek said.
“A night I’ll never forget & I got to do this all with my young son Oscar, unbelievable.’
The Blue & Gold faithful were entertained at half time by Australian icon Shannon Noll as fifty Blue and Gold Army Members became part of history as they carried out the 30m x 40m, 140kg Blue and Gold Army flag on to the field of Pirtek Stadium.
Brisbane Eel Members David & Brent Mason made the ultimate commitment by flying down to be a part of the half time activation.
‘Wow, what an awesome experience it was to go onto the hallowed ground of Parra stadium with my uncle and unveil that flag.” David Mason said.
“I’m so proud and honoured to be part of Parramatta Eels history, we will have those memories forever.”
The festivities continued with 17 members of the Blue & Gold Army, who made the commitment to attend every Eels home game this season, rewarded for their devotion to the Blue & Gold.
Each player taking part in the game, was playing for one of these members as a thank you for their continued support. These members were all recognised at the conclusion of the game with a signed jersey from the club, as a token of appreciation.
Parramatta Eels member Paul Araya said ‘It's nice to be recognised as a loyal supporter, I have been an EELS fan since 1983. I am very grateful to be an Eel for life!’ when speaking of his thrill on such an amazing night!