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The memories of Parra's proud past still echo round the new stadium

3 0 0
18.04.2019

My first view of the old Cumberland Oval was from a window of the Parramatta Leagues Club after signing a contract in 1978 for $9000 over three years. I remember looking over and thinking that Eric Weissel Oval in Wagga was markedly more impressive.

It was a cross between a dustbowl and a concrete car park, with a ramshackle wooden grandstand, ancient dressing sheds and the perimeter fence adorned with barbed wire.

Fired up: Cumberland Oval, Parramatta's spiritual home, lies in smoking ruins after the Eels' final game there in 1981. Credit:Barry James Gilmour

Despite this, the blue-and-gold army attended religiously, many carrying eskies to not only stay well lubricated for three games of footy but to stand on for a better vantage point. To be honest, it was a s---heap, but it was our s---heap and we loved it. We loved it as much as other teams hated coming there.

Three years later, from the same window, I watched Cumberland burn to the ground after the club won its first........

© Brisbane Times