The Beaudesert Kingfishers home ground, Willis Park, is like a second home to Mark Platt.
Platt, or ‘Platty’, as he is affectionately known, started playing for St Mary’s as a child then the YCW (Young Catholic Workers) and the Kingfishers before knee problems got in the way.
“I thought if I can’t play anymore, I still want to be involved and then I got the chance to be manager and that’s how it all started,” he said.
“I started managing in the 1970 season and I think I’ve missed about three or four years since then, right up to 2022. The years I wasn’t managing, I was cooking barbecues etc.”
Platty said a standout moment at the Kingfishers involved his son, Trent.
“One of the proudest moments was when Trent ran out in 2006 to play his 100th game A-Grade. He was the youngest player to make 100 games A-Grade at the time – he’d just come out of high school,” he said.
Trent was back in Beaudesert for his dad’s life membership presentation on 18 June, joining a strong crowd in a big weekend of football and presentations for the Kingfishers.
Platty and other life members received new shirts and badges to recognise their service.
Fellow life member Keith Gee said Platty’s life membership was well-deserved.
“He was here in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, 2010s and he’s still here in 2022,” he said.
“It’s a lifetime effort he’s put into rugby league here in Beaudesert, he’s made many friends and he still stays around to clean up – he’s played, coached, managed, been on the committee, he’s done everything.”
Platty is currently a manager for the Kingfishers women’s team, and still comes down to the grounds several times a week to help.
“Ninety per cent of my friends I’ve made have all been through the football club – the Gees, Browns, Harkins, Iselins, Paulsons, Blows,” Platty said.
“I couldn’t play football anymore myself, but I just love this club – it’s a second home to me.”