July will be a month of off-field celebration for the Bloods. Photo: Andrew Perryman.

Rick Townsend says that even during his five year presidency there have been significant changes to the South Bendigo Football Netball club.

These memories and many more will be remembered and celebrated at the Bloods’ 125 Year Anniversary weekend coming up on July 27-28.

Townsend spoke of the fond memories he has as a supporter of the Bloods when he was younger.

“I remember standing here at the QEO at the 1974 grand final, I was only 10 years old,” he said.

“I remember watching South Bendigo win and all of those legends, Bernie McCarthy, Teddy Oldridge, Alan Ellis… And for me to be interacting with them now is really great.”

Since the club’s entry into the Bendigo Football League in 1893, the Bloods have won 24 senior football premierships, one of the highest tallies among BFL clubs.

Despite this, the club hasn’t been able to win a flag since 1994 and has seen its fair share of hardships in the past few years.

“When this administration first came in, the club was in a bit of financial trouble and we were down the bottom of the ladder,” Townsend said.

“But we’ve worked to fix our financial problems and we’ve worked hard to build a strong culture at the club so it’s a club that is a place where players enjoy being here… There’s a really great feel around the club right now.”

One of the major changes in South’s history has been the introduction of netball around 25 years ago.

“It’s been a positive impact. It’s brought a whole new dimension, new families and whole new social dimension to the club,” Townsend said.

The club’s rich history will be on display for past and present players and families to reminisce on at the opening of the A Journey Through Time exhibition on Friday, July 27.

The Bloods will then  hold a Gala dinner on Saturday, July 28 after their clash against Golden Square at the QEO, with a two course dinner and stories from the past 125 years.

“There’s a long history at the club… I think the whole weekend will be great and it will be pretty exciting to have everyone coming back,” Townsend said.

To RSVP to the event, contact the club via email at events@southbendigofnc.com.

Tickets for the gala dinner are available online at www.trybooking.com/374709

– Alex Gretgrix