Favorite Moments - 001-025 Your fun memories from EOTB

fm23 - One for Guiness Book of Records, a side made up completely of Sons of the Seven Ahern Brothers. Emu Park 1989

Posted by... Jeff Quigley - on ... Monday, May 14, 2012
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One for the Guiness Book Of Records. 23 Players all related and with the surname Ahearn played rugby League in the same team and all from the same family line.

This monumental game occurred at the Emu Park International Sporting Complex, commonly called the Emu Park Oval in September 1989. It was the highlight of the Family Reunion for one of the early inhabitants of Emu Park, the Ahern Family.

For the record Emu Park is located on the east coast of Central Queensland Australia, some 44 kms east of the City of Rockhampton. It is near where the Tropic of Capricorn crosses the coast.

The game was organized and the brainchild of Gordon Ahearn of Bloomsbury. Gordon arranged for Queenslands most recognized Referee Barry Grasshopper Gomersall to officiate. Gomersall had been the whistle blower in many firery State of Origin Clashes in cauldrons such as the SCG and Lang Park. This was to be his biggest challenge.

The game attracted nation wide attention through all medias.


The Ahern family, originating from Emu Park, reunited at the weekend to establish a new rugby league record for the Guiness Book of Records.

They raised a team of 23 players from the sons of seven Ahern brothers to create what they believe is the first rugby league team of players from one family line.

National rugby league referee Barry Gomersall made his first appearance on the Capricorn Coast to referee the match between the Ahern Family and the Emu Park Reserve grade team in Bicentennial Park.

Assisting were leading Central Queensland referees David Hill and Peter Connell.

Six of the brothers present were Bill (Bowen), Fred (Rockhampton), Gordon (Bloomsdale), Ron (Sarina), Clarry (Tambo) and John (Dysart). Joe (Dysart) was unable to attend.

The reunion and the Guiness Book of Records challenge was organised by Gordon Ahern. John Ahern, 46, was the only brother in the team and the oldest player.

Those at the huge family gathering were easy to identify with their green shirt pockets marked with the family coat of arms.

A crowd of more than 1000 spectators, including about 400 members of the Ahern family, watched the family rugby league team bite the dust in the feature match against the Emu Park Reserve Grade team.

Some had never played the game before.

Emu Park won the match 38 - 8.

Try scorers were Kent Svendsen (2), Shawn Doak (2), Gavin Tydd (1), Jan Slotasch (1), Goals were kicked by Kirk Doak (3) and Simon Guest (1). Man of the match was Kent Svendsen. Steve Ahern scored the only try for his team. Goals were kicked by Steve Ahern and Peter Ahern.

Australian Meat Holdings won the curtain raiser against the Rockhampton Correctional Centre Officers 25 - 24.

Gordon Ahern issued a challenge for the Ahern sons to stage another match in 2009, with sons of the fifth generation. He said his grandfather played football on the same ground in about 1920. He was a bare knuckle fighter who fought against Joe McCallum on Emu Park Beach in one of the last fights of its kind.



Quigs made yet another comeback in this game after a 5 year layoff through injuries and a Car accident. At the time I was assistant coach to the Emu Park Publican Steve Kiwi Anderson. Both of us had long stopped playing and coached in a Non playing capacity. It was Emu Parks first year playing in the Rockhampton Lower grade competition. It was a golden opportunity for Steve and I to display to the younger Park players our "obvious" skills.

We usually told them how good we were in our day, often it was very late into the night and always at the bar of the Piney aka the Pine Beach Hotel. Need I explain anymore.

Kiwi Anderson and Quigs in comeback mode 23-9-1989

Both Kiwi and I had planned to keep off the field for as long as humanly possible and let the youngins soften one another up before we pranced on. I was sitting next to Kiwi on the sideline bench and it was only about two minutes into the game. I turned to talk to Kiwi but he had disappeared onto the paddock...... he could not help himself.

The first sight I saw of Kiwi in that game was John Ahern the oldest player on the field running towards a crouched and cocked Kiwi Anderson. Kiwi let fly with a blatant stiff arm that sent poor John skyward with legs, arms flaying wildly. Grasshopper penalised Kiwi. At the break I said to Kiwi, "what did you stiff arm Old Uncle John for"? He said, "I don't know, I just couldn't help it. It was a reflex thing"

Kiwi was a wild lad, and had played hooker in the Foley Shield, his nose proved testament to that.


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