Raymond Terrace Soccer Club is marking 60 years of football in 2017

GOOD TIMES: Jason Cameron, Anne Jones, Darrel Heard, Maddie Landers, Brian "Gator" Weale, Hayden Carter, Toni Heard and Peter Petryk from Raymond Terrace Soccer Club. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts
GOOD TIMES: Jason Cameron, Anne Jones, Darrel Heard, Maddie Landers, Brian "Gator" Weale, Hayden Carter, Toni Heard and Peter Petryk from Raymond Terrace Soccer Club. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Family was what founded the Raymond Terrace Soccer Club, and is what keeps it going strong today.

Members will celebrate the club's 60th anniversary in August.

During the years, the Raymond Terrace club has fostered a number of talented players who have gone on to represent Australia, hosted state carnivals and even helped other clubs around Port Stephens get up off the ground.

“It’s a good achievement for a small town club,” life member Darrel Heard said.

Mr Heard first played with the club in 1966.

His wife, Toni Heard, became involved in 1985. She is also a life member.

The soccer club was founded in 1957.

Sid Davis, Jim Elliot, John Dundas, Joe Lloyd and Bill Bobbins wanted to do something with their children.

The club's life members, mixed with young blood.

The club's life members, mixed with young blood.

The idea to form a soccer club took hold.

The group borrowed balls and nets from the Courtaulds factory at Tomago. Mrs Davis sewed the kids' first shirts.

According to life member Anne Jones, who joined when her children began playing in 1969, Raymond Terrace as the new club in the region was not popular.

“No one wanted us when we first started,” she said.

The original games were played at the showground, which is where Raymond Terrace MarketPlace is now located.

The club moved around to a few fields before it made King Park its home.

From the showground the club moved to Boomerang Park, where it hosted two state carnivals (in 1994 and 1996).

Its seniors played in Boomerang Park and juniors at King Park, which used to be the town's dump.

The entire club moved to King Park in the late 80’s and the clubhouse it now uses was built in the 90’s.

In that time, Raymond Terrace helped to establish clubs in Nelson Bay, Medowie and Seaham, Mrs Jones said.

It also saw Marshall Soper, Clayton Zane and Alison Forman, former Socceroo and Matildas players, Bridgette Starr, a 2000 Olympian, and highly decorated international player Cheryl Salisbury call Raymond Terrace home throughout their careers.

PASSIONATE: Raymond Terrace Soccer Club life members Toni Heard, Darrel Heard, Brian "Gator" Weale, Anne Jones and Peter Petryk at King Park Sporting Complex. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

PASSIONATE: Raymond Terrace Soccer Club life members Toni Heard, Darrel Heard, Brian "Gator" Weale, Anne Jones and Peter Petryk at King Park Sporting Complex. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Mr Bobbins was made the club's first life member in 1978, after 21 years service. 

He died in May, aged 95.

All up, the club has 21 life members with current president Peter Petryk its most recent. 

He was made a life member in 2016.

Like all sporting clubs, Raymond Terrace has experienced its flux in numbers.

This season, the club has 394 registered players – starting from under-6’s through to all age men and women – and 34 teams.

Mrs Heard said the club's family atmosphere was what made it special.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary, the club is inviting past players to the first grade game being played at home on August 5 from 2.30pm.

A dinner will be held at Raymond Terrace Bowling Club that night, starting from 6pm.

Tickets, which are limited, cost $35 per person.

They are available to buy from the canteen on game days, phoning 0417 723 767 or email raymondterracesc@newcastlefootball.net.au.