WITH the NSW Country rugby league team playing in Lismore tomorrow night it's a good time to remember former Cabbage Tree Island footballer Dickie Roberts.
Roberts, an outstanding Indigenous footballer, began playing on the Northern Rivers in the 1930s.
Just after World War II, Country selection trials were conducted in the lead-up to the traditional Country v City match.
It's rumoured Roberts played well in one particular trial and was pencilled in as the fullback.
However, one of the selectors, who was from this area, faced a problem.
The weekend that City was to play Country coincided with a local representative match between the Tweed and Lower Richmond.
This was a highly-prized match for the Booker Cup.
In the eyes of the selector, The Booker Cup took precedence over the Country/City match and he reported to his fellow selectors that Roberts was unavailable.
Apparently, Roberts wasn't too upset because he enjoyed playing with his mates against the Tweed.
As Roberts was unavailable, the Country selectors chose a promising young fullback from Newcastle to take his place.
His name was ... Clive Churchill.