General David Hurley hands out the battledress to his Thunder troops before the 2011 clash with the Magpies.
General David Hurley hands out the battledress to his Thunder troops before the 2011 clash with the Magpies. Trevor Veale

Governor Hurley coming to Thunder's clash with Bello Magpies

HIS Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd). Governor of New South Wales, is the special guest at this year's Matthew Locke MG Memorial Rugby League match in Bellingen.

While his latest official title is rather impressive, the general was one of the boys and a popular figure when he attended the match between Australian Army Thunder and Bellinger Valley Dorrigo Magpies in 2011.

Apart from handing out jumpers to the troops, rank was forgotten as General Hurley mucked in as a member of the support staff on the sideline.

This year's match will be held at Bellingen Park on Saturday, February 28, and it will be the governor's first official visit to the Coffs Coast.

It will raise funds for The Grub Club, the charity trust formed in memory of Sgt Matthew 'Grub' Locke, killed in action in Afghanistan in 2007.

Matt was a player with the Magpies before joining the army.

It's hoped one of his best mates, Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG, will be able to make his third visit to the annual footy feast.

Driving force behind the event and The Grub Club trustee, Debbie Locke, hopes the newly-renovated grandstand at 'The Graveyard' will be filled with happy rugby league fans paying tribute to her late brother.

"Everything is coming together and following last year's successful Footy Show segment we have been doing a lot more promoting on social media," Debbie said.

"We are also sorting out some great raffles donated by Valley Quality Meats and IGA Bellingen and appreciate the support."

Bellingen Golf Club will host a three-ball Ambrose on Friday, February 27.

Teams can sign up at the club for $90 per team.

On Sunday, March 1, the Army Band will provide a concert at C.ex Coffs from 11am.

They will be supported by Coffs Harbour Regional Brass Band and $10 tickets may be purchased at the club.



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