It has often been said that the entrance to Murrayfield, the home of the Albury Steamers, should be graced by an archway.
And that it should contain the words “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here”.
But in fact it could have been erected over all of the three grounds the Steamers have played on since their inception in 1976: Greenfield Park, Alexander Park and now Murrayfield, one of the finest facilities in NSW country rugby union.
The simple fact is visiting clubs hate to come to Albury to face the might of the men – and now women – who wear the blue and gold of the Steamers.
The club has close ties with its community, with the club’s logo bearing a paddle steamer and the name Murrayfield being a play-on-words of the field on the Murray.
The club had instance success when it joined the Riverina Union Competition in 1976 and has become one of the power clubs of, what is now, the Southern Inland Rugby Union competition.
In the early days the club relied on people being relocated to the Border for work, including teachers, employees of Mars in Wodonga and Kiwis from all walks of life.
The club is now very much a multi-cultural one and has featured players from New Zealand, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Belgium, the US, South Africa, Zimbabwe and others.
It has had many players represent the zone while four have turned out for NSW Country: David Mackay, Justin Wheatley, Mick Alexander and Andrew Bell.
The club has produced some outstanding players from its junior and women ranks and the “Old and bold”, the club’s Golden Oldies – who play and socialise under the name “Murray Cods” – keep a, what is at times sometimes an unsteady, hand on the club’s welfare.
The club has had both lean and good times in its history and players and identities come and go.
But there is one for certain when it comes to the mighty Steamers.
And that is “The Blue and Gold will never fold”