Meet our new #1 Ticket Holder: Russell Pringle
Tuesday 15 January 2013 2:30 PM
He’s been a Manly fanatic since school, but 2013 will be a special year for Russell Pringle as he becomes the club’s number one ticket holder.
Russell, along with wife Deb, have been members since 2007 but are dedicated Sea Eagles fans, having travelled the globe following their beloved Manly after meeting at school.
But despite understanding the honour of his new position, Russell told seaeagles.com.au that he is happy to just enjoy the ride that is an NRL season.
“I’m not sure (how to explain what it means),” Russell told seaeagles.com.au.
“I didn’t really come into it do get something out of it. There’s the prestige, and there’s a few things you’ll get out of it along the way, but I’m hoping to have a good time and hopefully we get a premiership. That will be the be-all, end-all.”
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Growing up in Wollongong, Russell started following the Sea Eagles in 1970, enjoying every minute of the journey.
“My family lived in Wollongong around that time, for about 3 years, and at that stage the Rabbitohs were the team,” he explained.
“We’d been in a few grand finals and lost them, but that was my first recollection of (Manly). Around grand finals, every kid around school was going for Souths, and for whatever reason I said no I’m going for Manly.
“We got beat, but I stuck with them after that, and a couple of years later we won 1972, 1973 and had a good roll on from there.”
Amongst his most prized possessions is a 190 piece jersey collection which Russell has grown in the past few years. After getting only his second jersey (the 60th anniversary jersey) in 2006, he has purchased a number of player jerseys, including three which are very close to his heart.
“I had an old Pioneer jersey, the retro Pioneer 76 Jersey, and I bought a jersey in 06 with the 60th anniversary one, and that was probably it. It was probably 08 when I bought the 3rd one, and since then started accumulating them,” he said.
“I’ve got Jamie (Lyon’s) Grand Final jersey from 2011, and Brett (Stewart’s) ANZAC Jersey, I’d rather have player jerseys. I’m not really into signatures, if I can get the player to sign their jersey I will, but I’m not that into it, I don’t like pestering them.
“There’s probably 3 (favourites) – Wombat’s (Graham Eadie) ‘72 Jersey because they only had the one jersey in those days.
“I’ve got Kevin Ward’s ‘87 Grand Final jersey, it’s fairly special because they cut the sleeves off it at half time, and I’ve got Brett (Stewart’s) 2009 World Club Challenge jersey. I’ve got two of them, I got Brett’s and Josh Perry’s and I got the winners medals with them, which makes them very special.”
Can't wait for the season to start? Check out part 1 of our season preview where we take a look at the forwards
After a disappointing finish to 2012, Russell believes there is plenty to be excited about this year.
“I saw them training just before and spoke to Giggy (Steve Gigg – Football Manager), and he said there’s a few young blokes that have brought some new enthusiasm, and that’s what we need,” he said.
“To see them lose that way (in Melbourne) was disappointing…that title was there for the taking last year.
“I think the speed of the game has beaten us…and I think those young blokes are a good thing. We’ve got Michael Chee Kam and a few other good ones, and I think that’s what we’re going to need.”