Manly Warringah Sea Eagles launched their 70th Year Anniversary in spectacular style at historic Luna Park last night.
Players and coaching staff – dressed immaculately in their Sportscraft suits, arrived at the Milsons Point Wharf on a Sydney Harbour ferry before making their way to meet guests at the sold out gala dinner.
They were then greeted with a huge round of applause as they were individually introduced on stage to guests and special VIPs, including NSW Premier and keen Manly fan, the Hon. Mike Baird. Other VIPs included Manly fans in novelist Thomas Keneally, and leading Aussie actor Peter Phelps.
However the clear highlight of the evening was the induction of current stars Jamie Lyon, Brett Stewart, and Steve Matai, along with former club great Brent Kite, as the latest Life Members of the Sea Eagles. All have achieved the extraordinary achievement of playing in excess of 200 games for the Club.
Lyon and Stewart accepted their Life Memberships on stage from Sea Eagles Chairman Scott Penn.
Matai was unable to attend the event as he was by the side of his partner, Kate, as she waited to give birth to their third child.
His Life Membership was accepted by another former Sea Eagles great in Jason King. Guests watched a heartfelt video from Matai about what his Life Membership meant to him.
Kite, who had a previous family commitment to attend to, had his Life Membership accepted by former Manly prop Mark Bryant.
Guests also heard from Sea Eagles legends Max Krilich and Steve Menzies, who spoke about their careers and what Manly meant to them.
An auction was held offering some tremendous money can’t buy experiences with the team, while a one off framed 2016 Sea Eagles jersey signed by Lyon, Stewart, Matai and Kite, sold for a staggering $7000.
Sea Eagles CEO Joe Kelly said the night was an outstanding success.
“The feedback we received from those that have attended many Manly season launches was that it was the best yet. The mood and atmosphere at the event was fantastic, and everyone involved with the Club are very excited for the year ahead’’ Kelly said.
“To launch our 70th Year Anniversary in a heritage listed Crystal Ballroom at Luna Park made the evening even more special for our players, sponsors and supporters in attendance.”
As the evening drew to a close, guests walked away very happily knowing that the Sea Eagles are well on track for a very successful season on and off the field.