Goannas celebrate 40 years since Henry Tatana booted them to glory

The memories are still vivid, but the memorabilia from Cessncock's 1977 premiership is thin on the grounds.

The Goannas are on the hunt for old photos, jerseys and other historical items from the day Henry Tatana booted Cessnock to a 21-17 victory against the Maitland Pumpkin Pickers.

It was a double celebration that day with Gary Johns, the father of Knights stars Andrew and Matt, leading the reserve team to a 17-15 win against Western Suburbs.

Cessnock spokesman David Woodbury said with 19,000 fans packing out Newcastle No.1 Sportsground to watch the grand final he was hopeful that they can track down items to go on display at the upcoming 40th anniversary celebrations.

Woodbury hopes that historical items dug up could become part of a permanent display to mark the premiership.

“We’d love to hear from people who have photographs or anything else from the grand final or that season,” he said.

“If they could donate them or allow us to copy them for permanent display it would be wonderful.”

The Goannas are holding the 40th anniversary reunion of the 1977 premiership team at the Cessnock Leagues Club on August 19 and a huge crowd is expected for the night.

“We have been able to contact all the surviving players and the families of players who have passed away,” Woodbury said.

“We’d love anyone who had a part in that season to contact us and make sure they get along to the celebration dinner.”

A special commemorative jersey will be presented to each member of the team or their family.

For the record Maitland scored five tries to Cessnock’s three, however, Pickers star halfback Brian Burke’s had a black eye and was off target landing just one goal for the match, while Tatana landed six of nine attempts to see the Goannas home.

The premiership team received a civic ceremony as part of the celebrations.

If you have any images, film or memorabilia from the 1977 season or grand final contact David Woodbury on 0408 905 607.

Tickets for the 1977 premiership reunion are on sale at the Cessnock Leagues Club reception.

GRAND DAY: Cessnock captain coach Henry Tatana and players John Fairns and Peter Davies celebrate after winning the 1977 grand final against Maitland.

GRAND DAY: Cessnock captain coach Henry Tatana and players John Fairns and Peter Davies celebrate after winning the 1977 grand final against Maitland.

1977 Grand FINAL

Cessnock defeated Maitland 21-17

Team: G Redgrove, G Payne, G Ambrum, M Goldman, T Williams, N Stevens, J Fairns, D Pemberton, P Davies, R Everson, H Tatana, B Holden, W Jowett, D Moore, R Mullard, W Jobson. Coach: H Tatana

Cessnock 21: Tries  G Ambrum, H Tatana, P Davies Goals: H Tatana (6)