THE Phillips family took over the Coffs Hotel on March 4, 1996 and from its first year supported community sports including football, rugby league and union, cricket, netball, hockey, racing horses and a Sikh tug of war team.
During his first year at the pub, Marty Phillips remembers being approached by the local football club.
“Andrew Clark, captain of Coffs United Football Club walked into the pub in 1997 and asked if we could sponsor the club.
“It seemed like a good idea at the time so I said yes and we’ve been together ever since and I can happily say it’s a great relationship.
“We are proud that the Coffs Hotel has been their home for over two decades, they have been a very good club to sponsor.
“They are a great group who like to meet over a drink.
“We’ve had some great nights over the years, that’s for sure.
“We have sponsored many community sports teams since 1996 including the mighty Orara Valley Axemen, oztag, Coffs Comets, Bellingen Magpies, Bellingen Braves Basketball, the Woolgoolga Seahorses under their mighty coach Peter Barrett, hockey, netball, and we have sponsored Nana Glen Cricket Club for the past four years.
“Steve Knight carried the Olympic stick through the pub on the way to the Sydney Olympics and we had a big beer garden party to celebrate, so many great memories,” Marty said.
Coffs United players past and present were at the pub in force last Friday as they celebrated the life of one of their fallen soldiers Ronny ‘Razor’ Hansford, a larger than life gentleman who supported Coffs United at every opportunity he had and loved watching his son Nathan, stepdaughter Stacey, and grandchildren Miller and Ozzie play football.
The iconic pub has been a meeting place for sports teams, a relationship Marty helped nurture for 26 years.
Nana Glen Cricket Club had a stellar campaign, winning minor premiership and going unbeaten all season, but on Friday nights, instead of delivering bouncers, they bring the bacon home raising money for the community sports by selling tickets to the meat platter.
Marty is a founding committee member of the North Coast Men Of League.
“It is an organization that supports former and current Rugby League players or even the canteen.
“If anyone needs help, we do our best to help.
“The Coffs Hotel hosts the next Men of League fundraiser on Sunday June 26 for the second State Of Origin match which includes entertainment from Gold Coast comedian Danny McMaster,” Marty said.
The Coffs Hotel has helped community clubs and individuals raise hundreds of thousands of dollars over the decades and remains a cornerstone of the community steeped in history.
By David Wigley