Dennis “Muncher” Garlick, 67, has not missed a game or a training session for the first grade Two Blues for as long as he can remember.
Next week will be the first but he has a good excuse.
He will be recognised for his lengthy commitment to the Parramatta club with a NSW Community Sport Award presented at Parliament House.
It is a far cry from his first game for the Colts – on a wet day down the road from his home at Granville Park in 1969 – but a testament to his commitment to the club that has become his family.
Garlick playing in the Two Blues colours in 1987.
“I’ve never left the club – there’s just something about the people, the friendship and camaraderie,” he said.
<p">“To me it’s very special to be born in Parramatta and to play for Parramatta.
“You’ll never take me out of Parramatta.”
The second rower played over 300 grade games for Parramatta and recalls vividly their grand final victory against Randwick in 1986.
“The guys I played with in that premiership team, we’ll be mates until the last man standing,” he said.
The first grade Two Blues have been assisted by Garlick as a trainer since 1986.
While his time on the field might be over, he’s been sure to make his presence known on the sidelines, working as a trainer since 1986.
He says his favourite day of the year is Back to Parramatta Day at the club, and talks fondly of last year’s victory over rivals Eastwood in front of players past and present.
While the club has had its difficulties, he puts his achievement down to the club’s determination.
“You should never leave a sinking boat while there’s still hope,” he said.
“We hit rock bottom but we were always certain we’d pull through.
“We’ll get there again.”
Long-serving Two Blues captain Andrew Cox has been through the dark times with Muncher.
Alongside him in the club’s darkest times, has been Parramatta first grade captain Andrew Cox.
Cox maintains that Muncher is so dedicated to the club, he is sure he bleeds two shades of blue.
“Muncher is an extremely popular member of the Parramatta club, humble and with a magnificent sense of humour, who attends every training session with his trolley full of water bottles, filling them and taking water to all the boys at training,” he said.
“Muncher is the epitome of the club and our culture and has dedicated the majority of his life to the Parramatta Rugby Club.”
Dennis Garlick is optimistic for the future of the club and plans on sticking around as long as he can.
Garlick will receive his award at a ceremony hosted by the NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres in the Strangers Dining Room of NSW Parliament House at 6pm on Thursday, June 29.
He is also a nominee in the service to sport category of the Local Sports Stars awards.
The awards have five categories including Local Sports Star Team; Young Sporting Spirit; and Service to Sport.