Watmough rejects silvertails tag

“We were battlers there for a while, we’re getting back there but we’re definitely not the silvertails”: Anthony Watmough (far right). Photo: Marco Del GrandeGrand final week: Read The Manly Mirror
Nanjing Night Net

Anthony Watmough implored rugby league supporters from Sydney’s west to get behind Manly in Sunday’s grand final by describing his Sea Eagles as their socio-economic brethren and not the long-despised silvertails.

Manly was bestowed the tag by Fairfax columnist Roy Masters in the late 1970s when he coached the Western Suburbs Magpies. He declared a class war when he baptised the Magpies “the fibros” and the beachside Sea Eagles “the silvertails” to make the perceived differences in personal wealth between the two areas a cause for his team to fight for.

It stuck, but as Watmough prepared for the NRL decider against Sydney Roosters – a team that represents Sydney’s most expensive real estate – the tough forward said that life on and off the field on the northern beaches was far from a sunbake in the land of milk and honey.

“How are we the silvertails?” said a bemused Watmough. “[Our club] has been broke, we’ve been brought up from the ashes … we’ve been together for a long time. I don’t know how we’re the silvertails. We were battlers there for a while, we’re getting back there but we’re definitely not the silvertails.”

Watmough, who moved to Narrabeen when he was only eight, described life for the average Joes on the peninsula as a constant struggle. “People don’t own their own houses over here,” he said. “People choose to live here and pay rent and work their butt off to pay their rent because of the lifestyle; it’s a great lifestyle over here but the mums and dads who work 70 or 80 hours a week, to come home to pay the $1000 rent so their kids can have a good lifestyle and good upbringing, they’re the battlers.

“I don’t think any of my mates own a house.

“They just work hard to pay the rent to live the lifestyle they do.”

Watmough said he would give his all for his mates – and other battlers – from Narrabeen and beyond on Sunday.

“It means a lot to me,” Watmough said of the place he calls home. “Playing for Narrabeen, I was a Narrabeen junior, all the guys get behind us and it’s such a good feeling knowing that support is there. And it’s not just Narrabeen, you go down the road and every second person now is congratulating you.

“The buzz around this area is amazing at grand final time. We explained it to the guys who haven’t experienced it before, we just said sit back and enjoy this week because it’s going to be something special you’ll remember.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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