Bill Savige and Des Ryan with Marmin Barba at the Ipswich Jets' season launch.
Bill Savige and Des Ryan with Marmin Barba at the Ipswich Jets' season launch. Donovan Rickards

'Fitting' addition to Jets jersey after decades of service

LAST Thursday night at the Ipswich Jets' season launch, Bill Savige joked it took a major sponsorship of the club to finally get his name on an A-Grade jersey.

Once upon a time Bill played a handful of games for the Jets Colts - but the Savige family has had a far greater impact on the club than just sending a son onto the field.

Since well before Jets chairman Steve Johnson arrived in the mid-1990s, Sandy and Carmel Savige have worked to support the beloved Ipswich club.

"Sandy chaired the club for many years,” Johnson said.

"Famously there was a grant given when the QRL was trying to make clubs more professional to employ a CEO of the club, and Sandy ran his business and worked as the club CEO for free so that money could be used to support the players.

"People like that who just give of themselves for no personal benefit other than their love of the club are legends in their own right, and Sandy certainly is one.

"He has worked tirelessly for well over 30 years so this club could be where it is today.”

Johnson said the example set by Sandy and Carmel in building their business is one the players can learn from.

"Sandy and Carmel have made a wonderful contribution to the club and the culture of who we are, by showing our young men the benefit of working hard,” he said.

"They started a business from nothing, and just through effort and desire to be better now have a successful business that employs hundreds of people.

"Continue to work hard and be a good person. The Savige family embodies that (and) those are the same values we want our players to embrace.

"People tend to forget the contribution of others when you achieve success. The jets always recognise the efforts put into our club by people in the hard times. They should never be forgotten.

"It was just so fitting we were finally able to put the name Savige on the front of our jersey.”