Ipswich sporting greats like Norm Rule have been honoured for their remarkable careers.
Ipswich sporting greats like Norm Rule have been honoured for their remarkable careers.

Ipswich’s top sporting dynasties: See the latest achievers

OVER many decades, Ipswich has been home to some of the finest sporting dynasties in Australia.

From international footballers, rugby league players and baseballers to well-known cricketers, hockey achievers and swimmers, the region has provided some exceptional moments.

In the latest QT sporting series, 34 of the best Ipswich sporting empires are relived, highlighting many memorable moments and sharing their successful family traits.

Another seven high-achieving Ipswich families are celebrated in today's second part as the countdown continues.

SUPER SEVEN: Let the countdown begin

Members of the Alchin and Gotting families who have served Ipswich hockey for many years.
Members of the Alchin and Gotting families who have served Ipswich hockey for many years.

27. ALCHIN/GOTTING families: Umpires setting high standards

AT any given weekend during the Ipswich hockey season, it's rare not to bump into at least one of the Alchin-Gotting family members.

Such is their diverse contribution to the sport that an Alchin or Gotting will most likely be playing, umpiring or serving on the tech bench.

The incredible link is mainly through sisters Pauline Alchin and Bernadette Gotting who have played nearly 1400 games between them.

Pauline started with the East Wanderers club where the players wore purple - the same traditional colour of current club Thistles.

Ipswich hockey sisters Pauline Alchin (left) and Bernadette Gotting.
Ipswich hockey sisters Pauline Alchin (left) and Bernadette Gotting.

Older sister Bernadette also played at East Ipswich State School before her long-time association with Ipswich club hockey.

Pauline celebrated her 800 game milestone in the middle of the 2018 season. She's now up to about 830 matches, having first run on to a hockey field in 1976.

Bernadette lined up in 562 games from age 13 until she last played in 2016.

She has been Thistles Hockey Club treasurer since 1983.

Long-serving Thistles and Ipswich hockey player, umpire, coach and official Pauline Alchin celebrating her 800 game milestone.
Long-serving Thistles and Ipswich hockey player, umpire, coach and official Pauline Alchin celebrating her 800 game milestone.

Pauline is the current Thistles club president, having served in that role since 1983 after previously being secretary.

She has played in and coached many Thistles teams to premierships over the years.

Level 2 accredited coach Pauline has also made a major contribution in junior development, including from the St Marys school where she coached for several years. She has managed and been a selector for many teams.

One of Bernadette's highlights was being a volunteer at the Sydney Olympics.

She also volunteered for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Bernadette is highly regarded for her umpiring knowledge.

The Level 3 Australian umpire and umpire coach has been a member of the Hockey Queensland (HQ) Technical Operating Committee since 2013 and HQ's Umpires Operating Committee since 2019.

She has served as a technical official and tournament director at major outdoor and indoor hockey championships for more than 25 years.

With an incredible record of service, "Bernie'' has also fulfilled technical official roles with Hockey Australia for more than 12 years.

She remains a valuable umpiring mentor from Ipswich to national level. That includes co-ordinating Ipswich junior umpire coaching clinics.

Much of her passion for officiating flows through the veins on her son Aaron.

Ipswich hockey umpire Aaron Gotting preparing for national duty. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Ipswich hockey umpire Aaron Gotting preparing for national duty. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Aaron is a Level 3 umpire who has controlled games at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Singapore and Malaysia, along with Australian Hockey League and other national tournaments.

He's been a Hockey Queensland coach and mentor at state championships.

Aaron, also a premiership-winning Wests Reserve Grade player, has been recognised by Hockey Queensland as one of the state's most promising umpires.

His wife Emily (nee Ogden) is Level 3 Australian umpire who has also fulfilled national under-21 and other umpire managing and mentor roles.

Bernadette Gotting and her daughter Caitlin, both experienced technical officials.
Bernadette Gotting and her daughter Caitlin, both experienced technical officials.

Aaron's sister Caitlin is a Level 2 Australian Technical Official, who still plays in the Reserve and R2 Grade competitions for Thistles.

Apart from weekly service to Ipswich hockey, Caitlin has served at state indoor and outdoor championships, as well as Super League tournaments.

She has been a technical official at masters and under-21 national titles.

Caitlin's daughter Amelia started playing club hockey in 2018.

Pauline Alchin in her younger playing days
Pauline Alchin in her younger playing days

Back with the dedicated Alchins, Pauline also has an impressive record of service in umpiring.

Pauline has umpired at many Queensland championships, receiving her State A Badge in the 1980s.

She received her Level 1 accreditation as a technical official in 2016.

Pauline has served in various Ipswich Hockey Association roles for many years. That includes as an umpires president in the early 1990s and vice-presidency stints.

She is proud of being chosen to carry the Commonwealth Games torch in the 2018 relay.

Pauline's daughter Erin Bartlem has played 316 games for Thistles before moving to the Bellbowrie club and joining Norths in 2018 due to A-Grade team changes.

Erin has played in many Ipswich representative teams and coached Ipswich under-13 girls sides in 2016-17.

Erin's brother Lucas has also been a regular player, having amassed more than 500 games for Wests and been chosen in Ipswich sides.

Pauline's nieces Kerri Dutney and Lauren Harris (both nee Vellacott) have also been familiar faces over the years, playing more than 550 games between them.

 

 

 

Gordon “Bunny’’ Nunn
Gordon “Bunny’’ Nunn

26. NUNN family: Incredible goal-scoring feats

OF all the Nunns making a mark in Ipswich sport, Gordon "Bunny'' Nunn was the most celebrated.

The fleet-footed centre forward could score from anywhere. He netted 56 goals during his 52 games for Australia from 1948-58.

In the Encyclopedia of Socceroos, Bunny tops the Ipswich list of most games played for Australia.

As presenter John Roderick highlighted during the recent unveiling of Ipswich's International Honour Board, Bunny was also said to have scored 700 goals in his outstanding career. That included a record 89 goals in 1950.

The Hall of Famer had St Helens origins.

Bunny attended Bundamba State before learning sign-writing at the Ipswich Technical College.

During World War II, he served with the Royal Australian Air Force with Air Sea Rescue.

Bunny died in 2008.

Before Bunny's fantastic deeds, Alf was the first of the Nunns bred in the Dinmore and Booval areas.

Alf was a winger who played for the Dinmore Bushrats and for Ipswich in 1912.

Remarkably, Bunny was said to have scored 100 goals in club football before he was 21.

In a 1948 trial match between an Australian Second XI and The Rest, Bunny netted all his team's goals in the 5-2 win.

 

Project partners Ross Hallett (left) and John Roderick unveil the international honour board at the Ipswich Knights clubhouse. The Nunn family were among the football greats.
Project partners Ross Hallett (left) and John Roderick unveil the international honour board at the Ipswich Knights clubhouse. The Nunn family were among the football greats.

The impressive International Honour Board project led by Roderick and Ross Hallett listed Bunny has playing for St Helens as a 16-year-old in 1943.

He later lined up for Caledonians from 1951-53.

He returned to St Helens from 1954-59 before completing his career as a coach at Azzurri.

Adding to his impressive career record is sharing in St Helens premiership-winning teams in 1944, 1947, 1948 and 1956, when the Saints were unbeaten.

Another celebrated Nunn was Eric, who was chosen to represent Australia at left back against Canada in 1924.

The Bushrats footballer also earlier lined up for Ipswich and Queensland. That included a match against a Chinese XI in 1923.

Eric was a part of the 1923 premiership-winning Bushrats side, along with Tristram Shield successes in 1922, 1924 and 1928.

Eric was one of 10 Nunn family members to play for Booval Stars in the 1930.

Eric became an interstate selector in the 1950s.

 

 

 

Former Ipswich, Brisbane Bandits and Australian baseballer Steve Hinton.
Former Ipswich, Brisbane Bandits and Australian baseballer Steve Hinton.

25. HINTON family: Dynamic and dependable

WHEN Steve Hinton represented Australia at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he carried 20 years of Ipswich support on his shoulders.

He was incredibly proud to march in the emotion-charged Olympic stadium knowing how much his family had encouraged him and what is Ipswich upbringing provided.

His Bundamba-based parents Ray and Jenny had given him national and international sporting opportunities he could only dream of.

Nicknamed the "Mighty Mouse'' during his career, the Ipswich Musketeers product was Australia's number one shortstop for many years.

The classy sportsman represented Australia on several occasions while also remaining fiercely loyal to the Musketeers and Brisbane Bandits, where he spent a decade in the Australian Baseball League competition.

Ever-focused Steve Hinton batting for the Ipswich Musketeers.
Ever-focused Steve Hinton batting for the Ipswich Musketeers.

The dynamic and dependable baseballer was the heart and soul of every team he played for.

In representing Australia at the 1996 Olympics, Steve knocked back offers from professional US clubs so he could serve his country.

Steve earlier captained the Australian Youth side that won a bronze medal at the 1989 World Junior Championships in Canada.

He represented Queensland in every year from under 11 until making the Rams team in the final year of Claxton Shield competition.

In 1994, he spent a season with the Duluth-Superior Dukes in the United States, being one of the team's leading hitters using a wooden bat for the first time.

In the national league during the 1990s, he was a regular Golden Glove winner, being chosen in All-Star teams.

The consistent right-hander batter and razor-sharp thrower was inducted into Queensland Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Paul Hinton playing for Ipswich Musketeers.
Paul Hinton playing for Ipswich Musketeers.

Steve's brother Paul also played for Musketeers for a number of years in the Brisbane competition. The second baseman was a state junior representative in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Steve and Paul's uncle Barry always followed their baseball progress, along with his son David.

Popular bricklayer David also had a stint with the Musketeers, making Queensland teams from under-15 to under-18.

While the Hinton brothers and cousin were making an impact in baseball, Barry was influential as Ipswich Turf Club secretary/manager from 1990-99.

Barry played a leading role turning around the club's fortunes of previous years, also laying the foundation for many successful Ipswich Cup days which were to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

Darryl O'Sullivan receiving his life membership for Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket at his “second home’’. Picture: Sarah Harvey
Darryl O'Sullivan receiving his life membership for Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket at his “second home’’. Picture: Sarah Harvey

 

24. O'SULLIVAN family: At home around regional sports fields

DARRYL O'Sullivan is one of those familiar faces you regularly see around the sports fields of Ipswich.

He's always welcoming, rich in knowledge and generally with a smile of his face.

But his commitment to Ipswich sport can never be underestimated.

He is team minded, versatile and always ready to help.

The former Australian masters indoor cricket captain is also humble and loyal.

All those traits were highlighted when O'Sullivan was awarded an Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association life membership in 2013.

Since then, he's continued his various cricket roles, including umpiring.

Mark Marsh Oval at Limestone Park is where he spends countless hours every summer.

The same can be said for the Ivor Marsden Memorial Sports Centre at Amberley - Ipswich cricket's headquarters.

The former international indoor cricketer's list of achievements could easily fill a folder.

He was on the IWMCA board from 1989-93 and again from 2005.

After finishing his indoor cricket career as Australian over-35 captain, O'Sullivan has devoted more than 35 years to the outdoor game.

He started playing church cricket for Silkstone and church soccer for Blackstone Welsh in the early 1970s before rising through the ranks in indoor cricket.

He reached state under-21 level in cricket before his international stint in masters competition.

The Ipswich sportsman was also a state and honorary national coach, winning Queensland titles at Brassall Sportsworld before its closure.

Darryl proudly recalls winning 13 national titles as an indoor cricket player, finishing his career at the Ipswich Showgrounds in 2001.

The challenging world of cricket administration followed.

Darryl O'Sullivan
Darryl O'Sullivan

His first foray into outdoor cricket was in 1982 when he trialled for Western Suburbs against Marburg.

After stints with Wests and Warwick Road, he remained loyal to the amalgamated club Centrals.

The respected Ipswich all-rounder said his wife Lyn had been a rock of support, especially when he was playing sport.

"Without her, I couldn't have achieved anything," he said.

Lyn was a state indoor cricket and vigoro representative. They married in 1986.

Having grown up as one of six brothers and with a sister at his family home in Silkstone, O'Sullivan always felt a sense of belonging in Ipswich.

Sadly, Darryl has lost his mum Aileen, after his dad Keith died in 1989.

Aileen was described at the funeral as "a hardworking lady who did it pretty tough throughout her whole life".

"We treat people the way we want to be treated," O'Sullivan said. "And that comes back to the way we were brought up."

Those traits have carried through to another of the well-known O'Sullivan clan.

Ipswich footballer Adam O'Sullivan
Ipswich footballer Adam O'Sullivan

Darryl and Lyn's son Adam is a sporting all-rounder.

The former Queensland Lions, Ipswich Knights and Ipswich City Bulls footballer was also a first grade cricketer for Centrals in Ipswich and Wests in the Brisbane competition.

The highly regarded playmaker was a regular goal scorer for the Bulls and a vital midfielder for Lions and the Knights.

Adam O'Sullivan watches his delivery bowling for Ipswich in a Webb Shield representative match. Picture: Kevin Farmer
Adam O'Sullivan watches his delivery bowling for Ipswich in a Webb Shield representative match. Picture: Kevin Farmer

He made moving between the football and cricket seasons an art form, often fulfilling both roles during the hectic annual season changeovers.

Adam used to train one night a week with football and twice a week with Wests until the cricket season finished.

 

 

 

Norm Rule received his Australian cap in front of 80,000 people.
Norm Rule received his Australian cap in front of 80,000 people.

 

23. RULE family: Fruit pie feats and a proud mining past

THE Rule family has a proud sporting and working life in the city.

Norm represented Australia in 11 matches from 1958-59, having strong ties to the Bundamba Rangers club.

His international career started in 1958 during a tour of New Zealand.

Norm also represented Queensland in 1955 (against Rapid Vienna, Austria), 1957 (Eastern Athletic, Hong Kong) and 1959 (Blackpool, England).

The Ipswich football great played centre forward for Queensland and inside right for Australia.

He became captain/coach of Hollandia after leaving Bundamba Rangers.

Norm also played a key role in forming the Christian Soccer Association competition in 1999.

As QT online editor Andrew Korner highlighted in his 2019 tribute to Norm, he left his mark on more than a football pitch.

Norm played a major role in the city's coalmining past.

Being a former Premier League footballer, Korner knew the Rule family.

"Norm Rule was an Ipswich born and bred sporting talent who was blessed with a great mind for business but also a big, generous heart,'' Korner wrote.

"It was a rare combination of attributes that made him such a popular character wherever he roamed, which was never too far from Ipswich for too long.''

Norm was also part of the committee that led the campaign to build the Bundamba swimming pool.

One of his most satisfying moments in his later life was carrying the torch during the 2000 Sydney Olympics torch relay.

"Perhaps most importantly, during an extremely busy life in which he managed Rosewood's Oakleigh mine, he was a father to four children and a grandfather and great-grandfather to many more,'' Korner wrote.

Larger than life Norm Rule was 87 when he passed away.
Larger than life Norm Rule was 87 when he passed away.

Norm passed away with family by his side after suffering a stroke on October 4. He was 87.

One of Norm's three sons, Mike, said Norm attended school at Bundamba and then Central Boy's School.

He left in grade 8 to attend the Technical College on Limestone St.

Norm was a talented sportsman from a young age, making the Queensland Schoolboys cricket side. However, it was on the football field where he stood out most.

"Dad used to tell us a story about his earlier playing days, when the pie man used to come around and deliver pies," Mike recalled.

"One day he said to dad: 'I hear you are going all right at the soccer, well I tell you what, I will give you a pie for every goal you score today'.

"Dad said: 'You are on, as long as you make them fruit pies'. He went out and scored 14 goals that game, getting a pie for each member of his team."

By 15, Norm was playing A-Grade football for Bundamba Rangers, alongside the likes of fellow Australian representative Bob Lawrie.

Off the field, Norm carved a career in the mining industry from 1948.

Norm, his father and uncle purchased the Oakleigh mine, eventually arranging for the coal to be sold to buyers in Japan and northern NSW. Norm was known for working underground and doing a lot of the truck driving himself, after promising the hospitals in NSW that they would never be short on coal.

In 2013, on the same night the Socceroos sealed a spot in the 2014 World Cup with a win over Iraq in front of 80,000 fans, Norm was honoured with an Australian cap.

Norm was presented with cap number 163 at halftime in the ANZ Stadium game, acknowledging his place in Australian football history.

Having spent much of his life in Ipswich, Norm was unlucky to miss selection for the 1956 Olympic Games.

The latest generation of Rule footballers included classy midfielder Lincoln.

He played for Western Pride in the club's early years in the National Premier Leagues state competition.

Lincoln also had strong links to the Ipswich Knights and has lined up for the Ipswich City Bulls.

 

 

 

 

Australian shooting team coach and former international history-maker Rob Rush. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Australian shooting team coach and former international history-maker Rob Rush. Picture: Cordell Richardson

22. RUSH family: Hotshots rich in tradition

AS a history-making international shooter, Rob Rush is a master of mind games.

Still coaching at elite level, Rush adopted a champion mindset while establishing his incredible record.

He was a member of 22 Australian rifle teams from 1976, also being chosen for more than 30 Queensland sides since 1973.

The Ipswich and District Rifle Club stalwart has achieved multiple state and national records.

In recent years, he added major coaching successes to his world-class reputation in the sport.

The 2019 City of Ipswich Coach of the Year played a key set-up role in the Australian team's latest Palma (world championships) shoot victory.

Rush's vast and precise knowledge helped the team conquer the windy conditions to produce the highest world score on New Zealand's Trentham Range.

That was Rush's third world championship triumph after previous winning performances in 1979 (New Zealand) and 1988 (Sydney) - as a competitor.

Rush is the only person to have shared in all three achievements.

Rob Rush
Rob Rush

However, Rob's amazing ability to remain focused for so many decades had a firm footing with the family patriarch.

Jim Rush was also highly regarded, having represented Ipswich, Queensland and Australia in rifle shooting and football.

While his football career was cut short by the war, Jim's involvement with rifle shooting continued into his early seventies.

He represented Australia in the 1960s.

Jim passed away in 2015, leaving a remarkable legacy.

Australian shooting great Jim Rush
Australian shooting great Jim Rush

Born at his grandparent's house at Blackstone in 1921, he was described as a gentle man in all aspects of his life.

While he spent his working life underground, it was above ground where Jim became a rising football star.

As Jim's granddaughter and historian Melanie recalled, he played for Blackstone Rovers and captained the Ipswich team, winning the Tristram Shield.

Jim played for Queensland several times and was selected for the Australian team to play in South Africa.

The team made it as far as Perth before the tour was cancelled due to the war.

"By the time football matches resumed after the war, his interest had shifted firmly to rifle shooting,'' Melanie said.

That tradition was to continue for decades.

Jim's brother Joe also represented Queensland and Australia in rifle shooting in the 1960s.

The siblings worked together in the coalmines for many years.

Rob's sister Lyn was also a topshot, competing for her country in the early 1970s.

 

 

Ipswich and Australian baseballer Andrew Campbell. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Ipswich and Australian baseballer Andrew Campbell. Picture: Cordell Richardson

21. CAMPBELL family: Focused on putting Ipswich first

AS Andrew Campbell awaits a possible Tokyo Olympic dream, his family remains one of the most loyal in the city.

Andrew has endured pleasure and pain representing his country since his debut 2016 professional tournament in The Netherlands.

He's shared in the joy at having baseball reinstated as an Olympic sport and faced the torment of suffering appendicitis while overseas.

He had to be rushed to hospital for surgery on arriving home.

However, the 2019 City of Ipswich Sportsperson of the Year has never shirked the commitment needed.

The left-handed batter and right-handed thrower is still focused on making next year's Australian baseball team after the stop-start qualifying tournaments due to COVID.

The gym junkie gains strength from having shared in four consecutive Brisbane Bandits national league championship successes from the 2015/16 season.

Retaining his spot in the Australian team is high on the priorities of the former St Edmund's student who shared in the national under-19 team's silver medal success at the 2010 world junior championships.

Ipswich Musketeers life member and club president Jon Campbell. Picture: David Lems
Ipswich Musketeers life member and club president Jon Campbell. Picture: David Lems

Andrew's father Jon remains a constant source of inspiration as Ipswich Musketeers club president and a former A-Grade premiership-winning sportsman.

Having started as a player aged nine, Jon has served the club for more than 50 years.

The former second baseman played in five A-Grade grand finals, sharing in four consecutive Musketeers victories in the late 1980s.

He also represented Queensland for two years in the highly competitive Claxton Shield competition and was chosen to represent a national team against Japan.

Before becoming club president in 2014, Jon had a short stint on the Musketeers committee while coaching kids, senior and state junior teams.

He had earlier played A-Grade seriously until he was 36 before having a break then helping out the lower grade Musketeers teams.

The keen sportsman also won rugby league grand finals playing in the centres for Swifts in 1990 and 1991 - one against West End and the other against Brothers.

He played both sports every year until he was 21 when rugby league and baseball had more clear-cut winter-summer seasons than now.

Ipswich Musketeers pitcher and coach Lyndsey Campbell. Picture: Nathan Finch
Ipswich Musketeers pitcher and coach Lyndsey Campbell. Picture: Nathan Finch

Jon's daughter Lyndsey is doing some great work developing women's baseball.

She oversaw two current Ipswich Musketeers women's teams in the just completed Greater Brisbane League competition.

Musketeers Red lost the grand final to Southern Stars after Lyndsey guided an Ipswich team to grand final glory in the previous season.

TOMORROW: The countdown continues. See which families are next on the list.