75 years of hatred: Manly celebrate incredible milestone
Cliff Lyons describes having a flag bearing his name and image flying across the northern beaches as 'the same feeling as running out for Manly'.
Fellow Sea Eagles legends including Ken Arthurson and Max Krilich were on hand to launch Manly's walk of fame as part of the club's 75th season celebrations on Tuesday afternoon. The northern beaches iconic foreshore - from Manly to Queenscliff Surf Clubs and along the North Steyne promenade will feature flags celebrating the history of the club.
The 68 players who wore the Manly jersey for 100 or more matches will be honoured. Eight banners acknowledging the club's premiership success will also be flown.
"I'm thrilled about it and it looks awesome," Lyons said. "The hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It makes you so proud. It's certainly it's a great club. I fell in love with the joint as soon as I came here.
"I feel like my career has been a never-ending story. Even though I played at another club, I've been here for most of my life. I know how the likes of the Trbojevic boys feel.
"It's a special club."
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Manly have had some memorable jumpers over the years with Lyons featuring in two of the five strips - 1987 and 1995 - selected by our expert panel as the Sea Eagles' best in our campaign to find every NRL club's best jersey.
The first Sea Eagles player to reach the 100 game milestone Gordon Willoughby will feature alongside the likes of Lyons, the most capped Sea Eagle with 309 games, right through to the most recent being prop Marty Taupau.
A ninth flag will carry the names of the 623 players who have played a first grade game for the Sea Eagles with their membership catchcry of "leave your legacy".
Manly chief executive Stephen Humphreys said the walk of fame was just one element of what is planned this year.
"We were thinking through a whole range of options to celebrate our 75th year in the top grade," Humphreys said. "We were thinking about iconic moments, iconic venues and achievements. From that brainstorming we settled on Manly Beach front as the image people think about when they think of Manly. It's ours. We are fortunate to have such a fantastic location in our district.
"We wanted to mark our territory and dominate that iconic space. Thousands of people that make that walk from Queenscliff to Manly will see the players. We have the eight premiership successes in the central area right opposite Manly Corso. We will encourage our fans to get down there.
"We have plans also put up flags in other spots as we get further into the year right across the northern beaches."
The banners should remain up for at least a month. The Sea Eagles are planning a range of events this year to celebrate their milestone. A 10 year reunion for the 2011 premiership winning side is also in the works.
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Originally published as 75 years of hatred: Manly celebrate incredible milestone