Mention Bob Rivett’s name at Seymour Shaw during any home fixtures involving the Miranda Magpies in the Sutherland Shire Football Association and you know you’ve mentioned one of the most dedicated administrators and volunteers the club and region have ever seen.
The 74-year-old has lived and breathed the Magpies.
The upcoming 2020 football season will be Bob, whose real name is Robert’s, thirty-sixth year at the club such is his passion, devotion, and dedication to the Mighty Miranda Magpies.
“I first signed up for club membership with the Magpies in 1984 when my son started playing at the age of 4 – I have remained a member of the club ever since and hope to fulfill many more years to come watching the club continue to grow.
“Miranda Magpies have the honour of being the first ever club to join the Sutherland Shire Football Association at their inaugural meeting held way back in 1952 – its first team was called Miranda Cong who played in a three-team competition as far back as 1929.
“By 1968 the club had built its playing numbers to 500 players and in 2020 we have 950 and going strong.”
Having held various positions such as the club’s Vice President, coach, manager, canteen supervisor, uniform officer, Delegate to Sutherland Shire FA and the general match day manager, Rivett simply does it all and continues to do so.
Asked when he first fell in love with the ‘beautiful game’, it was thanks to some family friends that took a young Bob to various weekend football matches and the rest was history.
“My love and commitment to football goes back 68 years when as a 6-year-old I was a Ball Boy for an All Age team from Croydon in Sydney. My family had friends playing in the team and the players would take me to all their games on a Saturday afternoon.
“I personally started playing football at the age of 8 with a club from Concord. From there on I played for a few clubs in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, mainly in the Church Competitions as that was the only football leagues that were around in the 1950’s as very few districts had clubs for youth teams during that period.
“Major injuries and business commitments took over at the age of 30 and I changed my role as a footballer and turned my attentions to coaching and managing and to this day still operate in both these departments with the Miranda Magpies Senior Women’s A side.
“My love for football has always been in my blood and as many people know me, if you want to find me, I will be wherever a game of football involving the Magpies is played.
“There have been many high points in my many years as I have not only made friendships at Miranda but the wider football community on a whole.
“I also have great relationships with Football NSW and the staff who became more than just staff to me but great friends – I refer to Kim (Burge) and the late Larry Grant. I can recall I had many debates with Larry but I don’t think I won many, but I occasionally saw his other side. I found that Larry and Kim would only be too happy to help me where possible and for that I will never forget.”
A proud clubman, Rivett praised the hard-working volunteers and administrators for all their energy in getting the club to where it is today.
“The Miranda Magpies committee comprises of some 20 members today, all of which carry out their duties for the love of the game especially in what are challenging times, they all continue to promote the game we all love.
“Miranda is a very family focused club and we are always looking at success across all aspects of the game ensuring our members enjoy their experiences on a weekly basis.”
His amazing services to the game didn’t go unnoticed from up-top as the Sutherland Shire Football Association appointed Rivett onto its junior committee in 2003 and from then on was elected to the management and executive team for ten years before returning to the Magpies.
Thankfully for Rivett, the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic did not ruin his plan of seeing his mighty Magpies in action once more thanks to the ease of restrictions which has seen community football set for kick-off from July 1st.
It was touch and go for Bob as during the height of the virus lockdown, the absence of the game did hurt him.
“The COVID-19 lockdown did have a major impact on my life as I missed out on the weekly meetings and training sessions with the team and spent the weekends locked up at home isolated instead of watching and working at the club.
“I missed setting up for the weekend of football and seeing that everything was running smoothly for our players and visiting teams as well.
“It’s easy to understand how this tough period affected many people’s lives especially the aged who live on their own.
“The return to football brought a smile to my face, no doubt there will be challenges but we will be following all the regulations and will manage to get it done once more.”