Bloods build for Graeme Wright Cup match against Sandhurst

The late Graeme Wright. South Bendigo and Sandhurst will battle for the cup named in his honour later this month.
The late Graeme Wright. South Bendigo and Sandhurst will battle for the cup named in his honour later this month.

SOUTH Bendigo is super keen to down traditional rivals Sandhurst in the upcoming BFNL Graeme Wright Cup match later this month.

The Bloods are determined to underline this season’s improvement with a victory over the Dragons at the QEO on May 27.

The Graeme Wright Memorial Cup is an annual fixture between the clubs, but some South followers believe the edge has fallen away in recent seasons.

“It’s the most important event between us and Sandhurst and should rate as one of the biggest games on each season’s fixture for both clubs,” a South official said.

“Now is the time to really bolster its importance.”

Wright played his first senior game for the Bloods in 1977. He went on to play 138 senior games for South, mainly as a key defender.

He was just 23 and club captain when he first coached South’s senior team in the last half of 1982 and again took the reins in 1983.

He again coached the Bloods in 1986, represented the BFNL several times and also coached the Blue and Gold inter-league side twice.

His playing career was cut short in 1986 after he suffered a serious knee injury.

“The injury may have stopped Graeme from playing, but not from being involved with footy. He was the senior runner to Peter Bradbury in 1990 and 1991 premiership years and was assistant coach to Peter Curran when South won the 1993 flag,” the Bloods’ spokesman said.

But Wright’s involvement wasn’t just concentrated on the club’s senior side.

He not only coached South’s under-18 side, but also was heavily involved with the Bloods’ juniors.

“Graeme’s contribution to South Bendigo was enormous, with many people associated with our club still firmly believing he was integral to our phenomenal success in the early to mid-Nineties,” the spokesman said.

Wright died on February 10, 1998, four years after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

He was a driving force behind the construction of the club’s social rooms at the QEO and is a life member of the Bloods.

“This year marks the 20th season that South and Sandhurst battle it out for the Cup and a lot of Graeme’s family and former teammates will be present at the QEO to cheer the Bloods on,” the spokesman said.

Former South players, committee people and supporters from both clubs are encouraged to go up to the social rooms after the matches and have a look at Wright’s picture on the wall.