26 June, 2021
Footy enthusiast given ticket to Origin
Viv Johnson loves the footy, so when she was given a late ticket to the origin, she jumped at it.
TO say Viv Johnson is a football enthusiast is an understatement.
She has travelled overseas five times to watch the Kangaroos on tour and her car is littered with Broncos’ merchandise.
She is an avid supporter of the Barcaldine Sandgoannas and sponsors both the seniors and juniors every week through personal donations.
So, when she got the news that Peter Garland, another sponsor of the team, through PJ Garland and Sons Builders, was giving her a ticket to the State of Origin she said she nearly jumped out of her skin.
“When I got a ticket to go, I jumped and I said ‘right, I’m going,’ when I went to take the car, my husband said “where are you going?” I said to Townsville for the football,” said Ms Johnson.
Mr Garland said a friend of his supplied him with the two tickets the night before the game.
“I thought at the time, it’s very late notice who am I going to give the second ticket to,” he said.
“I only had one spare ticket, and I’ve got three sons, and I thought, and well I can’t just take one and leave two at home; there’d be a blue.
“So, straight away I thought, why not take the greatest rugby league support in the Central West, which is Vivvy.”
Mr Garland picked up Ms Johnson the next morning and they were off on a road trip to Townsville.
Along the way they stopped for beers at Torrens Creek and then once they arrived at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, they were interviewed by the ABC.
“It was a good night despite the heavy loss,” Mr Garland said.
Ms Johnson was not happy with the home side’s performance.
“It was a shocking bloody game,” she said.
“We could provide, in an under 17s team here and juniors from around our district, the players to flog the a**e out of them.”
Mr Garland said while the scoreline may not have reflected it, the crowd’s atmosphere was electric.
“I think that stadium in Townsville is fantastic, we need to get more football back into the bush,” he said.
“I think we’ve been let down a little bit there.
“I think rugby league is a very big part of socialisation in the country areas; it’s the number one sport for most kids to play.
“It’s ground for them, the mateship and the comradery; it’s a part of the social structure of these towns.”
Nonetheless, Mr Garland is happy to see the Central West Rugby still holding.
“I think it’s a credit to her and supporting the sport the way that she does and the passion she has for rugby league, she turns up every week to support her team and her grandsons,” he said.
“That commitment gets passed down to the younger generations when they see the older people that passionate.
“I think it’s great.”