GAV'S A LOCAL LEGEND: Easts helper brings up milestone
LEAGUE: Every weekend at Salter Oval you might recognise Gav Chapman giving back to the club and game he loves.
Chapman is the water boy and kicking tee deliverer for Eastern Suburbs when they play in the A-grade in the Bundaberg Rugby League.
Rain, hail, shine, home or away, Chapman will be there making sure all players have the right equipment.
The 54-year-old this year brings up a special milestone as he celebrates 20 years in the role.
"Dave Pearce was coach of Easts in 1999 and Gav was hanging around the sheds,” Easts president Scott Sologinkin, speaking on behalf of Chapman, said.
"Chippy (Pearce) asked him if he wanted to come and help, he come in and the rest has been history.
"He comes to training every session over at Easts and helps with the water bottles.”
Chapman is literally part of the team as well with the helper getting approval to do what he does every week through the Bundaberg Rugby League and League Safe.
He's very important to the club.
"He really enjoys it and comes down to our away games,” Sologinkin said.
"He's usually the first on the bus and last off it.
"He loves being around a bunch of people.”
The club also appreciate what he does, year in, year out.
"Every year when we have our presentation the biggest cheers are for Gav when he gets his appreciation trophies,” Sologinkin said.
"He's been the main staple of the club.
"It's great having blokes, like Chapman, involved with the club, you see it means so much to them.”
Chapman, who is a man of few words, said he was a Magpies man through and through and that's why he got started.
He added the job makes him have a good time, love football, and gets him out of his house at the Endeavour Foundation in Bundy.
His favourite memories at the club over the 20 year period have been the grand final wins and watching his favourite player Anthony Evans play.
Chapman said he would continue to do the job for another 30 years if he can.
Sologinkin said Chapman's achievements not only gained the respect of Easts but the rest of the competition.
"Everyone says g'day and there's all positive from everyone, which is great,” he said.
Pearce, now Queensland Rugby League's Central Division operations manager, said everyone could learn a thing or two from him.
"As far as commitment goes, he certainly sets the example,” he said.
"Gav doesn't play the game but he services the club throughout the year and does whatever he is told to do. He is the perfect role model.”
You can see Chapman on Saturday when Easts play at Salter Oval.
The club is planning an event later this year to celebrate the milestone.