On the club’s 50 anniversary celebrations, a range of awards and recognitions were announced. These awards included the Awards of Distinction and Family Awards.

Awards of Distinction

The Awards of Distinction are for people who have made significant and lasting contribution to Byron Bay FC.

Debby Ginger

Debbie started as a supporter of the Club in the late 1970's to support her mates who were playing and remains one of our most dedicated supporters. But that’s not all: Debbie has also been a coach, a committee member, has run the canteen, been the hardest working fundraiser in the club’s history and a tireless event organiser.

In 1981 she was a princess in the Oleander Carnival as the representative for the Women's Hockey and Men's Soccer Clubs and managed to con the men into wearing dresses for a Mock Wedding to raise money for the town.

In 1982 Debbie played in the first competitive women's soccer team and scored the first goal for the team. She played for five years until she was injured in 1987 so turned to more fundraising and helped raise the money for the club’s first team, the senior women, to take an overseas trip to Hawaii though Debby didn’t play on that trip as she was a little pregnant.

Six years later Debby signed up Stevey Lee to the U6 Lions and was soon coach of not one, but two U6 teams as a second coach couldn't be found. Her fondest memory is that the Lions and Panthers always had a 0-0 draw and a post-game sausage sizzle at her house where the game continued in the yard.

In 1999, a junior girls comp started and Debbie got straight to work securing sponsors and had the pleasure of watching the girls play in a couple of grand finals on Oakes Oval. In 2001 Debby and her mum Flo took on the canteen and ran it for four years, raising more valuable funds in the process. Debby since has had other stints in the canteen.

Debby has been senior registrar and coached various other teams including in 2008 when she turned-up to watch a friend’s daughter but was soon back coaching the girls for a few more years. Two days after she took on that team her mum Flo passed away and many teams in the club wore a black arm band in respect for Flo.

In recognition of Debby’s contribution to Byron Bay FC, the Debby Ginger Perpetual Shield is awarded to the Female Club Person of the Year.

Chris Bourke

Chris coached at Byron Bay FC for 18 consecutive years from 1988 and returned again in 2012 after a small break. He has taken five teams to Grand Finals, winning three.

His efforts in developing playing and life skills of juniors is a benchmark in commitment. He has spent countless Saturdays picking up children to make sure they could get to the game before coaching and watching matches himself, particularly with his two sons.

Bourkey has held a variety of positions at the club from grounds coordinator and referee, to Director of Coaching, Gear Steward, junior delegate to BBJSA and Canteen coordinator.

In 1994, before the time of Microsoft Excel, Bourkey wrote the entire spreadsheet by hand for the U6s to U14s which included every ground and every kick-off time. It became a template on which the competition was based for several years.

In 1997 he coached the Women’s Dividion 3 team as coach – with his wife Shelly as manager – taking them to the Grand Final that season and through to first division in subsequent years. Shelley has also been involved with the Club as a canteen volunteer and canteen coordinator for several years and as a fundraiser for the club.

Daryl Thomas

One of the founding fathers in 1970 who took on coaching and managing teams – and every other job that was going – when Byron Bay FC was getting established, Darryl played a major role in instigating the Summerland Soccer Association.

Daryl played in the first senior team in 1973, he is a life member who created a legacy of sacrifice for the club and a commitment of good coaching. He even sacrificed his Saturday morning milk run just to coach the kids!

Joyce Dooley

In the early years people didn’t always have a designate role, they just did what was asked and no-one embodied this more than Joyce. She was a team manager, ran the canteen and was ground coordinator. Living across the road from the Byron Bay Memorial Recreation Grounds made Joyce the go to person and she was still custodian of the key to the lights up to 2005.

Graham Bird

Graham was our first professional coach. It’s said Mark Stewart moved training from the pub to the Rec Grounds and Graham continued the growth by turned the side into a proper squad. In the first year with the team he avoided relegation and in the next season he took them to the grand final. Graham was named Football Far North Coast Coach of the Year in 2002.

Peter Ware

Peter coached at Byron Bay FC with distinction for many years including six seasons at the helm of the Premier Division squad. Peter oversaw the club’s first Grand Final Championship in 2005 and first Pointscore Championship in 2006. He was won an ANZAC Cup as coach in 2007.

Awarded Football Far North Coast Coach of the Year for 2005 and 2006, Peter set-up the position of Director of Coaching and General Manager and became President of the FFNC Coaches Association.

Tony Dunesmore

Tony was Club President on numerous occasions and has held various committee positions along with coaching and playing.

Charlie Delvin

Charlie was Junior President and was instrumental in amalgamating the seniors and juniors in 1986. This move was critical in saving the seniors set them up to be promoted to Premier Division in 1990. Charlie had four sons and over the years he coached all four – sometimes all in the same year! He also played for the club for four years.

Kerry Northcott

No one gives the club more than Kerry. At the time of this award, Kerry had run the juniors for the previous five years and has also been Treasurer. She has been instrumental in raising the quality of coaching for juniors and if there is a chance to give the juniors more coaching, more opportunity, more gear or more encouragement then Kerry is up for it. She has secured various grants for Byron Bay FC and has even organised for our kids to participate in a Melbourne Heart A-League skills clinic run at Oakes oval. She does all this very quietly.

Family Awards

Families are the heart and soul of Byron Bay FC and every weekend the club helps creates life long memories for over 300 families. Of course, there are a few families that give more and the club strives to recognise their contributions.

The Eastern grandstand is named the Family Stand in honour of the following families with plaques plaque recognising each family that has contributed to Byron Bay FC over generations.

The Donnelly's

James (Jim), Rhonda, Mark, Scott and Sean are founding members and the family are all life members. Jim attended the first public meeting of the Byron Bay Youth Soccer Club and played in the first senior team in 1973. Mark, Scott and Sean all played in the 1970s U8 Penguins original junior team. Mark was a state representative and was the youngest player to gain Australian qualifications as a coach. At the time of this award he was assisting Byron Bay FC with the development of women's football. Mark lives on the Gold Coast but travelled down every week as part of the organising committee for the 50th anniversary celebrations. Scott travelled from Sydney to be with us at the 50th. Rhonda’s last wish was that her ashes be scattered on the Byron Bay Memorial Recreation Grounds which was done in 2012.


KB, Val Porter, Valmai Porter and Lachlan Baynes. Val was the first female coach at Byron Bay and ran the canteen. At the time of the award, Valmai was a Committee member and coordinated the referees. KB was assistant coach of juniors side U9 to U16 and is an original 1978 Ram, a premiership player, a life member and in 2013 coach our Men’s Division 5 team. Lachlan has been Junior Club Person of Year and currently plays in the Premier Reserves.


Graham has been manager of the Premier Division team including the 2005 and 2006 championships. Jenny has been on the committee for many years and coordinated the refs. Shaun played with distinction since U6s and was long-time captain of the Premier Division side, including leading the club to multiple championships and winning multiple selections in the FFNC Team of the Year. James has also played since U6s and is a premiership winner with Premier Division. The family business, Packham Electrical, has been a long term sponsor of the Club.