DAVE Elvy has become the latest person to join the ranks of Bathurst Panthers’ life members after receiving the honour at the club’s recent presentation night.
Elvy’s contributions on the field were massive, leading the club as a two-time Group 10 premier league winning captain-coach of 2006 and 2007, but it’s also his work on the sidelines that has made an impact.
The former Penrith Panthers National Rugby League player also coached the Bathurst Panthers league tag team to back-to-back crowns in 2013 and 2014.
“It was a bit of a shock. I wasn’t expecting it. I’ve been here 15 years and I’ve had some great help over that time and made a lot of great friends,” Elvy said.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in seven grand finals for Panthers and it’s led on to rep coaching in the region as well.”
Elvy came over to Bathurst in 2002 to help prop up the Panthers midway through the season.
It was then at the end of that year that he was offered the chance to captain-coach the premier league team.
Through his tremendous workrate and passion for the club he helped Panthers become the first team since the Orange CYMS squad of 1987 and 88 to defend a title.
“That first win in 2006 was a great feeling. After losing the two grand finals before it was a big relief. Then to back that up in 2007 was amazing,” he said.
“There’s so many people I’ve received support from. Paul McDonald helped me a lot through the years, and funnily enough in his first year of coaching the team we won the competition. He likes to remind me of that.
“Another I’d thank if I could was [former Bathurst Panthers president] Peter Tobin. He was the one who talked me into coming here and was also the one who kept me in Bathurst.”
Along with his work at Panthers Elvy also coached the NSW Country Rugby League side between 2010 and 13, plus the Western Division team for a single season.
Elvy couldn’t be happier with his decision to stay in Bathurst, even if his move didn’t start off on the front foot.
“I actually got knocked out in my first game against Pat’s from the kick-off,” he said.
“At the end of the first year I was looking at potentially heading somewhere else.
“I had my chances to go to other places and could have gone back to Sydney, but I wasn’t a big fan of it. Having the chance to continue on at Panthers and the coach the team was great.
“You always need good supporting roles around you and a bit of understanding to help you get through. To everyone who has been there along the way for me I give my big thanks to them.”