Rugby football was played in Manilla from the late 1890s and the game was played across the Manilla District by several active clubs for close to 20 years, with several Manilla players being selected for Regional and State competition teams.
1917 saw football legend H.H. (Dally) Messenger come to Manilla to take up the licence of the Royal Hotel. He had switched to the new code of Rugby League football at the end of his illustrious career and soon after his arrival in Manilla, introduced the new code to our local Union stalwarts. Dally M. was instrumental in the formation of the Manilla Tigers Football Club which continues today, more than a century later. Excellence in performance of the game of Rugby League is celebrated annually by NSW Rugby League in the form of the Dally M Awards. In 2017 The Men of League (Manilla Sub-Branch) commissioned a commemorative panel for display on the Royal Hotel exterior, honouring Mr Messenger's contribution to the town. The Messenger family attended for the unveiling.
Commemorative Panel - Royal Hotel Manilla
Back row: Reg McMillan (Mgr); Eddie Hatch; John Bennett; Isaac Fowler; Ivan (Bo) Bennett; Cecil Bull (Coach); Jack Stanford; Jim Browning.
Front row: Max Fletcher; Leon Orchard; Don Foss; Michael Blair (Ballboy); Bill McGregor; Barry Condon; Don Cotton.
Sitting: Tony Bull & John O'Mullane (Mascots)
MANILLA TIGERS 1954
HISTORY of MANILLA N.S.W.