O’Rourke – Matthews Trophy

The O’Rourke – Matthews Trophy is played between rivals Rye and Dromana each year. It honors two outstanding servants of the respective clubs. Mick O’Rourke (Rye) and Colin Matthews (Dromana). The winner of the clubs 1st round clash, wins the rights to the have the trophy remain in their rooms, until they meet again the following season.

The inaugural year that the trophy was first played for, was 2011. The game played at Dromana, and with Mick O’Rourke in a wheelchair watching from the sidelines due to a foot operation, that nearly took his life, he witnessed the Rye boys come from behind victory, winning by 9 points. After being 17 points down at 3/4 time.  The clubs theme song, has rarely been sung with so much emotion and gusto in a home and away game in the clubs history.

Two legends of their respective clubs, Mick O’Rourke is still the Rye Football Clubs President, he played 342 club games  (113 senior), played in 1 senior premiership and 7 reserves premierships, 3 as a player and 4 as Captain Coach, won two reserves best and fairest awards. However maybe his greatest and longest achievement of all, his the “Footy Trips”.  Mick had been on 55 consecutive Rye Football Club trips away, from 1964 to 2019, only the Covid 19 restrictions that stopped all travelling in 2020, stopped him going on his 56th. On the field, Mick was a tough, uncompromising back pocket / half back player, who would put his body on the line each week, bleeding red and blue blood. A player who never took a backward step on the ground and in later years as a coach of the reserves, was regarded as one of the best coaches of his time and his record of finals appearances and premierships as coach, is outstanding. He played his last game at 46 years of age in the reserves in 1993, after being retired since 1984, to help out the young reserves players, as they were a few men short. What a legend. Mick was also Vice President of the club for 21 years before becoming President, still helps out as a Tribunal Delegate and is on the Rye Sport and Social Club committee.

Colin Matthews who passed away in 2016, was an outstand contributor to the Dromana Senior Football Club. Colin played 260 senior games at Dromana and was a member of their 1971 premiership and vice captain. He also was a playing coach of their reserves teams in years to come. Over the years at Droman, Colin held official titles as Social President, Senior Vice President, Committeeman, League Delegate, Tribunal Delegate, Football Manager, and in his later years Club Historian. Colin was also awarded in 2011 his 50 years of service to football award by the VCFL.

These two champions go all the way back to 1961, when both Rye and Dromana Under 17’s never had the numbers to fill a full side themselves, the two clubs combined for that year in the Under 17’s and played under the Rye – Dromana banner. The combined side was runner up that year. Colin then went onto to play in the seniors at Dromana the very next year in 1962. He became the backbone of the side for the next two decades. A determined, courageous, tough but fair player, he two never took a backwood step.

Two outstanding men, whose names will live on year after year, as the clubs go into battle for the O’Rourke – Matthews Trophy.

The ledger stands in Dromana’s favor, with Rye 3 wins, 2011, 2012, 2015, Dromana 5  , 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018.