Folkes tribute planned at Bulldogs game
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs are organising a tribute to former coach and player, Steve Folkes, as part of their first home game of 2018 Telstra Premiership season against the Penrith Panthers on Friday night.
But even more importantly, the club is after a lasting memorial to the 59-year-old Folkes, who died of a heart attack on February 27.
Some of the suggestions include a players' award at the end-of-season awards night, or a grandstand named in his honour.
"We're still looking at ways we can acknowledge Steve's amazing contribution to the club," chief executive Andrew Hill told NRL.com.
"We have a number of ideas, or options, so we'll work with the board on how we get that done."
Talks are underway with various parties, including the Folkes family, to find the appropriate dedication to the man who is one of only two to win premierships for the Bulldogs as both player and coach.
The other to complete that double, former Test coach Chris Anderson who is also now a board member of the football club, will be in the stands on Friday night.
The pair are brothers-in-law. Folkes married Karen Moore and Anderson married Lynne Moore - the two sisters and daughters of former club patriarch, Peter ''Bullfrog'' Moore.
Lynne Anderson is now CEO of the club, which her father led for 26 years (1969-95).
Friday's round three match is the first time the Bulldogs have played at ANZ Stadium in 2018 after their opening round match against Melbourne in Perth and then the round two clash with the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium.
Hill will be speaking with his counterpart at Penrith, Brian Fletcher, ahead of the game to fill him in on some of the half-time tribute details.
"It will be respectful, and a great way for our fans to have that final farewell in conjunction with the earlier funeral service at Belmore," he said.
Part of the presentation will be to acknowledge Folkes' children, Hayley and Daniel. They lost their mother, Karen, five years ago to cancer.
"As part of Friday night we will deliver to them all of the fans and other public messages that have been written on our website and tribute pages," Hill said.
The Bulldogs club has invited all the Folkes family and friends to be their guests at ANZ Stadium.
Match: Bulldogs vs Panthers
Venue: ANZ Stadium
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Originally the club was thinking of a 30-minute dedication before kick-off.
But then the memorial service at Belmore Oval on March 5 had been such a success, there were concerns that should be left as the major tribute as it was in the perfect place for Folkes to be formally remembered.
So now it will be an eight-minute package during halftime on Friday night, with two great colleagues of Folkes - Graeme Hughes as the master of ceremonies and Terry Lamb as the other speaker - to officiate.
There will be a short video tribute on Folkes' remarkable career as both player and coach at the club.
It seems appropriate that the Panthers is the opposition for the first home game at ANZ Stadium since the club's football manager Phil Gould has a strong connection with Belmore being a premiership-winning coach in 1988 - then aged 30 becoming the youngest coach to do so.
Gould won 29 of his 47 matches in charge of the first grade team during 1988-89. He also scored three tries in his 36 appearances as a player (1983-85).
There will be a minute's silence by players from both teams before the start of the game.