International Football Club Stanthorpe is heading towards its 60th anniversary.

International Football Club Stanthorpe celebrates its 60th anniversary.

By Juliano Oliveira

International Football Club Stanthorpe is heading towards its 60th anniversary. Tradition and talent have walked side-by-side throughout the institution, representing the most popular sport worldwide in the Southern Down Region.

From a glorious age of titles and achievements in the 70s to a new modern society still staggering under the Covid-19 burst, it is time to look ahead and celebrate history with a reunion dinner on Saturday, 30 October.

Past and present members will share their contributions to football and the Stanthorpe region. Glories and memories in and out of the field will be retold in a night never to be forgotten.

Livio Favero, life member and patron of International Football Club Stanthorpe, praises the institution’s importance for the community.

“The club is essential for our community. It provides an outlet for very young kids to have a sport where they can play in a good environment,” Mr Favero says.

“…and look, I must say that some of my best teenage years were playing football. My debut for the club would have been in 1965 or 1966.”

A skilful centre forward who loved scoring goals and having the ball at his feet. This is how Mr Favero described himself back to the golden times, which encompasses the Premiership victory.

“I think it was 1972. We were quite a very successful club back in those days, in the late 60s, 70s and early 80s. We had such a great camaraderie and culture at the club,” he remembers.

“We did have a good culture at the club. We had great support from the International Club itself. And we had some very, very strong supporters that stood by us.”

With over 100 members, the club is still sifting new talent for the fields. “We start from under-sixes, going through to the senior side. And some age groups are struggling as most clubs are struggling a little for numbers in certain age groups,” Mr Favero says.

In a city with over 5,000 residents, the next Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, or Neymar might be expecting a chance to be discovered by the International Football Club. However, if you come across Mr Favero, do not bring up these names. His memories go back to a different time when football would favour technique over strength.

“I used to watch a lot of English football back in those days. I liked Pele [Brazilian player], but my idol was George Best [Northern Irish player who spent most of his career at Manchester United].”