Football Queensland (FQ) and Football NSW are pleased to announce this Saturday’s massive back-to-back matches at the iconic Perry Park will be played for the Gibb-Masters Cup (Men) and the Watson-O’Connor Cup (Women) as the states reignite a long-running and storied rivalry.
The trophies have been named in honour of five legendary figures in Queensland, New South Wales and Australian footballing history.
Alex Gibb, who played for Bundamba Rangers among other clubs in Ipswich and Brisbane in the early 1900s, was Australia’s first international captain. He represented Australia in 1922 and 1923, and is officially recognised by Football Federation Australia as the owner of the national team’s no. 1 cap. Gibb and his son Lex, who also played for Australia, both represented Queensland at state level.
James “Judy” Masters served on the front line in Gallipoli and is a legend in the Illawarra/South Coast area in New South Wales, having the Balgownie club’s home ground named in his honour. He captained both New South Wales and Australia after being unable to take up his selection on Australia’s first tour to New Zealand due to business reasons.
Elaine Watson OAM served as team manager for the first ever Queensland state representative women’s side and as President of both the Queensland Women’s Soccer Association and the Australian Women’s Soccer Association. She has held numerous administrative, coaching and refereeing roles at every level of the game, becoming the dominant figure in women’s football in Queensland and Australia for many decades. Watson is sometimes referred to as the ‘matriarch’ of women’s football in Australia.
Pat and Joe O’Connor are names synonymous with women’s football in New South Wales. In 1974 Pat captained the first state side, which her husband Joe coached. They would then take the team representing Australia to the Asian Cup in Hong Kong the following year. Pat, like Gibb, Masters and Watson, is an FFA Hall of Famer.
FQ President Ben Richardson said the naming of the Gibb-Masters Cup and Watson-O’Connor Cup represented fitting tributes to acclaimed football people.
“Football Queensland is proud to join Football NSW in honouring these men and women who hold such important places in our respective histories,” Richardson said.
“As an organisation, we are committed to embracing our history and look forward to rekindling this great rivalry at Perry Park in front of a big crowd and some legends of our game.”
Sydney based football historian and author Greg Werner was delighted with the news that the Cups were to be named after influential football personalities from both states.
“This is a significant moment in the history of football in Australia,” Werner said.
“By reigniting a rivalry dating back to 1890 and recognising five huge names in the history of both New South Wales and Queensland football, we have taken a huge step in advancing the culture of our wonderful sport.
“Alex Gibb and Elaine Watson from Queensland, and James “Judy” Masters and Pat and Joe O’Connor have given more to our game than most of us can only dream of and now their names will be given a place worth fighting for.”