League legend to get the after-party started
RUGBY league and horse racing are sporting institutions here in the Clarence, the Grafton Cup being the pinnacle event of the latter industry.
So why not wrap up our premier race day by hanging out with a legend of rugby league and his band for the Cup after-party.
Long-time fans of the Parramatta Eels will be familiar with their legendary winger Eric Grothe Snr who helped secure many a premiership for his team during the 1980s.
But what you may not know is that he's also pretty good at playing the music from that era.
"It's all the music I used to listen to when I was growing up and playing rugby league, in the 70s, 80s, 90s,” Grothe said.
Not only a master on the footy field, Grothe also knows his way around a guitar fretboard and after making their successful Clarence Valley debut at the Grafton District Services Club will be bringing his band back for a second show.
And what a night to do it.
While the boys might get out to the track on Cup Day to soak up the carnival atmosphere, their real goal is to ensure the party continues into the evening.
Grothe formed his first band with his two sons Eric Jnr and Daniel, the humorously titled Three Day Grothe, which was on the circuit for about five years before they went their separate ways.
"Eric and Dan got their own very successful band (Shinobi) and I started playing with guys my own age,” he said.
Music has always been a big part of Grothe's life.
"I've taken it with me the whole time. I've been playing since I was 10. I got a guitar that Christmas and taught myself by listening to records and trying to play it.
"It was hard to keep it going while I had a footy career going but once I retired I got back into it.”
Although these days Grothe is more likely to be holding a guitar than a football he said he enjoys the fact that his reputation on the footy field still precedes him.
"If fans know he is going to be in their town, they often bring some memorabilia along to the gigs and that's fine,” he said.
"It's still a buzz for me that people come up and want me to sign stuff or get a photo.
"There are lots of Parra supporters out there in country areas.”
Don't miss Eric Grothe and the Gurus at the Grafton District Services Club next Thursday night (July 13) after the Grafton Cup.