Forgotten Wests Tigers fans ‘Deprived of farewell’ to legends as club looks set for Leichhardt Oval switch


Wests Tigers just can’t take a trick at the moment and face a fresh backlash from fans in their forgotten catchment of the Macarthur region as reports surfaced they were moving their final round game from Bankwest Stadium to Leichhardt Oval.

The round 20 game against Parramatta will be a farewell for club legends Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence.

Lawrence is a one-club man who played and grew up in Campbelltown while Marshall made his magical debut for Wests Tigers way back in 2003 at Leumeah against Newcastle.

“…In honour of what is expected to be Marshall’s final game for the [Wests] Tigers, club officials will sacrifice ticket sales and corporate revenue from the larger venue to send the 35-year-old out at his beloved Leichhardt Oval, where he dazzled fans since his first game at the venue, ironically against the Eels in 2004,” Michael Chammas wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald.

“The Tigers have opened conversations with Bankwest Stadium officials, who have expressed a willingness to hand over the final-round fixture as a mark of respect to Marshall, with the NRL also on board with the mooted venue change.”

Leichhardt Oval has already hosted several games with fans allowed inside the venue but Campbelltown Stadium has not seen one NRL match in front of supporters in 2020.

Wests Tigers have played just two games at Campbelltown all season.

There was a short period where Sydney’s South West was considered a COVID-19 hot spot but that was some time ago.

The final round match at Leichhardt will be the club’s fourth game (third with crowds) there.

“What about Campbelltown Sports Stadium? last time i looked that area is part of the club. Leichhardt has had their 3 games already this season,” one fan asked on Twitter.

Another asked: “Why should members in Macarthur be deprived of farewelling both players?”

Marshall is expected to play on in 2021 but it will not be at Wests Tigers who have decided not to renew his contract for next season.

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