CYMS rugby league and cricket clubs have been left homeless and seeking sponsorship money with the closure of their spiritual home, Kelly’s Rugby Hotel.
It was announced on Monday the pub would shut once new owners take over from next Monday.
The Lords Place pub has been the only home both leading sporting teams have known since they started.
Officials from both clubs began removing their honour boards and memorabilia from the pub walls on Tuesday as the end of their long association with the hotel draws near.
Rugby league club president Dave Penny said it was a hard time for the club.
“In a word, devastated. Everyone loved going to Kelly’s, it was so convenient to Wade Park,” he said.
Whoever can give us the best sponsorship, that’s where we’ll go.Dave Penny, Orange CYMS rugby league club president
He said the club held all its functions at the hotel, ranging from after-match presentations on Sundays to the regular meat raffle and Old Boy’s draw on Fridays.
“That’s why it’s such a shock for everyone,” he said.
And there’s a big financial hit for CYMS.
“They were probably 20 per cent of our sponsorship, coming from Kelly’s,” he said.
Penny said the club was now talking with other venues in Orange to find a replacement home.
“We’re hoping for pubs or clubs. Whoever can give us the best sponsorship, that’s where we’ll go,” he said.
“We’re open to all offers. We’ve spoken to a few venues.”
CYMS cricket club president Gerard Hannelly said the club would be moving to the Robin Hood Hotel.
“We’ll have our final presentation at Kelly’s on Saturday and after that we’ll move to the Robin Hood,” he said.
“Kelly’s has been our main sponsor for 74 years,” he said.
“Obviously it was a big shock to all of us.”
Hannelly said generations of CYMS cricketers had been going to Kelly’s and it would be sorely missed.
He said the club held everything from selection meetings to the annual trivia night and Christmas party at the hotel.
Hannelly said the club had come to an arrangement where they would continue to wear their Kelly’s-sponsored clothing for the rest of this season with funding from Kelly’s and the Robin Hood hotels.
“We’ve agreed to go [with the Robin Hood] for the year to begin with,” he said.
“We’ve just got to get through this season first. We’ve had to make a rapid decision.
“It’s got to work for both sides.”
Hannelly said it would cost about $15,000 to replace all the training and playing gear but he said they had been planning on doing it anyway with next season being their 75th year.
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