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Sabournes at heart of HBL

The Sabournes swear that if you cut them in half, they will bleed maroon and gold.

The Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault royal family are everywhere on game day — on the field, by the boundary, in the kitchen, behind the bar and at the bar in Ray Sabourne’s case.

Ray this month received a life membership after more than half a century of service at the club.

The Lions stalwart said his love for HBL would never die and he was proud of the next generation of volunteers and players rising through the ranks.

“I have got far more back from this club than what I could have ever put in,” Ray said.

It’s a family to me and it’s just part of who we are.

While Ray thinks of everyone at HBL as “family”, his own tribe makeup a hefty part of the club.

Ray and Jenny Sabourne are HBL stalwarts.
Camera IconRay and Jenny Sabourne are HBL stalwarts. Credit: Pictures: Briana Fiore

His wife Jenny runs the canteen, his son Anthony runs the bar, his son Shannon captains the reserves team, his other son Jonathon vice-captains the league team and his daughter Jessica helps out with functions and events.

It really is a family affair with the Sabournes.

Jenny said she was proud of all her children and their contribution to the club.

“They all help out in their own way,” Jenny said.

That’s what keeps the club alive, the next generation taking over the reins.

Jenny said the club had been in her blood since she met Ray.

Ray would train at the HBL oval while Jenny would attend girl scouts. The pair hit it off and have built a life around “friends, family and flags”.

When Jenny is not sitting by the boundary wrapped from head-to-toe in HBL beanies, blankets and scarves, the “kitchen witch” — as they call her — can be found cooking a mean chicken parmy.

Jenny Sabourne aka the 'kitchen witch' says the players love their chicken parmies.
Camera IconJenny Sabourne aka the ‘kitchen witch’ says the players love their chicken parmies.

The players love those steaks and chicken parmies.

The committed clubman is always sporting his proud HBL polo with a smile on his face that highlights just how loyal he is to his Lions.

I’ve known no different, this is my second home.

Then there’s Shannon, the captain that leads through actions over words. He has guided his men to three flags and is a grounded senior head at the club.

Anthony is the HBL bar manager and Shannon is the reserves captain.
Camera IconAnthony is the HBL bar manager and Shannon is the reserves captain.

League vice-captain Jonathon is a bit of a miracle story.

The talented wingman has bounced back from two ACL injuries to keep his spot in the all-star line-up.

Jonathon is approaching the 100-game milestone.

Last but not least is Jessica, who helps prepare for game day, pack away after the game, then set up functions before helping to pack them all away again.

Country football clubs would cease to exist without volunteers like the Sabourne family — while sport is said to be the backbone of the community, volunteers will always be the backbone of sport.

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