Club Patron Rupert McCall has ensured that FDNY Rescue 2, an elite force of New York firefighters and specialised rescue workers, can show their support for the Dolphins by personally delivering See Red shirts to the unit earlier in the year.
Rupert said that three members of Rescue 2 visited the Redcliffe Leagues Club a few years back to attend a wedding with him and immediately became Dolphins fans for life.
“My great friends James Dowdell of Rescue 2, and his brother Pat who has served two Tours of Duty as an American Platoon Leader, lost their father Kevin in 9/11. Liam Flaherty, the Captain of Rescue 2 joined James and Pat when they visited Redcliffe and a new passion for the Dolphins was born,” Rupert said.
Rupert’s connection to honouring victims of 9/11, including James and Pat’s father, is very personal. He first flew to New York to deliver his poem, A Firefighters Dream in 2010 addressing thousands of people gathered in memory of the emergency service workers who lost their lives responding to the disaster.
“It was my greatest honour to recite for the FDNY and pay tribute to the 343 fallen firefighters of 9/11,” Rupert reflected.
Rupert is not the only Dolphins connection to honour the victims of the attacks. For the first time since its inception over a decade ago, the annual 9/11 Memorial rugby league match between the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the Queensland Police Service was played in New York last week.
Among those who travelled to take part in the event was former Dolphins and NRL player, now Queensland Firefighter and son of the late Peter Leis, Trent Leis.
Previously contested at grounds around Brisbane including Dolphin Stadium, this year firefighters and police officers travelled to Brooklyn to play at the Aviator Sports and Events Centre before marching in the September 11 parade dressed in full uniform with American counterparts.