Tuxford Park oval renamed to recognise Shortland local Bob Palmer’s contribution to community

25 Jun 2021

City of Newcastle has re-named Shortland’s Tuxford Oval Number One as ‘Bob Palmer Oval’ in honour of Robert ‘Bob’ Palmer’s incredible contribution to Shortland, the Shortland Devils RLFC and to local Rugby League.

On 12 December last year, Mr Palmer was killed in his beloved suburb of Shortland leading to an outpouring of grief from the local community.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the renaming of the Oval was in response to a request from many people in the community to honour Mr Palmer’s lifelong commitment to the Shortland Community, and to the Shortland Devils RLFC.

“The death of Bob Palmer in 2020 saw the entire Shortland community and many people across the entire City, grieve his tragic loss, and the senseless circumstances which sadly cut his life short,” Cr Nelmes said.

“We have worked with Shortland Devils Rugby League Committee and Bob’s family to make sure Bob’s legacy as ‘Mr Shorty’ is commemorated at Tuxford Park in perpetuity.”

Mr Palmer’s daughter Mollie Palmer said the renaming of the Oval was a special gesture that was proudly welcomed by his family.

“He is sadly missed by all who were fortunate to have him as a part of their lives. Our family has great pride in the legacy he has left at the Football Club and in the Shortland community,” Ms Palmer said.

The Shortland Devils Rugby League Football Club, Mr Palmer’s family and wider community will come together on Old Boys on Saturday for a special ceremony held at 2.45pm to dedicate the ground.

President of the Shortland Devils Rugby League Football Club, Brock Johnson said the renaming of the Oval was a fitting tribute for a man who gave countless hours over many years to his beloved rugby league club.

“It is with great pride that we will officially unveil the signage for Bob Palmer Oval on our Old Boys Day,” Mr Johnson said.

“Robert “Bobby” Palmer was an extremely special member of our club, and the greater Shortland community. Bobby was and shall remain one of the true legends of Shortland.

“Bobby’s involvement in our club extends back to the 70s when he first began playing junior footy for the Devils. He continued all the way through to his passing in many different capacities.

“Bobby was passionate about our club and donated countless hours to his beloved Devils marking lines, mowing the fields, cooking barbecues, running water, coaching and time keeping.

“Bob was a stalwart of the Club and has made such an immense contribution to not only rugby league but the wider community. We are proud to keep his memory alive through this tribute.”