DANE Cordner played his first game for the Old Bar Pirates in more than a decade when he started off the bench for the Group Three Rugby League clash against Port Macquarie at Old Bar.
However, it will be a one-off. Dane and his cousin, Kurtis Dark, were playing in the memorial day for Joel Dark. Kurtis is Joel's older brother. The clash ended in the appropriate manner, with Dane scoring the last try of the match and this was converted by Kurtis. However, Old Bar were beaten 34-20 by the Sharks.
Dane, who lives in Newcastle, said he has no intention of returning to play footy here.
"We're here to honour Joel,'' he said.
"Bubba (Old Bar captain-coach Mick Henry) sowed the seed. He told us there were places for Kurtis and myself if we wanted to play. But I only found out late in the week that Kurtis was going to play.
''I'm not sure what Kurtis is going to do, whether or not he'll keep playing.''
Joel's mum and dad, Darrin and Narelle Dark, led the first grade side onto the field for the match and a minute's silence was observed, as it was before all Group Three first grade games last weekend in what was declared 'Joel Dark Memorial Round' by the group.
The big crowd also included Joel's cousin, Boyd Cordner, who presented the Old Bar players with their jumpers. Joel was playing for first grade for Central Newcastle last season when he died. Dane has also played for Central as did Kurtis and the club was strongly represented.
There were other family members there along with close friends of both Joel and the Dark/Cordner families.
"The rugby league community. Aren't they just great,'' Joel's mum Narelle said after the match.