Maitland Pickers represents a proud heritage of past Teams initially established in 1927. The current Pickers continue this legacy with a commitment to ensure Maitland remains one of the most well known Rugby League Towns in Country Rugby League. The Pumpkin Picker emblem remains at the fore front of a Club representing one of the largest Junior nurserys in Australia. This Junior nursery as well as the Clubs proud History and knowledge of representing one of the fastest growing communities in NSW requires an ongoing commitment and level of professionalism by all stakeholders to ensure the long term viability of this proud Club.
The Pumpkin Pickers birth in 1943 from the merging of Maitland United (who won premierships in 1933 and 1934) and Morpeth/East Maitland. The term Pumpkin Pickers started as a sarcastic reference to players bringing produce to sell at the markets, when they travelled by train to Newcastle. Thus a "History of working class men turning a term of derision into a badge of honour was born.
An era of dominance prevailed when Maitland played in seven consecutive Grand Finals from 1954-1960. Winning a hat trick of titles from 1956-1958 and were runner up in three. Cesnock defeated Maitland in 1954 and 1955 when floods ravaged the Town.
Internationals Frank Stanmore and Ian Johnson Captain/Coached the 54/55 teams respectively before Manly prop Fred Brown took over in 1956. Brown created history by guiding the Pickers to their first hat trick of titles before losing 13-12 to Northern Suburbs and 33-5 to Cessnock in the next two deciders.
Maitland would again re-emerge as a force in the 1970s having made the decider on five more consecutive years taking titles in 1969, 1971, 1973. Apart from revisiting the Grand Final in 1977 it would be 10 years between premierships with Maitland triumphant in 1983. There were many players throughout these and other years who displayed a courage and tenacity and a loyalty to Maitland which may never be seen in the same quantities again. This may however change with the uniting of the Rugby League community of Maitland committed to developing an ongoing culture and presence for the future, as well as honouring a heritage of times past. The following are a number of Maitland Players having gone on to represent Australia.
John Greaves Noel Pidding
Jimmy Morgan Don Adams
Terry Pannowitz David Trewella