Bruce Andrew

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A Victorian, who in his role with the Australian National Football Council, spent many winter months living in Queensland in the 1950s and 60s. He first came to Queensland in 1949 to set up and plan for the All Australian Championships to be held in Brisbane for the first time in 1950. His impact was to be significant with some monumental shifts in the way the game was promoted and developed. With Kevin Crathern, he was instrumental in the securing the land that has become home of AFL Cairns and a stadium that hosts AFL matches and Test Cricket.

The local QANFL Football Record became a professional publication, coach education was undertaken, and school promotion was a priority under his leadership. He argued for the introduction of District Football so clubs could control their own grounds and provide quality facilities. He established a blue print for the code that included the establishment of a Board of Management and the appointment of an Advisory Board.

Under his guidance Queensland was the first state to adopt this structure. All other major leagues soon followed. His drive and passion saw him establish relationships quickly within the school system and the various tiers of government. In particular with the Brisbane City Council where he advocated for more land for the development of Australian football clubs and insisted on the Council changing its policy of annual leases to long term leases, so that clubs could develop district grounds with confidence in the future.

He was largely responsible for the introduction of the successful innovation of Sunday football, well before the other codes. The lease for Sandgate’s early home at Albury Oval, Deagon was secured through his advocacy. He took great pride in his association with Queensland and was thrilled when he survived to see the fruits of his blue print with the first Brisbane Lions premiership in 2001.

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