A hugely-respected businessman and football visionary who played a pivotal role in the establishment of AFL football in Queensland via the Brisbane Bears in 1987, and the club’s relocation from the Gold Coast to Brisbane in 1993. Originally from Melbourne, he moved north in 1976 to become a State team sponsor, State selector and QAFL executive member, and was among the selectors who in 1984 first picked an untried Jason Dunstall in the Queensland side, helping to set the future Hawthorn champion on the path to greatest.
A staunch Coorparoo man, he was the architect of a plan which ultimately secured a Queensland AFL license for a joint QAFL/Paul Cronin syndicate in 1986, and later served as an influential Deputy Chairman of the Brisbane Bears/Lions. Born to a working class family in Melbourne, he was a standout junior sportsman, representing Victorian schoolboys in cricket and football, and was vice-captain of the VFL U19s. With a few extra centimeters, he would most probably have played League football at Hawthorn, where he shared a premiership in the U17s, captained the U19 and worked as assistant football secretary.
He later played with Waverley in the VFA and coached Hawthorn Amateurs, kicking 100 goals in a season at full forward. Also won a premiership as captain coach at Wattle Park, now known as StLeo’s. A market leader in the motor vehicle industry in Queensland after his move, he formed Alan Piper Motors in 1978, later to become
Sadly, as the club he helped to establish grew in strength his health declined, and ultimately a four-year battle with cancer would deny him the chance to see his club win their first flag in 2001. As the inevitable approached, he was awarded Life Membership in his hospital bed in recognition of his massive contribution. He died on 11 April 2001, aged 55 and wearing his Lions tracksuit. He was buried six days later wearing his match day uniform – a club blazer, shirt and tie, slacks and shoes. A Lion to the very end.
the A.P.Group Limited and Eagers Holdings before a merger with Eagers to form A.P.Eagers. A man of great business acumen and enormous principle, he always believed the Bears should have been based at the Gabba, and worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help engineer the eventual relocation.