A renowned big-game performer who played 289 games with Mayne and Coorparoo fromage 17 through until his mid 30s, tasting premiership and B&F success with both clubs and earning selection in the Queensland Team of the Century. A Zillmere junior after learning his early football at Geebung State School, he was an ever-competitive ruckman / key defender and was regarded as one of the most feared and intimidating figures of his time.
A standout junior, he won the Max Poulter Trophy as the best schoolboy player four years in a row, but lost a kidney after he captained the State schoolboys side to Perth in 1958 and gave the game away. Took up professional running and had a year as a senior boundary umpire before a protective guard allowed him to return to football in ’64. Was recruited by St Kilda in 1966, the year of the club’s only AFL premiership, and was chosen to play on the wing in Round 1 against Collingwood before being denied an interstate transfer.
Returned home to play in the Mayne premiership side of the same year, and switched from the Tigers to the Roos as captain-coach at the tender age of 24 in ’67, taking them to the 1968 premiership. Represented Queensland 16 times from 1965 through to the early 70s, captaining the State in 1971-72-73, and later played three years at Coolangatta before a serious knee injury sustained in a heavy fall after a marking contest with Bill Ryan ended his career.
Renowned for his bone-crunching shirt front tackles, he was one of the codes personalities whose speed, size and ruthlessness saw him labeled the ‘Captain Blood’ of QAFL football and generated great excitement among all supporters. Blessed with exceptional marking and long kicking skills to complement an extremely strong competitive drive and first-class leadership capabilities, he was sometimes labeled a hothead on the field but otherwise was a perfect gentleman.
Finished at Coorparoo as club president in the early 80s and died of cancer in November 2010.