2023 Queensland Football Hall of Fame – Brad Edwards

Brad Edwards is an adopted favourite of Queensland football, a country boy from Western Australia who played with Fitzroy and the Brisbane Bears in the VFL before stamping himself as one of the all-time greats at Morningside.

Having grown up on a farm at Beverley in the WA Wheatbelt, two hours south-east of Perth, he was drafted from WAFL club Perth by Fitzroy with pick #17 in the 1988 AFL Draft, ahead of such AFL greats as Anthony Stevens, Michael Long, Chris Grant, Daryn Cresswell and Michael Sexton. He played six AFL games in his only season with Fitzroy, debuting in Rod Austin’s first game as senior coach.

After making his way to Brisbane via the 1989 Pre-Season Draft he played 10 AFL games under another first-time coach, Norm Dare, adding the 200th AFL game of Roger Merrett and Mark Williams to such prominent milestone games as Paul Roos’ 150th, Scott McIvor’s 100th and Shaun Hart’s debut.

After again finding himself de-listed, he was offered a further AFL lifeline when drafted by the West Coast Eagles in the 1990 Pre-Season Draft before fate intervened. For personal and employment reasons he chose to stay in Queensland and after an approach from Southport, accepted an offer from Morningside coach Marty King and football manager Gary Voss to join the Panthers.

As the saying goes, the rest is history. Brad became one of the Panthers’ all-time greats, playing 170 games with the club from 1991-98. He captained Morningside from 1993-96, won three best and fairest awards, was a key member of premiership sides in 1991-93-94, and played in three other grand finals in 1992-95-98. Arguably the most influential player in the competition in his prime, he also was The Courier Mail Player of the Year among a range of other individual awards.

A powerful 190cm, equally comfortable at centre half back or centre half forward, he played for Queensland 10 times in a representative career highlighted by the 1991 win over New South Wales at the Gabba, when he won the coveted Zane Taylor Medal as best afield in a game played as the curtain-raiser to the Queensland v Victoria ‘B’ State of Origin game.

Named at centre half forward in the Morningside Team of Legends 1950-2000, Brad was Morningside Reserves Coach in 2003-04, and in 2005-06 was Assistant Coach of a Queensland Under-18 side under the control of Craig McRae, later to coach Collingwood in the AFL. It was a side that produced more than 20 AFL draftees, including Kurt Tippett, David Armitage, Ricky Petterd, Jesse White, Brent Renouf, Lee Spurr, Shaun Hampson and Courtenay Dempsey. He later coached the Morningside Under 18s in 2018-19.

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