2023 Queensland Football Hall of Fame – David Bain

David Bain is the only person in football history to win the Sandover Medal, the Gardiner Medal and the Grogan Medal for the best player in the WAFL, the VFL and the QAFL, winning the Grogan Medal not once but twice.

Yet this unique achievement is only a small part of wonderful career that took the under-sized rover from Albany on the southern tip of Western Australia, all of 176cm and 67kg in his prime, to the Queensland Football Hall of Fame via East Perth, the Brisbane Bears, Fitzroy and Southport. All after he was the last player cut from the inaugural squad of the West Coast Eagles in 1987.

Courageous far beyond his size, a relentless competitor and a prolific ball-winner, he played four years and 72 games with East Perth in the WAFL from 1985-88. He won the Royals’ best and fairest and the Sandover Medal at 22 in his final season at East Perth and was drafted by the Bears with pick #16 in the 1988 AFL National Draft.

Twice a WA State of Origin representative, he played 86 games for the Bears from 1989-93, highlighted by a stunning 1990 season in which he shared the club B&F with Martin Leslie, finished equal fourth in the Brownlow Medal three votes behind the winner Tony Liberatore, and represented Australia in International Rules against Ireland. That after he had polled 11 votes in his debut season in 1989 to finish equal 12th.

He polled 36 Brownlow votes from 1989-92, a clear leader from captain Roger Merrett’s 25, but after an indifferent 1993 season he was traded to Fitzroy. There he played 12 AFL games with the battling club and 10 games in their VFL side – and won the Gardiner Medal.

He returned to Queensland for lifestyle reasons in 1995, beginning an extraordinary career with Southport. Playing 108 games in seven years (1995-2000), he won the Grogan Medal in 1995 and 1999, won the Southport best and fairest in 1995, and captained the Sharks to an extraordinary premiership quadrella in 1997-98-99-2000, which included an unbeaten season in ’99. In 2008 he was named captain of the Southport Team of 25 Years, celebrating the club’s first 25 years in the State’s premier competition, and was later inducted into the Southport Hall of Fame.

A marketing graduate, he returned to Perth post-football and established his own company as a licensed real estate conveyancer.

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