2023 Queensland Football Hall of Fame – David James

David James was a Southport great through the early 2000’s. He played 211 games in 11 years and was as good as anyone at the club through that era. And more than a decade on his legacy lives long and strong at Fankhauser Reserve.

Among the club stalwarts, the outer wing on the Sharks home ground at Musgrave Hill is still known as the “David James Wing” for very good reason. It’s where he played all the time, regardless of which direction the Sharks were kicking.

It was no accident. It was the outer side of the ground, furthest from the interchange area, so it meant he spent limited time on the bench. And, most importantly, it was the attacking side of the ground, where the breeze came from, so he was involved in the play more often.

Originally from Hastings on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, home of AFL Team of the Century member and Hall of Fame Legend John Coleman, James learned his football with the Hastings Blues. He played 90 senior games, won representative honors, and was close to his AFL dream when he spent the second half of the 1999 season with the Collingwood Reserves.

David was recruited by Southport football manager Gary Watts and headed north in 2003 for one year. Two at the absolute most, he insisted. But he quickly became part of a core group that was the heart and soul of a club devastated by the loss of club stalwart Billy Hardy in the Bali Bombings in October 2002.

An immediate success at the Sharks, he stayed until he hung up the boots at the end of 2013, and then stayed permanently, eventually moving to Caloundra in 2015 for work reasons.

Along the way he won three premierships in 2005-06-08, won the Southport best and fairest in 2004-06-08, and was runner-up three times. Significantly in a pointer to his sheer class, he won the Syd Guildford Trophy, the AFLQ Record Player of the Year, in the 2005-08 premiership years.

He represented Queensland in 2003-04-05 against ACT (twice) and WA, was inducted into the Southport Hall of Fame, and in 2008 was named in the Southport Team of 1983-2008, celebrating the club’s first 25 years in the State League.

Our Supporters