2023 Queensland Football Hall of Fame – Warren Ledger

Warren Ledger was an outstanding player and coach in Queensland for more than 30 years, beginning inthe 1970’s after a knee injury as a teenager nearly stopped a wonderful career before it began.

Born and bred in Brisbane and a Morningside junior almost as soon as he could walk, he was bound for higher honours when he made his QAFL debut at 16 in 1976 under Gary Rasmussen. But a badly broken leg suffered in a horse riding accident changed his football journey.

It was an injury that saw Warren miss the entire 1977 season and forced his premature retirement at 24 in 1983. After major surgery in 1985 he made a comeback to play under close mate Barry Denny in 1987, but it was short-lived. Eventually he had to undergo a knee replacement in 2023 – his ninth different surgery – but not even his bad knee could stop him leaving an indelible and widely-varied mark on the game.

A wonderfully creative midfielder who always looked to have time on his side, he played 139 games with Morningside, including grand final losses in 1982-83, and won the club best and fairest in 1980 and 1982. He twice represented Queensland in 1982, including the Commonwealth Games Exhibition Match against the ACT at the Gabba that was played as a curtain-raiser to the AFL game between Carlton and Richmond, and played with St.Mary’s in the Darwin summer season in 1982-83.

In a varied coaching career thereafter, Warren took Sydney club Pennant Hills to the finals in 1984, was Assistant Coach and Reserves Coach at Mayne under Graeme Gellie in 1989-90 and was Assistant Coach at Morningside under Marty King in 1991-92, when they split consecutive grand finals with arch-rivals Southport. He also made another brief playing comeback in 1992 to help Moorooka to their first premiership.

He coached Springwood in 1993-94-95 and 1997 and, ever loyal to the red, white and black, took charge back at Morningside from 1998-2001, taking his old side to the grand final in 1998 and the preliminary final in 2000.

From 2002-06 he coached the Queensland Country side, notching a memorable win over Victorian Country in 2002, and in 2003-04 he was Assistant Coach under Mark Browning of a Queensland Under-18 side which produced AFL players Andrew Raines, Luke McGuane, Tom Williams, Brad Moran, Scott Harding, Wayde Mills, Cheynee Stiller, Lee Spurr, Will Hamill and Leigh Ryswyk.

Later he worked for more than 20 years in and around the football apparel industry and ran his own business helping to arrange prominent AFL guest speakers for fund-raising functions for local clubs.

In 2000 Morningside named their Team of Legends 1950-2000, and Warren was an automatic choice as one of the club’s all-time greats.

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