Book release celebrates Gorillas’ 70th year

Saturday is a massive day for the Wilston Grange footy club.

They take on Mt Gravatt, in a must win game to make the top three in the QAFL, and they celebrate the 70 year anniversary of the club, with the release of ‘Inside the Gorillas Den,’ a book that recounts the last seven decades of the clubs history.

Across that time, the club was pretty much built from scratch.

“We started under someone’s house, and now we are one of the biggest clubs in Queensland, so it’s an amazing transformation,” President Brett Gillette said.

As it stands today, Wilston Grange is one of the premier clubs in Queensland, but it hasn’t been without its obstacles and challenges.

“Community sport is always a challenge. We have gone from being one of the premier clubs in the QAFL, to having to merge with Kedron, and then coming back out of that after five years, back into division four with only 30 juniors, to now having 350 juniors and 250 seniors. It is a real pat on the back to all those involved,” Gillett said.

He puts the position the club is in now to the efforts of everyone involved across the journey, not just those involved now.

“It comes from hard work, and the people you have got around your club who give their all, without them it’s just not possible,” he said.

The book itself has been in the works for over half a decade now.

It includes over 240 pages of tales and truths. From the on field activity, to the club champions, the administrators, and the characters that have made the den what it is today.

“This has been in the works for at least five years. We had a lot of our older statesmen getting older and passing away, so we decided to put all the clubs history together before it was too late,” Gillett said.  

“We were lucky enough to have John Telfer, who is a historian, start to put it together. He was the catalyst, and there has been a wealth of people since who have been working for over two years putting the finishing touches on it.”

Gillett says a win against Mt Gravatt on Saturday for the senior team would be the icing on the cake of what is set to be a great day for the club.

“It was be fantastic to be successful against Mt Gravatt, to lead into the finals, celebrating 70 years, it would be perfect,” he said.

For information on the day and how to purchase a copy of the book, head to

By Andrew Wiles@andrewjwiles

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