Don Smith


A champion centre half back from the Sunshine Coast who played 300 games for Sandgate from 1970-84 and was named in the key defensive post in the Queensland Team of the Century.

As tough as they come, and tougher still, he was an All-Australian Under-15 Schoolboys selection in 1968, won the Grogan Medal as a 20-year-old in 1973 and again in ’79. He played a key role in Sandgate premiership triumphs in 1970-71-74-79, and was a member of losing grand final sides in 1972-73-76.

A seven-time club B&F winner during a golden era for the Hawks, he also played 21 State games despite some early indifference to representative football.

Such was his talent as a youngster he was pursued by several AFL clubs. He once trialled with Collingwood and was on the verge of winning a contract with the power club before rejecting Melbourne’s inclement weather.

After putting his stellar QAFL career behind him he was senior captain-coach of Nambour from 1985-88 where he played 70 games. And in 1992, his thirst for football still not sated, he gained All-Australian selection in the over 35’s Super Rules.

A junior coach with the new Coolum Beach Football Club in 2007-08, he was honoured for a long time by the Brisbane Lions when the club presented the Don Smith Most Professional Player Award in his honour. A special honour for a special player.

Don was inducted to the Queensland Football Hall of Fame in 2008 and was elevated to Legend status in 2023.

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