Kev Kluver – The Keeper of the Flame

Kevin Kluver is one of the most well-known and popular football people in Queensland, and certainly is a well-known identity with the Western Magpies and Sherwood Football Clubs.

While Kevin has been associated with other clubs in Queensland he says he has always been ‘black and white’.

In fact, so ‘black and white’ that he has stepped into the breach to take the reins as President of the club at the AGM at the start of the year. Kevin says he is only filling in for a short time until a “more suitable” candidate takes over, but in the interim Kevin will lead the club in his usual indefatigable way.

Kevin is also the club’s unofficial historian and ‘keeper of the flame’. His font of knowledge about Sherwood, Western Districts and the Western Magpies is phenomenal and he also has a great deal of knowledge about Queensland football in general as well.

His recall of detail about the club and its players is legendary and he rarely misses a Western Magpies match.

His contribution to the club’s history, “In Black and White”, written by Tony and Geraldine Massey and published in 2011, was substantial.

Kevin has been involved in the Sherwood/Western Districts/Western Magpies Football Clubs for 59 years and 2016 will be his 60th year of impassioned involvement. Anyone who knows Kevin knows of his passion for the game in general, and for the game in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane.

Kevin’s footy involvement commenced in 1957 when he watched his older brother play at Western Districts, but when Sherwood Juniors formed in 1956 and fielded it’s first teams in 1957, he soon started playing as a 10 year old.

He played until he was 14 years old then decided to play rugby league with Souths-Graceville until he was 17 years old, but still went and watched the Sherwood teams play.

He returned to Australian Rules In 1966, playing for the Western Districts for two years before he joined Sherwood Seniors in 1968, where he played seniors until 1973 including the club’s first senior premiership in 1970.

Kluver then decided coaching was his caper, becoming the Captain-Coach of the Sherwood Reserves in 1974-75, and then in 1976 coached the club’s under 17 team to an undefeated premiership.

He put his hand up to coach the Sherwood Firsts team in 1977 but the club overlooked him and appointed Les Foote to the job (Foote was later named in the centre in North Melbourne’s Team of the Century and is an AFL Hall of Fame Inductee –1996)(interestingly another NMFC Team of the Century member in John Rantall also coached Sherwood).

Kevin was keen to continue coaching and was approached by Mayne and joined them in 1977 as an assistant-coach and they duly won the flag.

Mayne was then a powerhouse of Queensland football and their licensed club was one of the biggest in Brisbane, based at Windsor Park.

He still helped out at Sherwood as the Magpies played on Saturdays and Mayne on Sundays.

Kluver obviously impressed in the assistant coaching ranks, because the was appointed senior coach at Mayne for 1978-79, but the Tigers slipped to finish outside the four in both years.

Kevin then returned to the Magpie nest in 1980 as an advisor to the coach Lindsay Jacob. Sherwood were at that time the dominant team in the SQAFA, considered below the QAFL in standard but all the same Sherwood were invited to compete in the QAFL pre-season competition which they went on to win, defeating Windsor-Zillmere in the Final.

Sherwood went on the win the SQAFA flag, their sixth in a row on the way to eight premierships in succession.

In 1981, Kevin then joined Morningside as coach of their reserves, with his assistant a young up-and-comer in John Blair, current coach of Aspley and a QAFL legend. He stayed at Morningside for three years, before returning to Sherwood in 1984 for the Pies second year in the QAFL.

He was assistant coach to John Rantall for two years, then in 1987 was appointed coach of the Queensland under 17 team to compete in the Teal Cup, the equivalent of the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships today.

He coached the Teal Cup team in 1987-88 and was on the coaching staff from 1988-90.

Kevin’s football brain and knowledge of Queensland football talent saw him appointed recruiting officer for Essendon for 10 years and then Melbourne for a further 4 years.

During that time he has always been a presence at the Western Magpies and was made a deserving Life Member in 2002.

He was one of the main organisers for the Sherwood 50th Year anniversary celebrations in 2006 and was a selector for Sherwood’s 50 best players announced at the 50th Anniversary Dinner.

Kevin’s love of the club surfaced again at the club’s recent Annual Meeting when he stepped into the breach to take on the President’s role for the club when no other nominations were received.

He has seen many fine players don the Sherwood guernsey but rates Rob Shepherd, Gary Shaw, Craig St John and Alan Giffard as the best home grown talent he has seen and Peter Filler (from Lake Boga near Swan Hill) as the best import to join the club.

Of the more recent players to play for the Western Magpies he rated Brad Williams from about 2000 as a top player (Gary Ablett-like) and more recently Jim Rozynski, Luke Scott and Val Pope were and are class players.

Kevin’s soon Hayden was a Queensland under age representative and was captain of three consecutive Sherwood junior premierships. He was rookie listed to the Brisbane Lions and played in the Lions 2001 flag win over Southport.

Hayden then went on to play at Port Adelaide Magpies and then Subiaco in Perth where his career ended prematurely with a severe knee injury.

All at the club salute Kevin on an outstanding contribution to the Sherwood and Western Magpies Football Clubs.

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