Michael Becker

One of the founding fathers of football in Queensland, he was born in South Melbourne, migrated to Brisbane as a 19 year old in 1887 and was one of Queensland’s best players in intercolonial matches against New South Wales and the visiting Melbourne F.C. in 1888.

After Australian Football was to fade out in the 1890’s he was a driving force in its resurrection pre-World War 1. His leadership was instrumental in the code once again becoming a force in south-east Queensland.

President of the QAFL 1906-10, 1912-15, 1919, and life member of the QAFL, he was the father of fellow Hall of Famer and dual De Little medalist, Bill Becker, and continued to play occasionally in the years before the war.

His successful business as a leather goods manufacturer saw him give significant financial and business support to the QFL, and he was the manufacturer of the Sandow footballs used in the first match of 1904 and right through that early era.

Under his guidance, at various times in the years of reformation of the QFL (1904-1915), Australian Football gained substantial coverage in local print media. In 1914 he led the QFL’s successful negotiations for teams from the VFL, WAFL, SANFL and TFL to play a carnival in Brisbane and, in a major promotional coup and an enormous logistical challenge, he arranged for Collingwood, Cananore (major Tasmanian club), South Adelaide and Perth to participate in a football carnival in Brisbane.

The chief objective of the carnival was the promotion of the Australian game in Queensland.  The cost of the carnival was £3500.  Most of this would be borne as follows: £400 Victoria, £400 South Australia, £400 Tasmania, £500 Western Australia, with the Australian Football Council donating £1480. Sadly, bigger world issues in Europe never allowed for this Becker vision to take root.

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