Spencer Thompson

A Sandgate junior who took up the sport as a 10-year-old in rehabilitation after a serious car accident and went on to become one of the club’s all-time greats, noted for his exceptional strength and courage.

Playing predominantly in the ruck, with occasional stint at centre half forward and centre half back, he totalled 264 games for the Hawks and represented Queensland five times. Beginning his career in a Sandgate-based schools competition, he enjoyed an early highlight playing in the curtain-raiser match to Fitzroy v Richmond at the Exhibition Ground under lights, when Kevin Murray’s performance left a lasting impression. Ex-Melbourne star Jack O’Brien, who coached Sandgate U18s, was another to have a big influence.

Was chosen by captain-coach Norm Reidy for his senior debut for Sandgate in the first match of 1957 after the Hawks had won their first premiership in ’56, he was never dropped from the team and gained a reputation for his durability, missing only a handful of games through injury throughout a sterling 12-year senior career. After playing a key role in the ruck in Sandgate’s 1957 premiership, he earned his first Queensland jumper in 1958. His total of 264 games ranks 7th on the all-time QAFL games list played behind such luminaries as Syd Guildford, Owen Backwell, Danny Brennan, Don Smith, Wayne Stewart, Dick Verdon, and Des Hughes.

A 10-year coaching stint at Sandgate High School helped establish it as one of Queensland’s football nurseries. He also coached the Hawks to a Colts premiership in 1963 before coaching the seniors in 1967-68 in which many regarded as a foundation of Sandgate’s dominance of the 1970’s.

An initial director of Sandco, the co-operative that bought the land at Lemke Rd and then later sold it to the football club, he also found time to develop a career as Professor in Finance at the Queensland University of Technology and is a former Australian President of the Chartered Secretaries Association. Also a former Queensland President of the Chartered Practicing Accountants and a Life Member of the Hawks.

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