Sunshine Coast football folk gathered on Saturday night to launch 129 people into the newly-formed Sunshine Coast Hall of Fame.
A FANTASTIC FOOTBALL MOMENT 40 YEARS ON …
Saturday, 26 June, 2010
A trainer who estimates he has used 46km of tape to strap 18,000 ankles over 33 years at Maroochydore, a local icon who is still playing at Pomona in his mid-50’s and the father of AFL football at Noosa are three of eight life-time local identities inducted as inaugural legends of the Sunshine Coast Hall of Fame.
Neil Upton, Bill Magin and Len Daddow were among the headline acts as 350 people gathered at the Maroochydore RSL on Saturday night to welcome 129 inaugural Hall of Fame inductees and celebrate 40 years of Sunshine Coast football.
Also receiving legend status were Nambour icon Doug Hills, Maroochydore stalwart Peter Lavery, Noosa volunteer Judy Meager, Gympie Football Club founder John McMullan (deceased) and Caloundra character Rocco Pirrotina.
Each legend received a framed retro Sunshine Coast representative jumper emblazoned with the names of the Hall of Fame inductees from VIP presenter Ian Nankervis.
Nankervis, a former Geelong captain and AFL Hall of Famer now living on the Sunshine Coast, also presented a Hall of Fame plaque to each of the other inductees.
Guests travelled from as far as Broome in the west and Port Lincoln in the south to attend a “Who’s Who” of Sunshine Coast football and pay tribute to players, coaches, umpires and volunteer administrators from all over the competition.
The establishment of the Hall of Fame was part of a unification of Sunshine Coast football and a feasibility study on the possible re-establishment of a State League club, being conducted by long-time local football identity Shane Johnson.
“It was a fantastic night which could have gone on forever … Just to see so many familiar faces and to hear so many great stories that get better with age,” said Johnson.
“We heard how Mick Robbie did his hamstring 50 times in a fine career with Maroochydore in which he kicked just one goal – and it was amazing how many people actually remembered that one goal.
“There was Neil Upton’s 3600 rolls of strapping tape and the 18,000 ankles he strapped, the beautifully christened Warren”Buster” Bunney, games record holder at Noosa, and Pomona stalwart Betty Davis, and also Mark Vagg, who won six B&F awards in six years at Noosa and Maroochydore and was one of the best players the coast has seen.
“Ron Grabbe and “Bones” Murray, both combative ruckman who both didn’t start playing footy until their very late 20’s, and it was also great to see four of the founding fathers of the League in 1970 – Noel Radke, John Sobey, Wes Parry and Len Daddow.
“How ironic it was that 40 years ago after the meeting at the Maroochy RSL that led to formation of the Sunshine Coast we were back at the very same venue for this special night.
“It’s what footy is all about and if we are success]sful in getting a State League team up and going it’s a fantastic launching point. We’d anticipate that all Hall of Fame members would be associate life members of the new club.”
The night culminated in the announcement of and presentation to the legends. Neil Upton, such a favorite on the coast, was unable to attend at the last minute due to ill-health. But still he received a huge ovation as son and fellow inductee Col accepted his special award on his behalf.
McMullan, founder of the Gympie Football Club and the man after whom the clubhouse is named, was represented by his sons Peter and Stephen.
A six-man selection panel, with nine consultants, chose the inductees on their outstanding service and contribution to the game, and particularly their ability, integrity, sportsmanship and character.
People who have left the region and made a name for themselves at higher levels of football were also considered. Dean Warren, Josh Drummond, Deckys and Edwards represented this category.
The primary selection panel included Johnson, Bart Jaques, Lyndsay Halson, Rocco Pirrotina, Peter Lavery and Paul Tresize, with Daddow, Hills, Magin, Wes Parry, Noel Radke, David Moles, Kingsley St.Clair, Doug Murray and Mark Kennedy assisting as consultants, together with Pomona and Gympie football clubs.
“We don’t profess to have got it absolutely spot on and inevitably there will be debate on who has missed out but I reckon everyone inducted into the Hall of Fame deserves to be there,” said Johnson.
“We intend to have a Hall of Fame celebration every three years and we’ll pick up anyone we may have missed next time round, by which time there will be more people worthy of inclusion.”
There were terrific scenes as one by one the inductees, or a family representative, were presented with their Hall of Fame plaques.
It was a real family affair towards the end of the night as four members of the Warren family were feted for their contribution to Sunshine Coast football.
Dean Warren, a QAFL Grogan Medalist and State representative with Kedron-Grange and now AFL National Community Development Manager, was joined by father Ray, mother Helen and brother Glenn, all stalwarts of the Gympie Cats.
There were two family hat-tricks on the induction list – husband and wife team Barb and Graeme ‘Snow’ Carter and Graeme’s late brother Doug, stalwarts at Caloundra, and Bart and Thelma Jaques and their son Aaron, from Noosa.
Brisbane Lions defender Josh Drummond, the Sunshine Coast’s most famous AFL product, was joined by father Geoff, a long-time Maroochydore player and football visionary.
The family connections extended throughout the night.
There were five other husband and wife teams inducted – Kevin and Val Andews of Gympie, Jan and Tom McCafferty of Noosa, John and Chris Milloy of Nambour, Bev Teagle and the late Bill Teagle of Nambour, and the late Harry and Theda Woodward of Maroochydore.
Also, five other father and son teams – the late Erwin Grabbe and son Ron, Ralph and Steve Hilder and Peter and Ralph Kilby, all of Nambour, Jim and Darren Rawson of Caloundra, and Neil and Col Upton of Maroochydore – plus brothers Dave and Peter Lavery of Maroochydore.
Long-serving AFL boundary umpire Aaron Deckys, who began his umpiring career as a junior umpire on the Coast also brought an AFL flavor to the Hall of Fame.
Magin, president at Pomona and still playing after more than 400 games for that club and stints at Noosa and in Cairns, plus a virtual life time as a junior coach and committeeman, completed a special double with his induction – he’s also in the Queensland Football Hall of Fame, launched in 2008.
Likewise, Dean Warren and Nambour junior Craig Edwards, who went on to become a triple premiership player and State representative with QAFL club Morningside.
In typical football fashion, a lot of inductees went by nicknames in preference to their real name – Terry ‘Hassa’ Adams, Tony ‘Bones’ Boyanton, ‘Buster’ Bunney, ‘Snow’ Carter, John ‘Swooper’ Murnane, Ray ‘Bones’ Murray, Alan ‘Tiger’ Nixon, John ‘Shorty’ Randall and Graham ‘Kanga’ Smith.
The names of the 129 inductees will be engraved on an Honour Board to be erected at the multi-sports complex at Fisherman’s Road.
The inaugural induction list of the Sunshine Coast AFL Hall of Fame is:
Terry “Hassa” Adams *
Axel Anderson *
Keith Ashenden *
Bob Baldry *
Tony “Bones” Boyanton
Warren “Buster” Bunney
Doug Carter *
Graeme “Snow” Carter
Marie Charles (Blair)
Len Daddow (L)
Alan Fell *
Erwin Grabbe *
Doug Hills (L)
Peter Lavery (L)
Bill Magin (L)
John McMullan * (L)
Judy Meager (L)
John “Swooper” Murnane
Raymond “Bones” Murray
Alan “Tiger” Nixon
Rocco Pirrotina (L)
Terry Pratt *
Keith Pritchard *
John “Shorty” Randall
Martin Rayner *
Ron Sgro *
Graham “Kanga” Smith *
Ron Smith *
Claire Soden *
Harold Stockill *
Bill Teagle *
Neil Upton (L)
Harry Woodward *
Theda Woodward *
* denotes deceased
(L) denoes Legend
To view the official Sunshine Coast Hall of Fame Induction Booklet, which features a brief history of Sunhine Coast football and a backgrounder on each inductee, please click here.