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HISTORY | Morningside Panthers

Morningside Panthers Your Local Community and Football Club - since 1951

Morningside Panthers

CLUB HISTORY

Juniors History

Just as the Seniors have been a traditionally strong club, the Morningside Juniors have a long history of sustained high performance. The last few years has seen the club steadily build on its participation levels through excellent development programmes. Morningside is one of the strongest clubs within the Brisbane Juniors football league and the growth rates confirm the club’s strong development plan and ongoing potential. It is also noted that the inner suburban demographics suggest that Morningside is well placed to capture the ongoing population growth of the inner Brisbane Southside.

Junior Club Team Success

The club has a strong history of team performance with many premierships having been won in various age groups. In recent years, the Under 18’s won the Division One premiership in 1999 and in 2003 were runners up. In 2003 our Under 12 and 16 teams were seeded in the premier divisions for their respective age competitions and remained extremely competitive all season despite not making the finals, while the Under 14’s were runners up in the 2nd Division.

As testimony to the strength of the club in 1998 Morningside won the AFLBJ Club Championship and in 1999 were runners up.

Junior Club Individual Successes

Morningside Juniors has been extremely successful in developing football talent; our two most noted successes are Michael Voss (Brownlow medallist & Premiership Captain) and his brother Brett ex Lions and now St Kilda AFL player. Also in 2001 one of our ex-Juniors, Michael Davis was drafted by the then reigning AFL premiers, Essendon.

Paul Shelton was a Rookie with the Brisbane Lions having been an All-Australian under 18 who captained Queensland and won the state’s best player award at last year’s national championships. Paul was also skipper at under-16 and under-15 level, having represented the Maroon jumper from the age of 12. He played in the under 18s state team as a 17-year-old. He played in the Morningside reserves premiership side two years ago, and was one of the senior side’s better players in the last month of the 2002 AFLQ premiership season.

In local football we have produced many Junior Qld State players. Morningside players continue to be well represented in the Bushrangers and other Brisbane regional representative teams. We are extremely proud of the attitude of the Morningside boys in these teams and they epitomise the dedication and discipline we are trying to instill into our young players as they tackle life in general and also their football ambitions.

Seniors History

Morningside has been a member of Brisbane's elite football competition for over half a century but it took some time for the club to find its feet in the big time. Formed in 1950, the club did not qualify to participate in a finals series for seventeen years, but it was home nevertheless to a number of high quality players. Noel McGuinness, an automatic interstate team selection who won Grogan Medals in 1953 and 1954 and fell short by a single vote in 1955, was arguably the pick of these, but Brian Grienke, Keith Farnsworth, Henry Maguire and Terry Devery were other players of considerable quality.

Major round involvement finally arrived in 1963 but the Panthers bowed out in the preliminary final, as they did again the following year. In 1965, however, the club at last came of age, annihilating Mayne in the grand final at the Gabba by 73 points. An era of supremacy seemingly beckoned but it was not to be. In fact, the Panthers failed even to contest the finals again for another five seasons.

The 1970s was a barren decade at Morningside, at least in terms of premiership success. However, the club continued to produce and attract high quality players, like former Central District spearhead Gary Jones who topped the QAFL goalkicking list for three successive seasons (1974-5-6), another ex-South Australian in the form of 1974 Grogan Medallist Jeff Ebert, and numerous others, such as John Waddington, Ron Thomas and Barry Denny.

During the 1980s the club did at least begin to contest the finals on a regular basis, but runners-up finishes in 1982, 1983 and 1984 were the closest it came to securing that elusive flag.

The 1990s began much the same way as the side succumbed to an all powerful Southport combination in the 1990 grand final. Morningside's perennial failure to break through for a premiership led to the club being dubbed 'the Collingwood of the north' or, even more bitingly, 'the Morningsliders'. Thankfully, a premiership in 1991 finally silenced the snipers.

After finishing the home and away series in second spot Morningside gave little indication of what was to come by succumbing to old rivals Southport in the 2nd semi final. A hard fought and somewhat scratchy 20 point win over North Brisbane in the preliminary final did little to fuel optimism, and the Panthers entered their 2nd successive grand final as rank underdogs. Grand finals sometimes do strange things to players' minds, however - either that, or the Morningside team had been calculatedly hiding its light under a bushel. Whatever the explanation, after a closely fought opening half which saw the Sharks go into the long break 3 points to the good the so called 'Morningsliders' suddenly clicked into gear. In the 2nd half it was virtually all one way traffic as Morningside rattled on goal after goal, eventually winning by what, beforehand, would have seemed the unbelievable margin of 61 points. Centre half forward Mitchell Howe booted 5 goals and was a lynchpin of the Panthers' attack all day to be deservedly named as best afield and be awarded the Joe Grant Medal. He was aided and supported by, among others, wingmen Brad Patterson and Craig Edwards, half forward Simon Stewart (4 goals), defender Brad Edwards, and 6 goal full forward Dean Vickery.

The victorious Morningside team played a brand of football modelled on the style of the great Hawthorn sides of this era, tackling ferociously, running in numbers, and never permitting their opponents, when in possession of the ball, to enter the 'comfort zone'.

Having finally broken the ice it was disappointing for all associated with the club to witness a fall from grace, albeit a slight one, in 1992 as the Panthers ran second behind arch nemesis Southport. The grand final was a close game, but ultimately Morningside fell short by 14 points.

The Sharks and the Panthers resumed their private war the following year, and after the former won with a fair degree of comfort in the 2nd semi final it seemed that the premiership cup would once again be heading to the Gold Coast. Those who thought so, however, had short memories: in 1991 the Panthers had found form when it really counted, and it would be the same story two years on. First, there was the formality of a preliminary final meeting with Kedron-Grange, a match which Morningside utilised to restore confidence and move into something approaching optimum form, winning with consummate ease by 10 goals. In the following week's grand final, the Panthers carried on where they had left off, overwhelming the Sharks right from the opening bounce to lead at every change by 15, 26 and 32 points before running away with things in the final quarter. Indeed, had it not been for some profligate kicking for goal (Morningside recorded no fewer than 5 'posters') the eventual margin of victory might well have challenged the all time record for a QAFL grand final. As it was, Morningside won easily enough by precisely the same margin as a couple of years earlier, 61 points. Final scores were Morningside 16.22 (118) to Southport 8.9 (57), with defenders Brendan Fagg (Joe Grant Medal) and Emile Roman, rover Paul Peos, centre half back Brad Edwards, and tagging supremo Barry Hamilton among the best for the Panthers.

The 1994 season was historic in that it saw Morningside successfully retain the premiership for the first time. It did so in straight sets, but neither its 2 goal 2nd semi final victory over Southport, nor its grand final defeat of Kedron-Grange could, by any stretch of the imagination, be described as comfortable.

Despite having accounted for Kedron-Grange on all three previous meetings between the sides during the year, the Panthers found themselves confronted by a vastly different proposition on grand final day. In what was the first all Brisbane grand final in a decade the crowd was treated to the toughest, hardest fought and best such match since the Southport-Mayne encounter of 1985. Morningside eventually won by 2 points, 12.11 (83) to 12.9 (81). Panthers coach Marty King, having seen eventual Joe Grant Medallist David Wearne boot what proved to be the winning goal midway through a torrid final term, generously conceded "It was just one of those games where we were fortunate to be in front when the bell went".

In an era of ever increasing player mobility it was unusual - and perhaps significant - that no fewer than eleven members of the victorious Morningside team had also played in the club's 1991 and 1993 flag-winning combinations.

Besides Wearne, other noteworthy contributions to the Panther cause came from wingman Emile Roman, centreman Daryl Bourke, and forwards Chris Martin and Mark Russell.

In 1995 Morningside again reached the grand final, losing a low scoring, slogging affair to North Brisbane by 5 points. It was a similar story two years later, with Southport the victors on this occasion.

The entire Queensland football landscape has altered dramatically in recent years and although Morningside had long proved itself an adaptable, forward thinking club, such attributes did not translate into another premiership until the 2003 season when the Panthers overwhelmed reigning premiers Mt Gravatt by 63 points in a surprisingly one-sided grand final.

Things were much tighter a season later as, in one of the best state league grand finals seen for many years, Morningside overcame a 20 point 3rd term leeway to edge out an extremely talented Southport combination by 7 points. Final scores were Morningside 12.18 (90) to Southport 12.11 (83), with Panthers skipper David Lillico earning the noteworthy double of Joe Grant Medal and Player of the Finals award.

The Panthers again reached the grand final in 2005, but this time Southport had their measure, winning comfortably in the end by 61 points after a closely contested first three quarters.

In 2006, Morningside got as far as the preliminary final, and looked to be in a handy position at three quarter time as they led Southport by 11 points. However, the Sharks added 4 unanswered goals in the final term to pull away to a 13 point win, 12.13 (85) to 9.18 (72).

It was a similar story in 2007 as the Panthers' premiership challenge was once more derailed by Southport at the preliminary final stage.

In 2008, Morningside made it all the way to the Grand Final and were within reach of winning the game when Southport made a late charge to clinch victory and the flag.

In 2009, Morningside lost its first two games of the season to the Lions and Mt Gravatt and then went on to complete the season without a further loss, beating Mt Gravatt in the Grand Final. This was a special year for the club as it won the U18, Reserves and Senior premierships for the first time in its history.

Seniors Timeline

  • 1950 - The first Morningside senior team was formed.
  • 1965 - QAFL Grand Final: Morningside 20.15.135 defeated Mayne 9.8.62.
  • 1981 - QAFL: Morningside participated.
  • 1982 - QAFL Grand Final: Mayne 18.17.125 defeated Morningside 14.11.95.
  • 1983 - QAFL Grand Final: Southport 13.12.90 defeated Morningside 12.7.79.
  • 1984 - QAFL Grand Final: Coorparoo 18.22.130 defeated Morningside 5.14.44.
  • 1990 - QAFL Grand Final: Southport 22.14.146 defeated Morningside 12.15.87.
  • 1991 - QAFL Grand Final: Morningside 18.24.132 defeated Southport 9.17.71.
  • 1992 - QAFL Grand Final: Southport 14.10.94 defeated Morningside 12.8.80.
  • 1993 - QAFL Grand Final: Morningside 16.22.118 defeated Southport 8.9.57.
  • 1994 - QAFL Grand Final: Morningside 12.11.83 defeated Kedron-Grange 12.9.81.
  • 1995 - QAFL Grand Final: North Brisbane 7.14.56 defeated Morningside 6.15.51.
  • 1998 - QSFL Premier Division Grand Final: Southport 12.15.87 defeated Morningside 11.10.76.
  • 2001 - Morningside participated in the AFLQ.
  • 2003 – QAFL Premiers:
  • Seniors – Morningside 17.13.115 defeated Mt Gravatt 7.10.52.
  • Reserves – Morningside 16.12.108 defeated Eagles 13.7.85.
  • Women’s League - Morningside 2.7.19 defeated Surfer’s Paradise 3.0.18.
  • 2004 – QAFL Premiers: Seniors – Morningside 12.18.90 defeated Southport 12.11.83
  • 2009 - QAFL Premiers:
  • Seniors - Morningside 14.10.94 defeated Mt Gravatt 8.15.63.
  • Reserves - Morningside 19.5.119 defeated Redland 10.13.73
  • Under 18s - Morningside 8.9.57 defeated Western Magpies 7.14.56
  • 2010 - QAFL Premiers: Morningside 17.16.118 defeated Labrador 14.12.96

Seniors Honours - Best & Fairest Winners

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Seniors Honours - Centurion Club

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Seniors Honours - Team of Legends 1950-2000

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Seniors Mini Biographies

JOHN BLAIR

South Melbourne, Fitzroy, St Kilda, Morningside, Sandgate, Windsor-Zillmere & Sherwood

John Blair was a fiercely competitive centre half back who became a key figure in Queensland football, having moved north in 1981 after playing with South Melbourne (27 games), Fitzroy (4) and St Kilda (2) from 1975 to 1980. He joined Morningside as captain-coach and became one of the competition's most dominant players, winning the 1982 Grogan Medal and the Panthers them to three consecutive grand finals from 1982-4. Blair later played at Sandgate, Windsor-Zillmere and Sherwood, tasting elusive premiership success with Zillmere in 1988, when he also won the QAFL goal kicking for the second time, having topped the list with the Panthers in 1985. He represented Queensland through the glory years of the 1980s, wearing the Maroon jumper 19 times with distinction. Later on he had a role with the Queensland under 18 side and took back the coaching reins at Morningside in 2002.

DARYL BOURKE

Melbourne & Morningside

An in-and-under centreman who joined Morningside in 1987 after 23 VFL games with Melbourne, Daryl Bourke was a dual Grogan Medalist (1989 and 19993), a triple premiership player (1991-3-4) and triple club best and fairest winner. He played a total of 187 QAFL games despite a 1988 knee reconstruction, and was captain and assistant coach through the club's most successful era. He played 10 times for Queensland.

BARRY DENNY

Morningside & Melbourne

A South Brisbane junior who was recruited from Morningside to VFL club Melbourne, Barry Denny played 22 games from 1977 to 1979 as a utility defender. He enjoyed a stand out career with Morningside before and after his stint in Melbourne, winning the club best and fairest award in 1972 and 1976, and regularly polling well in the Grogan Medal, in which he was runner-up in 1973. Denny played 7 times for Queensland, and later coached the Panthers.

TERRY DEVERY

Box Hill, Footscray & Morningside

Terry Devery was a match-winning rover, originally from Box Hill, who joined Morningside after playing 31 VFL games with Footscray from 1957 to 1961. He formed an awesome combination with ruck giant Terry Johnston to drag the Panthers out of the doldrums, culminating in their first premiership in 1965. Runner-up in the Grogan Medal in 1962, Devery played 6 games for Queensland, and was regularly among the Maroons' best. He was named captain of the Morningside 'Team of the Half Century' announced in 2001.

ROD DIPROSE

Morningside

Rod Diprose was a Tasmanian schoolboy representative who became a dynamic rover at Morningside. He was a club stalwart who was the backbone of a side which struggled through the late 1960s and into the 1970s. Diprose played 7 times for Queensland during the period from 1966-74, was chosen in the Morningside 'Team of the Half Century' named in 2001, and was the Morningside games record-holder (243) until it was topped by Craig Edwards.

CRAIG EDWARDS

Morningside

Craig Edwards was born in Gladstone but was a Nambour product who trialled with Sydney and Brisbane before carving out a decorated career with Morningside, which included three premierships and two best and fairest awards. A highly-skilled, versatile midfielder, he is the Panthers' games record-holder (247). Edwards represented Queensland with distinction, including a 47 possession game against New South Wales at the SCG in 1992.

TERRY JOHNSTON

Morningside

Terry Johnston was a giant ruckman who won the Morrish Medal and represented Victoria under 19s as a 17-year-old in 1961, and played exhibition matches for Melbourne against Geelong in North America in 1963. He moved to Queensland in 1965 and was a member of Morningside's first premiership side, playing a key role with rover Terry Devery as the club shed its 'easybeat' tag. Johnston represented Queensland in 1965-66, and won the Grogan Medal in 1969. He settled in Queensland but died tragically at an early age.

WARREN JONES

Morningside, Carlton, St Kilda

Underrated at times by all except his own teammates, Warren Jones was a huge, fearsomely aggressive ruckman who could intimidate opponents with just a glare. He played for Morningside in 1976, and then was recruited by Carlton. For much of his career with the Blues he played second fiddle to the more demonstrably talented Mike Fitzpatrick but his worth to the side was never better exemplified than in the 1982 VFL grand final when he came off the bench to nullify Richmond’s imposing ruckman Mark Lee, contributing significantly to his team's eventual win.

Fitzpatrick's departure allowed Jones brief tenure as Carlton's first ruckman but a bout of glandular fever diminished his effectiveness and he was soon superseded by Justin Madden. At the age of thirty-two, and after 92 games for the Blues, he crossed to St Kilda where his career underwent a brief renaissance under the appreciative eyes of the Moorabbin faithful. He retired at the end of the 1988 season after having been controversially suspended from the last few matches of the year - a sad but perhaps perversely appropriate end to a colourful league career.

TONY LYNN

Morningside, Brisbane, Central District, Carlton & Mt Gravatt

Tony Lynn enjoyed a long and eventful career in three states. After impressing as a junior he began his senior career with Morningside before being drafted by Brisbane. He made an eye-catching start to his VFL career with the Bears in 1988, only to break down with a serious knee injury after just 6 games. After returning to Morningside for a spell, his career was resurrected at SANFL club Central District under first, Neil Kerley, and later Alan Stewart. All told, he played 87 games for the Bulldogs, where he impressed as a hard running, productive utility. In 1993 he played a starring role in Queensland/Northern Territory's impressive state of origin victory over Tasmania in Hobart, and it was largely on the strength of this performance that he was drafted by Carlton at the end of the year. Always at very least a serviceable performer, Lynn played a total of 27 AFL games during a three season stint with the Blues, before returning home to Queensland in 1997 with, it soon emerged, plenty of football left in him.

Lynn played a further 6 seasons at state league level, initially with Morningside, and later with Mt Gravatt, bowing out of the game in the best way imaginable by winning the Joe Grant Medal for best afield in the Vultures' 2002 grand final defeat of Southport.

NEVILLE MCGUINESS

Morningside

Neville McGuinness was a tough centre half back who was a member of Morningside's first premiership team in 1965 and was named in the key defensive spot in the club's 'Team of the Half Century' in 2001. He played more than 200 games for the Panthers, and represented Queensland 11 times between 1960 and 1967. He was the brother of dual Grogan Medallist Noel McGuinness.

NOEL MCGUINESS

Morningside & Coorparoo

Undoubtedly one of the finest Queensland footballers of his generation, Noel McGuinness, winner of the 1953 and 1954 Grogan Medals, went within one vote in 1955 of winning a remarkable three in a row. The achievement was all the more noteworthy in that, in 1952, aged just seventeen, the star Morningside midfielder had won the QAFL reserves best and fairest award, the highest level award available to him given the fact that Morningside did not, at that time, field a team in the league's senior competition.

A regular Queensland interstate representative for much of the 1950s, McGuinness might well have spent some or all of that time interstate had not circumstances, in the form of a freak rib injury, intervened. Due to join St Kilda in 1954, he sustained the injury on the eve of his departure during an unimportant reserves 'scratch' match in which he was participating only to make up the numbers. Amazingly, however, he did not realise the extent of the injury until aboard his flight to Melbourne, when the air cabin pressure caused it to flare up, bringing McGuiness' hopes of a VFL career to an abrupt end.

In 1956, looking for a fresh challenge, he moved to Coorparoo which, despite being a top level club since before the War, had yet to contest the finals. McGuinness' impact was immediate and pronounced, as he put in a superb season to win the Kangaroos' best and fairest award, besides helping the club to 3rd place on the ladder. A second successive club champion award followed in 1957, with Coorparoo contesting its first ever grand final, only to fall short against Sandgate by an agonising 2 point margin.

After his retirement Noel McGuinness continued to promote and support the game he loved via a long and successful media career.

BRETT VOSS

Morningside, Lions, St Kilda

Was drafted by the Brisbane Lions from Morningside as a zone selection in 1995. He made his debut in 1997 but was delisted at the end of 2000, struggling to gain selection in a successful Brisbane side, and over-shadowed by his older brother, Brownlow Medallist, Michael Voss.

The St Kilda Football Club, under the leadership of then coach Malcolm Blight, recruited Voss in the 2001 pre-season draft. His 2001 season with the club was inconsistent, but he played 19 matches and found some confidence. It was in 2002 that Voss came into his own as an AFL footballer. He played almost every match between 2004 and 2006 for the Saints, who played finals in each of those three seasons.

Voss became known for his courage, and often played well above his height in defence. A feature of his game during 2004 and 2005 was his strong marking in the backline, and Voss was one of the Saints' toughest and most reliable players during his time at the club.

The 2006 season saw Voss have close to his best year, racking up 350 possessions, 140 marks and kicking 15 goals for the year playing in a new role as a half-forward. He finished 10th in the 2006 B&F. Voss entered the 2007 season struggling with injury, and was unable to hold a place in the side. There was a perception that he had lost some pace, and Voss did not reach his previous standards in his 11 matches for the year.

After some deliberation at the end of the season, and after consultation with coach Ross Lyon, 29-year old Voss announced his retirement on 18 September 2007. It was a selfless decision, and many thought he may have had one more year left in him. As always, Voss did what was best for the club. Voss finished his career with 170 games of AFL football in a career that spanned 11 seasons at the elite level.

MICHAEL VOSS

Morningside, Bears/Lions

Michael Voss has gone into the record books as one of the all-time greats of AFL football and arguably the greatest player of the modern era. He retired on 6 October 2006 as a triple premiership captain, dual All-Australian captain, Brownlow Medalist and 10-year club captain who was respected and admired by teammates and opponents alike. And as much for his modest, down-to-earth, unaffected and ever-considerate manner off the field as for his inspirational, fearless and uncompromising approach on the field. He was a 15-year AFL veteran and a proud Queenslander who resisted numerous attempts to lure him south and forged a stellar career with the Brisbane Bears/Lions.

He is a Queenslander by choice. Born in Traralgon in eastern Victoria, he spent his early years in nearby Orbost until his family moved to Queensland when the budding superstar was just 11. From his early days at Morningside Football Club, where his father Garry was general manager, he was always going to be something special. And if there was any doubt it was permanently removed when he kicked 14 goals in one game in the 1992 Australian Teal Cup (Under 17) Championships in Traralgon.

He made his AFL debut the following week, aged 17 years and 11 days, and hasn t looked back. He emerged from the dark years of the 'Bad News Bears' to skipper arguably the best AFL team of all time to an extraordinary premiership hat-trick in 2001-02-03. Defying injuries that may have stopped a lesser man, including a horrific broken leg in 1998, he showed remarkable fighting qualities to collect a mass of personal awards and recognition.

He is one of only six triple premiership captains in AFL history and many argue that for a time early in the 21st century he was the No.1 player in the game. Undoubtedly, he is a Hall of Famer in the making. Six times he has placed in the top 10 in the Brownlow Medal, the AFL s highest individual honor, five times he has won All-Australian selection, five times he has won the Bears/Lions club championship and in 2003, when the AFL Queensland Team of the Century was selected, he was an automatic choice as captain despite the presence of Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall.

ROD WILLET

Morningside & Subiaco

After commencing his league career with Morningside, for whom he played in the losing grand finals of 1982 and 1983, Rod Willet was recruited by Subiaco in 1984. His arrival at the Lions coincided with that of 'the little master', Haydn Bunton junior, under whose orchestration the club would finally re-emerge as a force after more than a decade in the doldrums. Rod Willet's contribution to that resurgence was considerable. Playing initially on a half back flank, the position he had occupied for much of his two year period in Queensland football, Willet rapidly developed into a solid and unflappable defender who refused to be intimidated. Willet held down the half back flank position with considerable confidence and assurance when Subiaco finally returned to the WAFL winners' rostrum in 1986 with a 69 point grand final thumping of East Fremantle. Two years later he was at full back, the position he would go on to make his own for a time, in the Lions' equally emphatic grand final victory over Claremont.

Like good wine, Rod Willet seemed to improve with age. As his career developed, he demonstrated tremendous versatility, being equally at home in a key attacking position as in the backlines. In 1992 he topped Subiaco's goal kicking list (with 43 goals), and the following year he was the recipient of the club's fairest and best award. He had also captained the Lions in 1992.

Rod Willet retired after the 1994 season with 188 WAFL games to his credit, having also represented his home state of Queensland at state of origin level, and his adopted state of Western Australia in inter-league state football.