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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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. In 2011 Voss was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Six times he has placed in the top 10 in the Brownlow Medal, the AFL's highest individual honour, 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.
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.