As a newcomer to the Gorilla den we would like to give you a short look at our club, its history and aims.
Club Founded 1945
Motto : Victory through unity (victores per unitem)
Colours : Red, white and blue (stripe)
Mascot : Gorillas
Aims: To play football and be successful at the highest level available (both juniors and seniors) and to have a good social agenda.
During more than fifty years of operation Wilston Grange has had many highlights. Here is a little bit of information you may find interesting. The club has fielded teams in QAFL, BAFL and BJAFL competitions and has been through the experience of an amalgamation at senior level.
Today we continue to meet our football aims by hard work, sound management and a commitment to the sport of AFL and the community.
With over 400 players participating in Auskick, junior & youth footy and another 200 players in our Colts, Reserves, Seniors, Ladies and Masters teams we are a club of size and significance.
From 1950 to 1989 the club fielded senior teams in the QAFL competition. An amalgamation in 1990 with Kedron Football Club produced Kedron Grange AFC to field senior teams in the QAFL.
In 1995 Wilston Grange reformed independently as a second division BAFL team to assist in the supply of good junior coaches that has been hallmark of the club. The team, primarily made up of old Grange players, were defeated in the preliminary final. Since then we have increased the emphasis on senior football, firstly by introducing a reserves side and additionally by being promoted from Division 2, to Division 1, then Premier League in the AFLSQ, to the AFLQ Pineapple Hotel Cup Competition and finally returning to the premier state competition the QAFL, in which we currently play.
The club is amateur based and is "owned" in many ways by the senior players and team of hardworking volunteers and supporters who play an active role in the running of the club.
We have produced 9 VFL/AFL footballers and many more have played reserve grade at that level or been rookie listed. One ex player Scott McIvor made the transition to assistant coach at the Brisbane Lions. Recent and current AFL players include Clint Bizzell, Jason Akermais, Shane Morrison, David Mapelston, Hamish Simpson and Nathan Clarke.
Wilston Grange has more 200 game QAFL senior players (9) than any other Brisbane based (non AFL) club. Ray Johnson and Jim Conlon would also probably qualify as 200 game players but no records are available. Recently Ken Hall has been added to the list, his 250 games for the club made up from QAFL and AFLSQ appearances. Jim Butler played over 300 games including seniors and reserves. Syd Guildford holds the Queensland record for number of senior games (333) and an Australian record for most number of Australian National carnivals (5).
Wilston Grange is a well respected club in Queensland. During the 1960's it was the first club to build a clubhouse and it dominated the prestigious Grogan Medal (AFLQ version of the Brownlow).
AFLQ Team of the Century.
The following players were nominated for this team. Syd Guildford, Barry Clarke, Scott McIvor, Richard Rushbrook, Ken Grimley, Graeme Jewell, Fred Coulthurst, Keith Leach, Jim Conlon, Steve Taylor, Merv Appleyard and Clint Bizzell. Grogan Medalists Jim Conlon (1960) Keith Leach (1961 and 62) Merv Appleyard (1968) Ken Garcia (1969) Barry Clarke (1972 and 76)
A Grade - QAFL 1955 1969 1972 BAFL 1997 Runners up QAFL 1959 1977 BAFL 1996 1998 2001 Reserve grade QAFL 1978 BAFL 1997 RU 1999 2002 Third Grade QFLSQ 4th Div 2002 Colts (U19) 1960 1970 1974 RU 1973 1975 U18 (run by QAFL) 1953
Other Trivia In 1964 the Governor of Queensland (Sir Henry Abel Smith) was the Number 1 ticket holder of the club. Wayne Roberts (Radios "Poo") was another local identity to hold the Number 1 ticket holders title.
Ron Barassi was the official guest and played for Wilston Grange in a display match to open the clubhouse in 1964. The opening was broadcast live by local radio stations.
In 1958, Ken Grimley suggested that WG adopt the Gorilla as a logo. Ken Grimley a former Grange and Fitzroy player was at the meeting in 1957 where Fitzroy voted to change from the Gorillas to the Lions.
In 2001 the AFL honoured six volunteers in Queensland for there contribution to the game. Three came from Grange and the others from country leagues.
Since 1945 the Wilston Grange Football Club has been part of the inner north Brisbane sporting community. From Emerson to Hickey Parks it has ridden great peaks of premierships, survived tough times and evaded a forced closure in the 1990s.
The 347 pages of this book tell a 70 year tale of the club’s checkered existence, it salutes the champions and all those individuals who persevered under the “nil desperandum” code.
Buy your copy online for $75 (via Shopify)