Friday, September 02, 2011


Brisbane Footballing Memories

As I intimated in this weeks Jakarta Casual Weekly I have many fond memories of my time in Brisbane, the city that will host the World Cup Qualifier between Australia and Thailand.

I moved there in the middle of winter, 1987. I stayed on the edge of the Valley and New Farm...I soon learnt to tell locals I was staying in the Valley! At that time Sir Joh Bjelkie Peterson was running the state and corruption, allegedly, was rife. TV nightly would show nearby houses, that doubled as brothels, being visited by plain clothes police looking for whatever plainclothes police look for in brothels!

From what I can remember the first game I went to was Rochedale Rovers v Mount Gravatt. Bloody hell, that was some trek from the Valley I can tell you! And the reason why I travelled all that way? Former Celtic legend Danny McGrain was guesting for the home team!

Luckily there were games closer to home. Much closer in fact. The incredibly dully named Easts played on the banks of the Brisbane River in New Farm and they by default became my adopted team for the few months I was there.

Much of what little football talk there was concerned teenager Scott Playle who had moved to Rangers that year. God, I wish I had kept all the programmes/magazines from my time there!

The season ended with the FA Cup Final or, this being Australia, the XXXX Cup Final. Olympic United won, I think, 5-3 but I forget now who they were playing.

Just after the final I was off up the coast. I returned to Brisbane a year later to see the Arsenal take part in a 6 a side competition along with Manchester City, Nottingham Forest and three Australian teams.

And that was it. I never went to the Gabba, never saw the great Broncos team from that era but I sure as hell went to Perry Park!

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