No. 61 Dick Verdon
Fullback in the Queensland Team of the Century, he was a homegrown 240-game champion 'stolen' from rugby league to play in four QAFL premierships – two each with Sandgate and Coorparoo. He made his senior debut at Sandgate aged 18 in 1954, and played 120 games for the Hawks from 1954-61, including the 1956-57 premierships and 1954-60 grand finals. He won the Sandgate B&F in 1955-56-57, was runner-up in 1958-59-60-61 and club captain in ’61. Was a protégé of Norm Reidy when he transformed the Hawks into a formidable unit in the late 1950s.
A successful captain-coach and representative selection with Henty in Victoria’s Farrar League in 1962-63, he was captain-coach at Coorparoo ’64 and played about 100 senior games with the Roos after paying a transfer fee of 200 pounds himself. Won the premiership as captain-coach in ’64, stood down in 1966 and after a year out of the game made a comeback in 1968 to share in another flag.
Was Runner-Up in the Grogan Medal three times in the 1950s, won the ‘Telegraph Blue’ award for best QAFL player in 1955 and the corresponding award from The Courier-Mail in 1956 and ‘64. Signed on a ‘Form Four’ by St.Kilda in 1956, he rejected repeat offers for employment reasons, prompting the Saints to instead recruit Verdon Howell, who became a member of their only AFL premiership side in 1966. Represented Queensland with distinction 20 times from 1955-65, was State captain in ’61 and at the ’65 carnival in Brisbane, and coached Queensland from 1958-61.
A sailor of international class, he was chosen to represent Australia in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics but withdrew to play with Sandgate in the grand final and complete his national service. Later became an influential football administrator in regional Queensland, serving as a coach at club and representative level and on the tribunal in Hervey Bay, and as a coach and League official in Mackay.