From the playing field to club boss – that’s the fascinating journey of current Southport Chief Executive Officer, Dean Bowtell.
The son of 1970s ruckman and dual premiership player, big Eddie Bowtell, Dean started with the Southport Sharks as a junior and he made his first-grade debut in 1989.
Bowtell played in the winning grand final side that year and was to go on to play a couple of games for the Brisbane Bears in the AFL reserves.
One feature of his short stint with the Bears was to play on former Carlton firebrand David Rhys-Jones at Princes Park. Bowtell acquitted himself well on that occasion.
Bowtell also played in the South Australian National Football League before he returned to Southport in 1996.
As his playing career wound down, Bowtell started work in the social club, firstly at the reception desk, then pulling beers behind the bar.
After that he moved into the administration side of things, steadily moving up the ladder to a point when he became assistant manager to Paul Wyatt.
In 2008, when the Sharks and Wyatt parted company, Bowtell was elevated to the position of CEO.
As a player, Bowtell stuck to his limitations, nothing fancy but a strong work ethic, yet he was such good value that he eventually found a place in Southport’s Best of 25 Years of State League side, selected in a back pocket.
Bowtell played in four Southport premiership sides (1989, 1997, 1998 and 1999), making the Bowtells the only father-son combination to have won flags at the Magpies/Sharks.