Ian Rapkins achieved his second Best and Fairest. Barry Rudd and John Cheel debuted for the Magpies. The Pacific Hotel became the Magpies first true home.

Southport Magpies were embroiled in controversy before a ball was kicked in 1972. 1971 Captain Coach Des Collins was on the move as yet another Magpie coach was poached. Leo Busch stood firm placing a record transfer fee of $250 on Collins’ head. A war of words erupted in the media as Collins had two hearings and an appeal go against him (Click here to read article). Eventually the transfer fee was paid and Busch and his committee were vindicated. Southport AFC, with Leo Busch, Carl Tasker and Col Munro at the helm, were the main protagonists in the initiation of a GCAFL player insurance scheme that was a major step forward for the code.

Busch’s drive to improve the club is demonstrated by his recruitment of personnel both on and off the field. Col Munro (Photo) was noted for his administrative ability within the Gold Coast community, but had little knowledge of football. Peter Gallagher, the former Rugby League International was seconded as a Patron. Committeeman John Ogilvie was a former Rugby League player and a household name in surf life saving circles (Click here to read article on 1972 committee). Busch’s determination to establish a clubhouse and home for the Magpies was a motivating force. He was awarded the club’s fourth life membership at the Annual General Meeting held late in 1972.

Rod Todd was replaced as league president by Phil Cawthan who ambitiously arranged for a pre season visit by VFL club Fitzroy (Click here to read article)The visit did not eventuate in 1972 but came to fruition the following season. George Stephen resigned after almost a decade as GCAFL Secretary. A highlight of the 1973 season was the holding of the South Queensland Country Championships on the Coast. The Gold Coast was successful, taking out the Roly Daniels Shield from the Darling Downs, South Queensland and the Sunshine Coast (Click here to read article).

Western District’s Barry Rudd was recruited as the Magpies new Captain Coach (Photo). Clearance hold ups and injury were to severely hamper Rudd’s debut season but he did manage some excellent matches including a mid season ten-goal blitz against Broadbeach. Wally Hillis coached the reserves and Ken McDonald was still involved in a coach-mentoring role twelve years after he coached the first ever Magpies in 1961.

Junior players to impress in 1972 included Peter Willadsen, Mick Kelly, Kerry Reibelt and Grant Jones. 16-year-old Mark Kellam was selected in the Queensland Teal Cup team and also made his senior debut during the season.

Stuart Sampson ( Hamilton), Haydn Sutherland (Werribee), John Haselam (Rosebud), Ross Gillet (Western Districts) and Paul Johnson were recruits who regularly played seniors. “Buddha” Gillet was a most consistent performer taking out the prestigious media award, the Ralph Tobiano Trophy (Click here to read article). Peter Sapwell had a great start to the season and Ian Rapkins won his second Magpies Best and Fairest.

The Magpies season was floundering heading into round nine, but a heroic come from behind victory over Labrador saw the season gain some momentum. In an auspicious debut, former Queensland representative John Cheel played in rounds 12 and 13. Unique clearance arrangements on the Coast meant he was unable to compete again in the 1972 season with the Magpies. He was however, to make his mark at the club in the very near future.

Coolangatta had emerged as premiership favourites late in the season and the round 15 match at Len Peak Oval was viewed by the Magpies as an important barometer of their finals chances. Wild scenes erupted as brawls broke out on and off the field. A player struck a spectator in a dark day for the code. The Blues were too good for the Magpies and the season was looking decidedly shaky (Click here to read article).

The GCAFL had extended the season beyond 15 rounds to 18 for the first time and so the Blues returned to Owen Park in the last home and away game where the Magpies were successful by seven goals over the minor premiers. This sparked some real optimism that premiership success may be just around the corner. An eight-point loss in the First Semi Final to Palm Beach-Currumbin however, snuffed out a season in which the Magpies were always slightly off the pace. Surfers Paradise stamped themselves as the benchmark taking out the premiership in an upset victory over Coolangatta. Magpies under 17s (Colts) were a leading team all season but were narrowly defeated by the Demons on Grand Final Day (Click here for team photo). Mick Torrens won the Colt’s Best and Fairest (Click here for photo).

During the season club supporters Roy Rudd and Ken Foster, under the leadership of Leo Busch, had been busy in negotiations with club Patron and Pacific Hotel publican Rueben Pelerman over the establishment of clubrooms for the Magpies at the hotel. Amongst great fan fare the first real Southport AFC “clubhouse” was finally opened in late 1972 (Click here for photo). Much voluntary work was undertaken in preparations for the opening with many club members contributing labor, expertise, materials and equipment to its establishment. A fine example was the life-sized mural featuring a Dave Burns mark painted by Don Brown, a member of the first ever Magpies team (Click here for photo). The basement of the Hotel required the removal eight feet of sand. One article referred to “footballers working in their spare time over nearly four months [digging] with their bare hands to remove the sand.” This was followed by refurbishments with expenditure in excess of $50,000. It was truly a triumph of the dreams of a few men and women and some great community spirit. It was to set the Magpies up to begin to prosper and dominate.

Other articles/photos:

(Owen Park action)

(Dave Burns)

(Dave Burns)

(Bill Woods, Leo Busch, Ian Rapkins and others)

(1972 Trophy winners)

(1972 Team list)

1972 Match Results

Date  Venue Home Away Southport Goalkickers and Best Players
Round 1 9/04/1972 Owen Park Southport 9.15.69 PBC 15.7.97 (Best: Gillet, D Burns, Rudd, Rapkins, Fankhauser, Willadsen)
(Rudd 5, Kelly 2, Johnson, Rapkins, Sapwell, Watts)
Round 2 16/04/1972 Paradise Point Broadbeach 11.8.74 Southport 21.18.144 (Best: W Burns, Kelly, Rapkins, Stillman, Rudd, Gillet)
(Kelly 7, Stillman 4, Rapkins 3, Cullen 2, Rudd 2, Gillet)
Round 3 23/04/1972 Isle of Capri Surfers 15.13.103 Southport 10.14.74 (Best: Sapwell, D Burns, Best, Cullen, Rapkins, Johnson)
(Willadsen 2, Kelly 2, O’Brien 2, D Burns, Rapkins, Best, Gillet)
Round 4 30/04/1972 Owen Park Southport 15.17.107 Labrador 10.14.74 (Best: Sapwell, Dickman, D Burns, Gillet, Johnson, Rapkins)
(Rapkins 4, Rudd 3, Kelly 2, Stillman 2, Sapwell 2, Johnson, Power)
Round 5 7/05/1972 Len Peak Oval Coolangatta 16.23.129 Southport 13.10.88 (Best: Watt, Sutherland, Johnson, Gillet, Stillman)
(Kelly 5, Stillman 2, Cullen 2, Rapkins, W Burns, Watt)
Round 6 14/05/72 Salk Oval PBC 10.10.70 Southport 6.9.45 (Best: Sapwell, D Burns, Cullen, Kelly, Johnson, Gillet)
(Cullen 2, Kelly 2, Gillet, Johnson)
Round 7 21/05/1972 Owen Park Southport 27.13.175 Broadbeach 17.14.116 (Best: Sapwell, Sutherland, Johnson, Rodgers, Rudd, Kelly)
(Rudd 10, Kelly 5, Sapwell 4, Willadsen 3, Cullen 2, Bostock, W Burns, D Burns)
Round 8 28/05/1972 Owen Park Southport 10.10.70 Surfers 18.22.130 (Best: Wiiladsen, Kelly, Sutherland, Johnson, Rudd, Gillet)
(Kelly 3, Willadsen 2, Fankhauser, D Burns, Johnson, Rudd, Sutherland)
Round 9 4/06/1972 Labrador Oval Labrador 14.10.94 Southport 14.12.96 (Best: M Collins, Willadsen, Sutherland, D Burns, Stillman, Johnson)
(Willadsen 3, Fankhauser 2, Kelly 2, Cullen 2, Sapwell, Gillet, W Burns, Sutherland)
Round 10 11/06/1972 Owen Park Southport 15.9.109 Coolangatta 17.12.114 (Best: Johnson, Sutherland, Bruce, Sapwell, Rapkins, Gillet)
(Kelly 3, Rapkins 2, Power 2, Johnson 2, Gillet, Willadsen, Sampson, Sapwell, Sutherland, W Burns)
Round 11 18/06/1972 Owen Park Southport 20.10.130 PBC 13.16.94 (Best: Rapkins, Sampson, Gillet, D Burns, Johnson, Bruce)
(Rapkins 4, Kely 4, Sutherland 3, Johnson 3, Power 2, Jones, Cullen, Gillet, Willadsen)
Round 12 25/06/1972 Owen Park Broadbeach 13.10.88 Southport 18.14.122 (Jones 6, Power 2, Kelly 2, Gillet 2, Sutherland 2, Turner, Johnson, Rapkins, Kellam)
Round 13 16/07/1972 Isle of Capri Surfers 15.11.101 Southport 14.7.91 (Best: Best, Stillman, D Burns, Cullen, Gillet, Johnson, Bruce)
(Cheel 3, Kelly 2, Turner 2, Jones 2, Willadsen, Cullen, Rapkins, Johnson)
Round 14 23/07/1972 Owen Park Southport 24.16.160 Labrador 3.13.31 (Best: Sutherland, Jones, Gillet, Rapkins, Cullen)
(Sutherland 6, Jones 6, Kelly 4, Rapkins 2, Sapwell 2, Stillman, Gillet, D Burns, Sampson)
Round 15 30/07/1972 Len Peak Oval Coolangatta 18.18.126 Southport 11.7.73 (Best: Johnson, Rapkins, D Burns, Gillet, Cullen, Collins)
(Gillet 2, Sutherland 2, Cullen, Jones, Johnson, Kelly, D Burns, Rapkins, Sapwell) (Hayes 7)
Round 16 6/08/1972 Owen Park Southport 12.23.89 Labrador 8.20.68 (Best: Rodgers, Stillman, Willadsen, Kelly, Rapkins, Bruce, Sutherland)
(Kelly 2, Sutherland 2, Power 2, Rapkins, Turner, Cullen, Sampson, Stillman)
Round 17 13/08/1972 Isle of Capri Surfers 12.8.80 Southport 5.6.36 (Best: Sapwell, Haselam, Rapkins, Sutherland, Kelly, Riebelt)
(Rapkins, Sampson, Sutherland, Johnson, Kelly)
Round 18 20/08/1972 Owen Park Southport 22.17.149 Coolangatta 16.11.111 (Best: Gillet, Sutherland, Riebelt, Bruce, Kelly, Stillman, Willadsen, Sapwell)
(Kelly 4, Stillman 4, Johnson 3, Sapwell 2, Sutherland, Willadsen, Gillet, Rapkins, D Burns, Turner)
First Semi 27/08/1972 Salk Oval PBC 18.19.127 Southport 18.11.119 (Best: Rapkins, Burns, Johnson, Kelly, Collins, Gillet)
(D Burns 5, Kelly 4, Rapkins 3, Turner 3, Jones 2, Gillet)
Reserves Salk Oval Labrador 9.14.68 Southport 8.10.58 (Best: Watt, Monson, Rix, McGrath, Matheson, Cronan)
(Carnock 4, O’Brien 2, Alexander, Zamarini)
First Semi
Second Semi Coolangatta 15.12.102 Surfers 13.15.95
Reserves Surfers 14.11.95 Coolangatta 7.6.48
Under 17 Southport 6.11.47 Surfers 5.10.40
Prelim Surfers 14.21.105 PBC 12.11.83
Reserves Labrador 8.8.56 Coolangatta 7.8.50
Under 17 Surfers 9.9.63 PBC 2.5.17
Grand Final Coolangatta 9.10.64 Surfers 16.12.108
Reserve Grade Surfers 10.8.68 Labrador 8.5.53
Under 17 Southport 8.3.51 Surfers 11.8.74