The Merger Coda: The Birth of the Brisbane Lions

William Westerman concludes his account of the Fitzroy Lions/Brisbane Bears merger by placing it into its historical context and finds that, although it was ‘a tragedy, it was also the birth of something unique and special.’

The Merger Trilogy: The Room Where It Happened

The ultimate fate of Fitzroy in the AFL was decided by a group of middle-aged men in suits at Punt Road Oval, as William Westerman recounts in this conclusion to his trilogy marking 25 years since the first (and hopefully only) merger in VFL/AFL history was confirmed.

The Merger Trilogy: On the Frontier

William Westerman continues to chart the story that saw the Fitzroy Football Club merge with the then Brisbane Bears to become the Brisbane Lions.

The Merger Trilogy: A Man Walked Into a Bar

It was 25 years ago that one of the most significant and earth-shaking events in the VFL/AFL’s 124 year history took place. William Westerman (author of ‘Merger’) has a three-part series on the machinations around Fitzroy’s path from proud original club to subject of administration and economic rationalisation. This is the first part of the trilogy.

Book Extract – Merger: The Fitzroy Lions and the Tragedy of 1996

Another extract from William Westerman’s book, ‘Merger: the Fitzroy Lions and the Tragedy of 1996’. Was this day the worst of a very grim season?

Almanac Books: The Fateful Season – Remembering the Fitzroy Lions and the Tragedy of 1996

William Westerman explains his motives for writing his book about the Fitzroy FC: ‘Merger: The Fitzroy Lions and the Tragedy of 1996’. Details for purchasing the book are provided.

Round 3 – GWS v Melbourne: Sunday Night Lights

On a warm (for Autumn) Canberra evening, with Manuka a picture, William Westerman sees the emerging Dees deal with the battling Giants.

AFLW Round 6 – GWS v Brisbane: Capital Punishment

How good is footy in Canberra? William Westerman had the chance to support his Brisbane Lions in the flesh for the first time since moving to the ACT years ago. He watched an entertaining game with team performance the key.

Round 7 – GWS v Brisbane Lions: A Bespoke Football Experience

William Westerman was one of the lucky few who got to travel up to Giants’ Stadium and watch his Lions take on GWS. With more space and room to cheer, William watched his Lions give an improved performance.

AFLW Semi Final – Carlton v Brisbane: All Good Things Must Come To An End

William Westerman watched his Lions battle the Blues as larger events swirled around them. He pays his tribute to an AFLW season cut short.

A Phoenix from the Ashes: A Review of The Merge

William Westerman previews “The Merge”, a film detailing the the story and history behind the merger of the Fitzroy FC and the Brisbane Bears in 1996.

Round 16 – GWS v Brisbane Lions: Worth the Drive

It was a long drive from Canberra to Sydney for William Westerman to watch his Brisbane team take on GWS In their Round 16 clash but it was well worth the effort as his report explains.

Round 7 – GWS v St Kilda: We Haven’t Got the Close One

Manuka Oval in Canberra is superbly suited to Saturday afternoon football, as William Westerman reports. But as a neutral observer he was hoping for a closer game.

Comparing Sport and War: Some Reflections on Anzac Day

We revisit a piece from Anzac Day last year. Historian William Westerman has some important things to say about comparing sport with warfare.

Round 21 – GWS v Adelaide: The View From Jenkins’ Hill

William Westerman, an Englishman and 13,247 others walked into Manuka Oval. At the end of the night, the joke was on Adelaide as their campaign for the 2018 finals came to an end while GWS kept marching towards a top 4 spot.

VAFA Premier C – Fitzroy v Peninsula: A Walk In the Park

William Westerman, wife and three-month old son were down from Canberra to see the Roys play Peninsula at the Brunswick Street Oval. It was a beaut winter’s day – and the Roys made full use of the conditions.

Round 16 – Essendon v Collingwood: Homecoming

Down from the nation’s capital, William Westerman, as a neutral, soaks up the atmosphere of a big game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Not Taking Sides Against the Family: Fitzroy and the Lions through the generations

With his first son born just last week, William is faced with the prospect of assigning him a football team to support. Clearly in this age where personal choices about identity are so important, he feels he must tread lightly as he relates from his personal experiences.

AFL Rivalries – Not Usually a Zero Sum Game

The reasoning behind the rivalry existing between specific sporting teams is articulated authoritively by William Westerman.

Round 1 – GWS v Western Bulldogs: A windy day in Canberra

William Westerman files from “convivial” and “intimate” Manuka Oval, Canberra. While the Dogs’ premiership was just 23 games ago, this game was dominated by the Giants.