Local Footy: Friar Mick’s introduction to footy

Friar Mick’s introduction to Footy


John Harms’s story from the Footy Almanac http://www.footyalmanac.com.au/in-praise-of-the-red-lions-and-varsity-footy/
reminds me of one of my first games for UQ reserves. We played against a team stacking its reserves for eligibility for the finals.


When I joined UQAFC in 1972 we weren’t yet called the Red Lions . That came a couple of years later after a long stopover at the Red Lion Hotel, Glencoe, on the way back from playing against University of New England. But that’s another 10 stories.


Anyway, a 63 kg 175 cm short-sighted ex rugby hooker/winger (I had the speed of a hooker, the build of a winger, and the kick of any number of rugby forwards) seeking to convert to Australian Football found it was hard to get a game early on. But Uni were a very friendly club and after wining and dining me at the Royal Exchange Beer Garden, Bruce ‘Pork E’ Prosser and Gary ‘Poopsie’ Miller promised me a start.


My big chance came against Deagon, during exams, when half the team disappeared. I got to play alongside Pork E in the back line. He told me I just had to mind the rover and an occasional tired ruckman. With Deagon stacking their team, and as my luck would have it, a particularly tall soldier from First Grade decided to rest the whole game in the forward pocket. Pork E was fully occupied with his “double” so I learnt how to cope with defeat in an extended lesson. The resting Rover never arrived and I spent 100 minutes being stood on, towered over, pushed out and clocked on the head with an elbow. It was a rough intro to the team and game I came to love over 11 seasons and 130 games.


Coaches Tommy Keay and Bill Vivian never taught me any finessin’ but they did teach me to try my hardest, spoil like crazy and chase down that ball before some big bugger got it. I was ironed out only once in 11 years (by a South Brisbane Ruckman; O Boy!) and even got a best and fairest in my 4th season, so the mentoring by Pork E returned good interest on the free chips and beer at the RE that “O” week in ’72.


Friar Mick Power No. 55 1972 – 82


About tom lonergan

Coached UQ-Red Lions in 70's & 80's Red Lion Roar editor


  1. The song goes something like “There’s only one Tommy Lonergan” and Tom was the heart and soul of the Red Lions for many years. Tom, this is an excellent story on Friar Mick

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