1924 (as a junior club - acquired senior status in 1925)
Black and yellow
QFL 1925-6; QANFL 1927-36 and 1941-63; QAFL 1964-96; QSFL 1997-9; AFL Queensland 2002-present
Since its formation in 1924 the Mayne Football Club has taken its supporters on an emotional roller coaster ride which shows no signs of abating. Originally formed as a junior club, Mayne was accorded senior status in 1925 and enter a team in the QFL where, after spending a couple of seasons finding its feet, it broke through for an inaugural premiership in 1927. Mayne’s opponents in the 1927 grand final were Windsor, against whom the fledgling club would develop a strenuous rivalry over the course of the next decade. The rivalry intensified in 1928 when the two clubs again confronted one another on grand final day, with Mayne once again emerging victorious.
Windsor took out the 1929 premiership, downing Mayne by 4 points, and the following season spawned a controversy which has never satisfactorily been resolved, and almost certainly now never will. Once again the grand final pitted Mayne against Windsor, with Mayne winning 10.5 (65) to 7.8 (50). However, Windsor officials argued that as their club had finished at the head of the ladder after the home and away rounds they were entitled to challenge Mayne to a final, deciding match. Mayne refused to agree to this, and so some record books show the QANFL premiership for 1930 as being shared between the two clubs.
The introduction of the Page-McIntyre system of playing finals in 1931 conveniently eradicated this kind of uncertainty, and Mayne duly won the first true QANFL ‘grand final’ after beating the recently formed Taringa club¹ by 27 points.
QANFL grand finals during this era were played at Mayne’s then home ground of Perry Park, an arrangement that can be assumed to have been to the Tigers’ benefit. However, unlike other Queensland clubs of the time Mayne did not recruit heavily from interstate in order to enable the club to be competitive, relying instead almost exclusively on local recruits. In this context, its achievement of playing off for the premiership in ten out of ten seasons between 1927 and 1936 is extraordinary. However, the fact that it depended almost entirely on local talent in a locality where rugby was king perhaps explains why it struggled to field a team in the years leading up the second World War.
In 1941, however, football in the district of Mayne suddenly acquired popularity again, and the newly re-formed Tigers did well to reach the grand final, only to lose out to Kedron. In 1942 the side went one better, but there then followed a decade of mediocrity as the Mayne roller coaster resumed its oscillating trajectory. Mayne did not contest another grand final until 1951, but old rivals Windsor edged home by two straight kicks. A year later, however, in the first premiership decider since 1921 to be played at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground, the Tigers held their nerves to overcome Western Districts in the closest QANFL grand final ever, finally wining by a solitary point, 12.9 (81) to 11.14 (80).
Another flag followed in 1958, as Mayne overcame Kedron by 33 points, but it was to be the 1960s which would see the Tigers re-assert themselves as Queensland football’s leading club. Between 1961 and 1968 Mayne contested every grand final, winning four of them, and although over the course of the entire decade they were strongly challenged by Coorparoo there can be no doubts overall as to their supremacy, as the following table makes clear:
Mayne’s achievements since the 1960s have been comparatively meagre, although the side was competitive for most of the 1970s (one flag from three grand finals) and 1980s (another flag, this time from two grand final appearances). However, since the admission to the QAFL of Southport in 1983 and, to a slightly lesser extent, the arrival of the Brisbane Bears in 1987, Mayne’s profile and achievements have declined significantly. After the 1999 season the club was actually excluded from the competition, whereupon it entered into a legal battle with the AFL which ended up in the Federal Court. Ultimately, Mayne was successful - a unique achievement for such a comparatively small club - and the 2002 season found it reinstated, with damages.
Towards the end of the 2004 season it was announced that Queensland football was about to undergo yet another significant restructuring exercise, with Mayne being ‘invited’ to participate in the state league’s second tier. In a disappointing debut season at that level, the club won just 6 out of 16 minor round matches to finish eighth in a twelve team competition, while the following year was even worse, producing just 3 wins and a draw for tenth place (again, out of twelve). If that was not bad enough, the Tigers then endured a nightmare 2007 campaign that produced just a solitary win from 18 games and, inevitably, the wooden spoon. For long-suffering Tigers supporters, it seems that the roller coaster ride is set to continue for some time yet. However, with a promising crop of juniors waiting in the wings, it might not be too long before Mayne is once again at the forefront of the local game in Brisbane.
Among the most noteworthy names to have donned the famous black and yellow jumper down the years were courageous rover Peter Ives, wingman Tony Beckett (the first native born Queenslander to play for the Brisbane Bears), aggressive utility of the 1920s and ‘30s Eddie ‘Buckets’ Hadwen, and former North Melbourne premiership ruckman Mick Nolan.
1 Taringa, which was formed in 1930, later changed its name to Western Districts.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications