|V/AFL Clubs||South Melbourne|
One of the most diminutive players of his era at just 165cm and 71.5kg, Brian McGowan was a fine foil for his fellow rover, Bob Skilton, in 118 VFL games for South Melbourne from 1957 to 1963. He booted a total of 171 goals, including 38 in 1961 to make him the club's leading goal kicker. In 1964 he crossed to Glenelg where he formed a fine roving triumvirate with Colin Rice, formerly of Geelong, and Colin Richens McGowan played 58 games and kicked 115 goals in three seasons with the Bays. He was Glenelg's top goal kicker with 54 goals in 1964, and won the club's best and fairest award the following year. McGowan was club skipper in his last season, but it was a disappointing year as the Bays finished last.
Not surprisingly, McGowan's small physical stature elicited a fair amount of sledging on the part of opponents, but there were also occasional humorous incidents. In 1963, for instance, while playing for South Melbourne against Essendon, the teams were accompanied onto the ground by about forty young school children, dressed as club mascots. As the mascots were leaving the field prior to the start of play, the Bombers' 194cm, 96kg ruckman Geoff Leek sidled over to McGowan and said, "Hurry along there, sonny - all mascots off the field!"