A Taringa Football Club competed in the Queensland Football League in 1920, for just a single season. Ten years later a second Taringa club emerged, and took its bows in senior competition in 1931. In its first thirteen seasons in the Queensland Australian National Football League, it contested five grand finals, losing them all. A name change to Western Districts in 1946 did not bring any immediate change in fortune but by the beginning of the 1950s the club was starting to flex its muscles. After finishing third in 1951 it reached the grand final for the first time under the new name the following year, only to go down to Mayne by a solitary point.
Western Districts’ first premiership arrived in 1953 when it edged out Windsor by 9 points in a low scoring grand final. In 1954 it won again, beating Sandgate 12.11 (83) to 10.7 (67), but in 1955 it dropped to third and did not contest the finals again until 1962, when it lost in the preliminary final.
The 1960s brought two consecutive grand final appearances in 1966 and 1967 but Mayne proved too strong on both occasions. Western Districts’ last significant flourish came during the late 1970s when it qualified for three consecutive grand finals. In 1977 it fought out a thriller with Wilston Grange, finally scraping home by 5 points, and the following year it scored a semi-miraculous 4 point victory over Windsor-Zillmere despite having 13 fewer scoring shots.
The Bulldogs’ last grand final appearance came in 1979 when they lost by 28 points to Sandgate.
The 1980 and 1981 seasons saw Western Districts contest the finals for the last ever times. In 1991 the Bulldogs merged with Sherwood, forming a new club, West Brisbane, which won a flag in 1996.
Noteworthy players for Western Districts over the years included dual Grogan Medallists Doug Pittard and Owen Backwell, the latter of whom also topped the Queensland Australian Football League goal kicking list with 93 goals in 1977. The Bulldogs’ most famous ‘export’ was probably Gavin Crosisca, who played for Collingwood for many years with considerable success including membership of the club's 1990 premiership team.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications