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1988

 
Southport kick a major goal through massive Wally Fankhauser financial support
 

THIS was the year when club benefactor Wally Fankhauser dipped into his own pocket and came up with an unbelievable act of generosity – a $2 million donation that launched another significant chapter in Southport’s history.

Southport did not win the premiership this year but, off-field, the first seeds of what was to become one of Queensland’s grandest social and football operations were first sewn.

And, in ironic circumstances, it was a rival code that played a part in it all.

The Gold Coast District Rugby League had been granted a lease by the local council on a parcel of land on the corner of Olsen Avenue and Musgrave Avenue. The site was earmarked as the organisation’s headquarters.

Instead, after the league boys abandoned the idea, and after shaping a rectangular field complete with goalposts, the Southport Sharks swooped.

Keen to escape the tiny confines of Owen Park, the Sharks eventually won the nod from the Gold Coast City Council to take over the lease of the land.

That was when chief benefactor Mr Fankhauser personally bulldozed chunks out of the western hillside – where the social facility now stands – and turned the rectangular shape into a full-sized Aussie rules ground.

While all the football action remained at Owen Park, where Southport’s profitable social facility was located, things were moving quickly at Musgrave Hill where the club had invested its entire bank account of $800,000 to add to Mr Fankhauser’s quite incredible, no-strings-attached donation.

The playing field was readied for 1989 and the clubhouse construction began.

Mr Fankhauser had previously been involved in a partnership with another of Southport’s wealthy backers, Reuben Pelerman, that was aimed at eventually one day getting an AFL licence to the Gold Coast, and Southport in particular.

But when Mr Pelerman became a major supporter of the Brisbane Bears – then subsequently outright owner – Mr Fankhauser was left to carry the financial burden himself.

The man who drank Bundy rum and water in a 5oz glass went it alone. He loved the club and he put his money where his mouth was.

On the field, the Sharks’ season was so-so. They debuted a number of quality players, including Adrian Bassett from Carlton’s lower grades.

And Marcus Ashcroft, a teenager from Surfers Paradise, also made his seniors debut in the QAFL in round five. Ashcroft went on to become Brisbane’s AFL games record-holder and is a Legend in the AFLQ Hall of Fame.

Geoff James, from PBC, kicked 49 goals in six matches in a sensational start to the season – including a haul of 15 against Western Districts.

But just when the honour of becoming the first Southport player to kick 100-plus goals in a state league season looked a certainty, James suddenly left for interstate, never to be seen again.

That followed the retirement of Gary Dempsey after round six, leaving two gaping holes in Southport’s attack.
The Sharks also ‘recruited’ the likes of Bernie Harris, David O’Keeffe, Chris Stacey and the one and only Warwick Capper via the Brisbane Bears-QAFL draft that farmed AFL players out to state league clubs when they were not required at AFL level.

Southport subsequently won the second semi-final by 6.12 to 5.7 against Windsor-Zillmere, but a fortnight later lost the grand final to the same team by 13.13 (91) to 9.5 (59).

Season details:  Games played 18, won 15, lost 3.
Best and fairest: Craig Crowley.
Leading goalkicker: Geoff James (49).
State Championship: Played 6, won 4, lost 2, lost final v Gold Coast by 16.14 (110) to 10.9 (69) ast Salk Oval, Palm Beach.
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1988 MATCH RESULTS

Round 1 bye

Round 2 (Apr 24):
SOUTHPORT                    4.8  8.11  14.15  19.17 (131)
WINDSOR-ZILLMERE  3.6  5.12   10.15  14.16 (100)
Southport goals: G James 8, D Ashkar 3, D O’Keefe 2, G Dempsey 2, S Glascott 2, J Baryczka, A Bassett.
Southport best: P Riewoldt, G James, C Crowley, B Thompson, R Sarcevic, G Coventry.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 3 (May 1):
SOUTHPORT  9.5  24.11  35.18  42.24 (276)
KEDRON          3.4     5.4       7.7        8.8 (56)

Southport goals: G James 15, G Dempsey 7, J Cotter 5, B Harris 4, R Jones 3, A Bassett 3, G Coventry 2, S Glascott 2, A Kennedy.
Southport best: G James, A Bassett, G Coventry, C Crowley, J Cotter, B Harris.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 4 (May 8):
SOUTHPORT  10.6  12.9  18.15  22.19 (151)
SANDGATE       1.2    5.5    12.9    16.9 (105)
Southport goals: G James 5, G McKenzie 5, G Coventry 4, B Harris 4, R Jones 2, S Glascott, M Viney.
Southport best: C Crowley, A Bassett, G Coventry, J Cotter, S Handley, G McKenzie.
At Lemke Road, Brisbane.

Round 5 (May 15):
SOUTHPORT                    5.4  10.9  25.12  31.17 (201)
WESTERN DISTRICTS  2.2    4.3       7.7       9.5 (59)
Southport goals: G James 7, M Ashcroft 6, G Dempsey 5, B Prendergast  3, C Crowley 2, J Cotter 2, P McGarry 2, R Sarcevic, S Handley, C Van Wyk, P Snare.
At Chelmer Oval, Brisbane.


Round 6 (May 29):
SOUTHPORT       7.6  9.12  18.14  23.17 (155)
MORNINGSIDE  1.3    6.6     10.9  17.10 (112)
Southport goals: G James 7, C Crowley 3, G Coventry 3, G Dempsey 3, C Van Wyk 2, R Sarcevic, P McGarry, A Bassett, D Ashkar, M Ashcroft.
Southport best: G Coventry, C Van Wyk, D Ashkar, J Cotter, C Crowley, G James.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 7 (Jun 5):
SOUTHPORT               7.4  10.9  16.10  21.11 (137)
WILSTON-GRANGE  0.1    3.3      3.5         4.5 (29)
Southport goals: G James 7, A Bassett 5, P McGarry 3, G Dempsey 2, D Ashkar 2, P Drever, D Carlson.
Southport best: A Bassett, P Snare, C Van Wyk, D Carlson, P McGarry, P Riewoldt.
At Gold Coast Stadium, Carrara.

Round 8 (Jun 13):
SOUTHPORT  5.5  9.7  16.8  20.10 (130)
MAYNE             2.3  5.4    7.5    12.10 (82)
Southport goals: B Thompson 10, S Mangan 2, C Crowley, G Coventry, A Bassett, P Drever, D Ashkar, J Cotter, G McKenzie, P McGarry.
Southport best: D Carlson, A Bassett, R Sarcevic, B Thompson,  M Kennedy, P Riewoldt.
At Gold Coast Stadium, Carrara.

Round 9 (Jun 19):
SOUTHPORT  10.4  15.7  22.10  27.14 (176)
COORPAROO   4.2    7.6    10.8    13.12 (90)
Southport goals: D Ashkar 5, B Thompson 5, P McGarry 5, R Sarcevic 2, S Mangan 3, D Carlson 2, A Bassett 2, P Snare, J Cotter.
Southport best: R Sarcevic, B Prendergast, A Page, P McGarry, P Snare, J Cotter.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 10 bye

Round 11 (Jul 10):
WINDSOR-ZILLMERE  6.2  8.4  10.6  18.8 (116)
SOUTHPORT                    3.3  6.7  10.9  11.12 (78)
Southport goals: A Bassett 3, B Harris 2, B Thompson 2, S Mangan 2, D Ashkar, R Jones.
Southport best: A Bassett, C Van Wyk, R Sarcevic, C Crowley, P Riewoldt, J Cotter.
At O’Callaghan Park, Brisbane.

Round 12 (Jul 17):
SOUTHPORT  5.1  9.16  22.20  31.26 (212)
KEDRON         1.2    4.4      5.5        6. 8 (44)
Southport goals:  P McGarry 6, J Cotter 5, R Sarcevic 5, A Bassett 4, S Mangan 3, B Harris 3, R Jones 2, C Crowley 2, M Viney.
Southport best: J Cotter, P Drever, R Sarcevic, P Snare, P McGarry, A Bassett.
At Anderson Oval, Brisbane.


Round 13 (Jul 31):
SOUTHPORT  7.6  14.8  18.14  29.14 188)
SANDGATE     0.3    3.3    8.11   12.13 (85)
Southport goals: A Bassett 9, D Ashkar 4, S Mangan 3, M Ashcroft 2, P Drever 2, R Sarcevic, P McGarry, G Coventry, C Crowley, S Handley, C Van Wyk, R Jones, J Cotter, M Viney.
Southport best:  A Bassett, R Sarcevic, C Van Wyk, D Ashkar, P Snare.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 14 (Aug 7):
MORNINGSIDE  4.5  7.7  11.11  16.14 (110)
SOUTHPORT       4.4  6.7     7.9    11.12 (78)
Southport goals: B Harris 7, R Sarcevic, G Coventry, D Ashkar, J Cotter.
Southport best: B Harris, P Drever, R Sarcevic, M Kennedy, P McGarry.
At Esplen Oval, Brisbane.

Round 15 (Aug 14):
SOUTHPORT                    7.2  14.3  24.7  27.12 (174)
WESTERN DISTRICTS  1.3     5.4    6.7        8.9 (57)
Southport goals: R Sarcevic 4, P Riewoldt 4, D Ashkar 4, J Cotter 3, P McGarry 2, G Coventry 2, A Bassett 2, J Millane 2, P Drever, C Van Wyk, Z Taylor, M Kennedy.
Southport best: A Bassett, R Sarcevic, C Crowley, J Cotter, S Handley, M Kennedy.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 16 (Aug 21):
SOUTHPORT              10.5  14.5  20.10  25.16 (166)
WILSTON-GRANGE   3.0    3.9    4.12    10.14 (74)
Southport goals: W Capper 5, J Millane 4, C Van Wyk 2, D Ashkar 2, P Riewoldt 2, B Thompson 2, P McGarry 2, R Sarcevic 2, C Crowley, P Drever, S Handley, J Cotter.
Southport best: D Williams, C Crowley, R Sarcevic, S Handley, J Cotter, C Van Wyk.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 17 (Aug 28):
SOUTHPORT  3.6  5.13  6.16  11.18 (84)
MAYNE            0.2    3.2     6.7   9.10 (64)
Southport goals:  P Riewoldt 3, D Ashkar 2, B Thompson, R Sarcevic, P McGarry, J Millane, S Handley, J Cotter.
Southport best: C Crowley, R Sarcevic, A Bassett, J Cotter, P Snare, P Drever.
Sat Windsor Park, Brisbane.


Round 18 (Sept 4):
SOUTHPORT   1.0  12.5  16.9  21.12 (138)
COORPAROO  5.3    7.7    8.9    11.14 (80)
Southport goals: B Thompson 4, A Bassett 4, P Riewoldt 3, B Harris 2, R Sarcevic 2, D Bowtell 2, P McGarry, D Ashkar, J Cotter, C Van Wyk.
Southport best: R Sarcevic, A Bassett, P Riewoldt, D Bowtell, C Crowley, B Howell.
At Giffin Park, Brisbane.

Second semi-final (Sept 17):
SOUTHPORT                    3.4  3.6  5.11  6.12 (48)
WINDSOR-ZILLMERE  0.1  2.3    3.5     5.7 (37)
Southport goals: R Sarcevic 2, A Bassett, B Prendergast, P Riewoldt, D Ashkar.
Southport best: R Sarcevic, G Coventry, C Crowley, S Handley, A Page, M Kennedy.
At Windsor Park, Brisbane.

Grand final (Oct 2):
WINDSOR-ZILLMERE  3.4  8.7  11.4  13.13 (91)
SOUTHPORT                    2.3  6.3   7.4      9.5 (59)
Southport goals: A Bassett 3, R Sarcevic 2, J Cotter 2, M Kennedy, G Coventry.
Southport best: P Snare, B Howell, S Handley, P Riewoldt, A Bassett.
At Windsor Park, Brisbane.