First Meeting

Within four days of the formation of the Gold Coast Australian Football League (GCAFL) the first Australian Football club on the Coast was born. Southport Australian Football Club (Southport AFC) was formed on May 22, 1961. The inaugural meeting was held at the Labrador home of John McCann. Eleven enthusiasts (2 women and 9 men) attended this momentous event. The members of the first committee from that meeting were: (Patron) Robert Radcliffe, (President) William (Bill) Woods, (Vice President) Les Betteridge, (Treasurer) Roy Franks, (Secretary) John McCann, (Players representative) Don Brown (Committee members) W Mason, Ken Long, R Beveridge (Click here to read article).

First Match

Media interest in the first game was keen and reasonable publicity was generated. League officials were ecstatic when over 1000 spectators arrived at the Labrador Sports Reserve behind the Old Grand Theatre for the inaugural Southport v Centrals match on Sunday June 25, just a month after the club was commenced. The Southport team for this great day was: Ken McDonald (Captain), Bob Stringer (Vice-Captain), Robin Best, Des Hall, Graham Watson, Bob Manuel, Bert Sherring, Graham Radcliffe, Ian Radcliffe, Roy Rose, Laurie Roberts, Don Brown, Jim Carmichael, John Burke, John Gray, Len Anderson, Barry Chorley, Peter Thrift (Click here for team photo). The club’s great playing history
commenced successfully with a dour battle in which the Magpies ran out winners. Former New South Wales schoolboy representative players Ian and Graham Radcliffe made promising debuts for the club. Ian Radcliffe had played Rugby League with the defunct Southport based All Whites club. Southport President Bill Woods umpired the inaugural GCAFL match. Southport 8.10.58 (Brown 2, Sherring 2, G. Radcliffe 2, Gray, Manuel) defeated Centrals 6.11.47 (Click here to read match report).
First Premiership - 1961

The day after Essendon had just defeated St.Kilda in the VFL Grand Final in front of 104,846, Ken McDonald, Graham Radcliffe and Peter Dalgrin were the stars for the Magpies as they took out their first premiership Southport 9.12.66 defeated Ipswich 7.11.53 (Click here to read match report).