Dr Alan MackenzieDean BowtellWally FankhauserAudrey FankhauserGerry CarmodyZane TaylorJason CotterNorm DareCraig CrowleyPaul WyattReuben PelermanGavan McGuane

Key contributors to the Southport Sharks

These are the men and women whose actions have helped to shape one of Queensland’s most successful clubs. Their contribution ranges from generous donations to administrative guidance and coaching excellence. Whilst their contributions to the Southport Australian Football Club may differ, all are united by there passion for local AFL.
Select a contributor to view bio

Dr Alan Mackenzie

Wally Fankhauser

Gerry Carmody




Dean Bowtell

Zane Taylor


Craig Crowley

Paul Wyatt

Reuben Pelerman

Gavan McGuane


Dr Alan Mackenzie
Current Position: President

IF they were to do a blood test on Dr Alan Mackenzie, they would probably find black and white coursing through his veins.
It is doubtful if there has ever been a record, in administration, anywhere in Australia to match that of the ‘Doc’.
Dr Mackenzie’s life at Southport began early in the 1970s when he started his medical practice on the Gold Coast.
‘Doc’ had been a pretty handy rover with Western Districts in the QAFL, so when he moved down the highway to the then Southport Magpies a remarkable association between man and club was formed.
A knee injury forced the ‘Doc’s premature retirement, but he was far from lost to the code. He was elected Southport president in 1974 – and has held the position every year since.
Including 2011, Dr Mackenzie has been president of the Magpies/Sharks for 38 consecutive years.
That, in itself – an unequalled longevity at the helm of a sporting organisation – perhaps best explains why the Sharks have been so powerful for so long.
But there is even more to the ‘Doc’.
In the early 1990s, as he continued his medical practice and Southport presidential duties, he also went to the Brisbane Bears.
‘Doc’ was club medico from 1992 to 1998 and was also chairman of selectors – which meant an awful lot of kilometres travelling up and down the highway.
And there were also stints as Queensland selector and medico.

In 2008 Dr Mackenzie was rightfully inducted to the QAFL Hall of Fame, adding that honour to a previous AFL service award and in 2012 he was named the Jack Titus award winner by the AFL.
Wally Fankhauser 

THE grandson of German immigrants, the late Wally Fankhauser is one of the major reasons why the Southport Sharks enjoy being the envy of sporting clubs nationwide.
It was his $2 million donation that set up the move of the club from Owen Park in Southport to a ground at Musgrave Hill, one which now bears the name of Wally Fankhauser Sports Reserve.
Fankhauser had been a major financial backer of the club up to then, but there is no question that, without his supreme generosity, what stands on the corner of Olsen and Musgrave Avenues might never have been.
Fankhauser’s early days were spent in Melbourne where the family ran fruit orchards. 
Fankhauser sold up in Melbourne in 1968 and moved to Queensland where he soon became a major player in real estate with a couple of land package purchases.
A keen supporter of the Melbourne Demons, Fankhauser could so easily have linked with Surfers Paradise in the old GCAFL. Surfers wore the Demons colours.
Labrador were no chance because Fankhauser hated Richmond, whose colours Labrador wore.
It was a chance meeting with a Southport supporter, who took him to the club’s original watering hole, the Pacific Hotel, when Fankhauser became a Magpie.
The rest is history.
Apart from his generous donation to establish the Fankhauser Reserve set-up, Wally put in plenty of hard work.

He personally bulldozed the mounds in place for what was originally to have been the headquarters of the Gold Coast District Rugby League and turned the area into a full-sized Aussie rules oval.
Fankhauser served as vice-president under Dr Alan Mackenzie for 23 years up to his untimely death in 1995.

Gerry Carmody
(10.12.1949 - 18.08.2011)
GERRY Carmody was standing enjoying a beer at the Down Under Bar of the Pacific Hotel one night late in 1974, minding his own business, when he somehow became elected as treasurer of the Southport AFC.
From then on Carmody was associated with the Southport committee, mostly as secretary and treasurer until his death in 2011, part of perhaps the most stable administration of any club in the nation.
It was an inadvertent drink at the right time that netted the Sharks their man.
Carmody had moved down to Southport from Stones Corner in his job with a ban, where the Southport Magpies had an account.
He met Wally Fankhauser, Dr Alan Mackenzie and had a drink at the old Regal Bar of the Pacific and they talked Carmody into joining up.
It was at this time the Magpies had set up the Down Under Bar when Ken Foster was pub licensee.
Anyway, it was in 1974 the Sharks had their AGM at the bar. Carmody was barside having a quiet drink when the meeting called for nominations for treasurer.
“They didn’t get one,” said Carmody. “Then Wally (Fankhauser) saw me and said ‘hey, that bloke over there is a bank johnny’.
“I’d had nothing to do with Aussie rules up to then.”
The rest is history.
The man’s impact on the club has been recognised by the naming of the superb Carmody’s Restaurant after him.

Audrey Fankhauser

THE matriarch of the Southport Sharks/Magpies, Audrey Fankhauser was the woman behind the scenes.

Audrey and Wally first joined Southport, then the Magpies, in 1969 and she went on to be heavily involved in the women’s committee running match-day canteens and cooking meals for after-match functions.
 She still supports her favourite club, which Wally put so much time and money into.
“The club is in my blood,” says Audrey. “I’m extremely proud of Wally for what he set up.”
Which raises an interesting matter because Audrey did not know her husband had donated $2 million to the Sharks in 1988.
She had been in London visiting youngest son Neville and did not learn of the massive donation until she returned home.
Did she blow up? Did she hit the roof?
“What could I say, it was all too late by then,” says Audrey. “I found out a long time before then that there was no use hitting the roof.


Dean Bowtell
Current Position:
Chief Executive Officer

FROM the playing field to club boss – that’s the fascinating journey of current Southport Chief Executive Officer Dean Bowtell.
The son of 1970s ruckman and dual premiership player, big Eddie Bowtell, Dean started with the Southport Sharks as a junior and he made his first-grade debut in 1989.
Bowtell played in the winning grand final side that year and was to go on to play a couple of games for the Brisbane Bears in the AFL reserves.
One feature of his short stint with the Bears was to play on former Carlton firebrand David Rhys-Jones at Princes Park. Bowtell acquitted himself well on that occasion.
Bowtell also played in the South Australian National Football League before he returned to Southport in 1996.
As his playing career wound down, Bowtell started work in the social club, firstly at the reception desk, then pulling beers behind the bar.
After that he moved into the administration side of things, steadily moving up the ladder to a point when he became assistant manager to Paul Wyatt.
In 2008, when the Sharks and Wyatt parted company, Bowtell was elevated to the position of CEO.
As a player, Bowtell stuck to his limitations, nothing fancy but a strong work ethic, yet he was such good value that he eventually found a place in Southport’s Best of 25 Years of State League side, selected in a back pocket.
Bowtell played in four Southport premiership sides (1989, 1997, 1998 and 1999), making the Bowtells the only father-son combination to have won flags at the Magpies/Sharks.


Zane Taylor

AN out-and-out champion player, Zane Taylor deserves the rating of being perhaps the best to ever don Southport’s black and white colours, both as a Magpie, then a Shark.
Joining Southport as a 17-year-old from Footscray, Taylor went on to play 200-plus matches for the club, he spent three seasons with Geelong in the VFL and he also chalked up a record 26 appearances for Queensland.
A tough, superbly fit half-back flanker or on-baller, he was subsequently honoured by the QAFL when the Zane Taylor Medal was struck for the state’s best player in representative games.
Taylor won three VFL reserve grade grand finals in his time with Geelong where he played 27 VFL seniors matches.
At Southport Taylor won four best and fairests, he took the 1985 Grogan Medal and won two Joe Grant Medals for best on ground in grand finals.
He also captained Southport for three grand final wins.
Taylor was inducted into the AFLQ’s Hall of Fame in 2008 and was subsequently named in Southport’s Best of 25 Years of State League side.

Jason Cotter
JASON Cotter has a record unmatched by perhaps anyone else in Queensland football.He was the first Surfers Paradise junior to play for the Sharks in the QAFL – in 1983 – and went on to establish a wonderful personal record.The diminutive rover featured in 10 grand finals with Southport, winning six times.Cotter represented Queensland 12 times (he was State captain in 1993), he won two Grogan Medals and was third another year over his 188-match career in the Black V. Cotter then switched to Palm Beach-Currumbin in the GCAFL and took the Lions to their first premiership in 10 years in 1995.In 1996 he did the same at rival GCAFL club Broadbeach – also ending a 10-year drought for that club, before taking the Cats to fourth spot when they entered the QAFL in 1997. After that Cotter was back at the Sharks as coach, winning three in a row from 1998 to 2000 before work took him away from the club. Cotter was assistant coach of Queensland’s U18s in 2002 and coached that side in 2003. In 2005 Cotter took over as Southport football manager but his coaching hat remained as be became Queensland under 21 coach that year, then open side coach in 2007, heading the Maroons to victory over Tasmania in Launceston. He was inducted into the AFLQ Hall of fame in 2008.

Norm Dare

A FORMER Fitzroy VFL wingman, Dare went on to be named Queensland  Coach of the Century for his deeds with Kedron, Southport and his adopted State.
Dare first moved to Queensland in 1980 and had instant success, taking the now Defunct Kedron Lions to a QAFL premiership.
Kedron finished runners-up in 1981, before Dare was lured to Southport to head the Sharks elevation from GCAFL and QAFL.
Southport lost the 1982 GCAFL grand final to Coolangatta, but under Dare the club created history in 1983 by winning the state league title.
Dare coached Southport to three premierships in the 1980s, was State coach in 1980-84, and then moved to be head coach at the Brisbane Bears.
He was subsequently assistant coach at both North Melbourne and Geelong then returned to Southport as football manager before setting up a private business.
But he was back for a second time as Southport coach, steering the Sharks to a QAFL grand finsl loss in 2004m, then a flag in 2005.
Dare stepped down after that, but late in 2010 was coerced to again take over as Southport coach.

Craig Crowley

PERHAPS the best all-round skilled player to pull on the Sharks jumper, Craig Crowley developed from a larrikin from Cora Lyn to a legend at Southport.
He joined Southport for the history-making 1983 QAFL premiership and went on to feature in 190 games for the club, winning  six grand finals – a record he shares with Jason Cotter and Clint Watts.
Crowley played 12 times for Queensland and was honoured by being named captain for the 1991 and 1992 seasons.
Crowley joined Surfers Paradise in 1994, but by the end of the decade was back with the Sharks as U18 coach.
For the next three years, Crowley was reserves assistant, then in 2004-05 was reserves coach and seniors assistant coach under Norm Dare.
When Dare stepped down at the end of 2005, Crowley was elevated to senior coach and took the club to two grand finals (2006-08) in his five years in charge.
In 2008 Crowley was inducted into the AFLQ Hall of Fame.

Paul Wyatt

MOVED across town from the Nerang RSL Club in 1995 to take up the position of secretary-manager of the Southport Sharks.At that stage the club had only a handful of poker machines, but Wyatt was to oversee the rise and rise of one of Queensland’s top-three licensed venues.He was at the administrative helm as the club went through two major refurbishments and expansions of the social facility as it grew to the stage where it had the maximum allowable 280 poker machines in operation.Wyatt, a passionate AFL lover, was also at the forefront of Southport’s bid to win an AFL licence, which first began in 1996, and he pursued that exercise with vigour. Wyatt’s time as chief Shark ended in 2008.

Reuben Pelerman

REUBEN Pelerman, to become one of Queensland’s richest men, was a main contributor to the rise of Southport as a football power. When Pelerman bought the Pacific Hotel on Marine Parade, the club was already operating the Down Under Bar – but was struggling financially.
With Pelerman’s help, the drinking hole was transformed into a profit-sharing business that made money. Even when Southport set up their own clubhouse at Owen Park, Pelerman stayed on as one of the club’s main financial backers and at one stage had agreed to partner Wally Fankhauser in covering costs of setting up new headquarters at Musgrave Hill.
Pelerman had been a regular at Sunday afternoon matches at Owen Park, but when the Brisbane Bears fell into strife with the collapse of Christopher Skase’s Qintex empire, he ended up taking over ownership of the AFL club.
During his association with Southport, Pelerman provided employment to some of the club’s interstate recruits through his hotels/hospitals and flower growing interests.


Gavan McGuane

INSPIRATIONAL ruck-rover Gavan McGuane holds a special place in the history of the Southport AFC.
He is the only player to have captained the club as both a Magpie and a Shark.
McGuane, the uncle of Collingwood great Mick, first joined Southport in 1980 after moving north from Golden Point in the Ballarat league.
McGuane played his first season with rthe then Magpies under Bob Webb, then under Bill Ryan in 1981, the season he was made club captain.
The next year, Norm Dare was in charge when the Magpies played their last game in the GCAFL, a grand final loss to arch rivals Coolangatta .
The next year, McGuane and the Sharks created history and memories of captain McGuane hoisting the QAFL premiership cup remain for ever.
McGuane subsequently captained the Sharks to the 1985 grand final, but left the club to be captain-coach of Coolangatta in 1986.
In 1987 McGuane returned to Southport and was a member of the 1987 premiership side, but again switched to Coolangatta where he won a GCAFL flag.
When Norm Dare headed off to the Brisbane in 1989, McGuane was appointed senior coach and he took the Sharks to back-to-back flags in 89-90, the latter when the Sharks went through unbeaten.
Sadly for McGuane, he was blinded in a workplace accident in April 1994, and was left with only 18 per cent vision in one eye.