Legends of Local Footy recognised

Some of the deserving people named as Legends of Local Footy from the 40 year history of the AFL North Coast. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing

As the AFL North Coast celebrated the 40th straight year of competition which is about to get underway, some key figures from the history of local clubs in the region were recognised for the service they’ve given to the game.

The magnificent milestone was celebrated at C.ex Coffs as many stories were told and memories shared by those in attendance.

A brief history of the competition was revealed starting from that first match played in the middle of Coffs Harbour racecourse back in 1977 right through to today where the senior competition is looking forward to an eight team competition in the senior men’s grade while the women continue to go from strength to strength and are about to embark on a season where there will be six teams.

The highlight of the night though was recognising 38 people who’ve given so much not only to their club but footy in general. These 38 individuals were named as Legends of Local Footy.


North Coffs – Brian Saville, Mark Kelly, Ralph Hall
South Coffs/Coffs Swans – Steve Lavis, Ken McGrath, Steve Shelley
Nambucca Valley – Trent Baade, Jimmy Angel, Andy Johnston, Steve Schmidt, Greg Boatfield, Barry Toohey, Dave McCormack
Port Macquarie – Paul Wilson, John Stangherlin, Paul Sheldon, Anthony Beasley
Grafton – Warren Bagnall, James Hourigan, Gail Timmons, Kevin Dixon
Woolgoolga – EJ Merrick, Ivan McDonald, John Muggridge
Coffs Harbour Breakers – Jay Guthrie, Alan Clayton, Jason Sincock, Trevor Windmill, Ben Watson, Kirsten Burow
Sawtell/Toormina – Bob Crutchfield, Dave Rava, Alex Pearson, Mick Britton, John Arnold
Casino Lions – David Heath
Lismore Swans – Philip Tsourlinis, Daniel Bruce

Community Football & Competition Manager for Northern NSW, Paul Taylor, said the fact that the competition is able to celebrate its 40th anniversary is in large part due to the work done by those who received the honour during the evening.

“To think that the competition has been going for 40 years is a tribute to the resilience of the marvellous people who’ve been recognised,” Mr Taylor said.

“In the early years, AFL wasn’t recognised as a major code in the community but for these people to keep going and contribute so many voluntary hours because they love the game is a credit to them as they’ve managed to keep going to the point where AFL in now thriving in Northern NSW.”

To see the timeline of the development of AFL on the North Coast, please click here. This timeline not only features the past 40 years of the AFL North Coast League, it also includes the period prior to this which paved the way for the introduction of the local League.

Note: years within the timeline that indicate a team ceasing reflects the last season played, years indicating a team forming is the first year played.