Rugby league has the Walters, rugby the McLeans and baseball the Nilsson brothers. But what other families feature in Queensland’s sporting family hall of fame.
Rugby league has the Walters, rugby the McLeans and baseball the Nilsson brothers. But what other families feature in Queensland’s sporting family hall of fame.

REVEALED: The 80 great sporting families of Queensland

When it comes to great sporting families, Queensland has the best of the best.

Rugby league has the Walters' clan, rugby the famous McLeans and baseball the Nilsson brothers.

Ipswich brothers Kerrod, Kevin and Steve Walters - the most famous of five sporting brothers - hold a special place in our rugby league sporting history having all played for Australia and won premierships, while there is arguably no more famous family than the McLeans.

Doug McLean was the patriarch, a dual code international who had three sons - Doug junior, Bill and Jack who all played for the Wallabies. Doug senior's three grandsons, Jeff, Paul and Peter, were also decorated Wallabies as well. It is an extraordinary family tree.

In baseball, Dave Nilsson played for Major-league Baseball's Milwaukee Brewers in the 1990s, and was an All-Star in 1999, the first Australian to appear in such a game. His brothers Gary, Bob and Ron also played in the Australian Baseball League. Dave is also the uncle to former elite junior Jay and current Bandits star Mitch.

But around them, who are some of Queensland's other great sporting families?

 

Olympic rower Madeleine (Maddie) Edmunds has a boat named after her in the St Maragret's Anglican Girls' School rowing shed. Picture: Richard Waugh
Olympic rower Madeleine (Maddie) Edmunds has a boat named after her in the St Maragret's Anglican Girls' School rowing shed. Picture: Richard Waugh

EDMUNDS' FAMILY (Rowing)

Father Ian and his daughters Maddie and Jacinta are decorated Queensland and Australian rowers. Ian, a Brisbane State High School old boy, was a 1984 Olympic Games bronze medallist (rowing VIII) and 1983 world championship bronze winner. His daughters, St Margaret's Anglican Girls' School alumni Madeleine (Rio Olympics) and Jacinta (2019 world championship) have both rowed for Australia at the highest level, with Jacinta poised to become the family's third Olympian before the COVID-19 crisis shut down world sport.

 

Neil Betts reflects on a life less ordinary.
Neil Betts reflects on a life less ordinary.

BETTS' BROTHERS (rugby)

Souths rugby has had some mighty family associations over the years, including the Cannon clan, among many. But one of the more famous is Betts boys, Neil and Kevin. Both were tough as teak forwards, with Neil rising to become a Wallaby after captaining Queensland. Not content with his on field effort, Neil Betts then became a long serving club president of the Magpies. Kevin also contributed off the field, coaching Souths to the 1958 premiership - a team which contained his brother Neil "Tiny'' Betts.

 

A Great Britain forward runs into the defence of Toowoomba Clydesdales prop forward Rohan Hancock (left) and second-rower Peter Connell, with Greg Platz on left (No. 9) running back into position in 1979. The mighty galloping Clydesdales won the match 19-16. Photo: By Lionel Coxen compliments of Allora Regional Sports Museum. Photo Contributed
A Great Britain forward runs into the defence of Toowoomba Clydesdales prop forward Rohan Hancock (left) and second-rower Peter Connell, with Greg Platz on left (No. 9) running back into position in 1979. The mighty galloping Clydesdales won the match 19-16. Photo: By Lionel Coxen compliments of Allora Regional Sports Museum. Photo Contributed

LEW AND GREG PLATZ (rugby league)

The Darling Downs is one of rugby league's richest hunting grounds for recruitment scouts and it was no different in the 1970s when two brothers, Lew and Greg Platz, were playing rugby league. Lew, a tall, long striding second rower who had club stints at Wynnum-Manly, Parramatta and Penrith, played for Australia in 1975. Three years later Greg Platz, also a backrower, captained Queensland Country to an upset win over Combined Brisbane, winning a place in the state side and then earning a Test against New Zealand at Lang Park. Two country boys, two Australian players. Not bad for a couple of bush boys.

 

Chris Goffer with his wife and sons. PIC: Matt McColl
Chris Goffer with his wife and sons. PIC: Matt McColl

THE GOFFERS (softball)

Red Sox softball club stalwart Chris Goffer recently celebrated his 500th club game - and all six sons suited up to play alongside of him. Shaun, an Australian Steelers representative, Brandon, Shannon, Ethan and Ashlee were teammates - while his wife Fiona was the official scorer. Now that is one famous Queensland sporting family, with more than four decades dedicated to Red Sox.

 

Newmarket Racers swimming coach Steve Miller, right, is also the head coach of the champion All Hallows' School swimming squad.
Newmarket Racers swimming coach Steve Miller, right, is also the head coach of the champion All Hallows' School swimming squad.

THE MILLERS (Water polo, boxing, swimming, rugby)

The sporting deeds of the Miller family could easily be forgotten, but few families can match having siblings representing Australia at the same Olympics. Water polo player Gail Miller was a member of the Sydney 2000 gold medal winning team while boxing brother Paul performed with distinction as a middleweight at the same Games. In addition, another brother Steve (Newmarket Racers Swim Club) was on the 2019 world junior championships coaching staff and has also coached All Hallows' School to a record breaking run at CaSSSA carnival. Another brother Chris was an elite under 19 rugby player before injury ended his career.

 

Tallulah Civonicevain her Queensland softball uniform. Picture: Richard Walker
Tallulah Civonicevain her Queensland softball uniform. Picture: Richard Walker

THE CIVONICEVA FAMILY

Is there a more popular person in Queensland; and sport than Petero Civoniceva? Jeff Horn, Allan Langer, Michael Kasprowicz and John Eales would be other contenders in the good bloke stakes, but big Petero would be in the semi-finals for sure. A gentle giant, he was a record breaking Australian rugby league front rower and Broncos' legend. Now his children, Kaden and Tallulah Civoniceva are making their mark in Queensland representative teams. And Petero's dad, Petero senior, was a mighty first grade rugby second rower for the Redcliffe club. They are indeed a great Queensland sporting family.

 

Danny Dickfos (C) with brothers Michael Dickfos (L) and Robert Dickfos in 1996.
Danny Dickfos (C) with brothers Michael Dickfos (L) and Robert Dickfos in 1996.

DICKFOS BROTHERS

In the glory years of the QAFL there were the Dickfos brothers - Danny, Robert and Michael. Danny was the most successful of the boys who played AFL, but maybe Robert - an outstanding state representative - was the best of the boys. Older brother Michael was also an Queensland player and renowned leader, an Eagles premiership player who turned to coaching when injury slowed him.

 

Tim Frisby, left, only has eyes for the ball in the 1987 grand final.
Tim Frisby, left, only has eyes for the ball in the 1987 grand final.

FEARLESS FRISBY'S

The brilliant best of the Frisby family is undoubtedly Wallaby and Queensland representative Nick - but 35-40 years before his state debut three uncles made names for themselves in club rugby. For three seasons at the GPS club Mick Frisby was the most feared back in Brisbane club rugby, running with great gusto with the ball, and in defence launching himself at opponents like an exocet missile leaving a rocket launcher. He was also good enough to play for Queensland B against the touring England. Little brother Tim was no less courageous, starring for Brothers in the extraordinary premiership win of 1987 against the odds against a Wallaby-laden Souths. Before Tim and Mick arrived on the club rugby scene, older brother Paul was already a premiership winner with the mighty Brothers club in the late 1970s. An athletic winger, Paul Frisby's grand final try was a typically acrobatic performance by the flashy wingman, a tumbling effort still spoken about today around Crosby Park.

 

Australian rugby league representative Steph Hancock with her father and former Kangaroo Rohan Hancock at the Allora Sports Museum 20th anniversary celebrations.
Australian rugby league representative Steph Hancock with her father and former Kangaroo Rohan Hancock at the Allora Sports Museum 20th anniversary celebrations.

HANCOCK FAME

The Hancock family created their own slice of QRL history when Stephanie played in the inaugural women's State of Origin clash - decades after her dad did exactly the same thing with the men's team (1980). Rohan was selected from the Darling Downs and was second rower in Artie Beetson's historic team that evening, and a long time Queensland country teammate of Greg Platz (mentioned above). Steph Hancock has also been an imposing forward with Queensland, Australia and the Broncos.

 

Daniel Herbert (ball) surges over top of Scott Staniforth during Qld Reds vs NSW Waratahs Super 12 game at Ballymore. Picture: Anthony/Weate. Rugby Union A/CT sport action
Daniel Herbert (ball) surges over top of Scott Staniforth during Qld Reds vs NSW Waratahs Super 12 game at Ballymore. Picture: Anthony/Weate. Rugby Union A/CT sport action

THE HERBERT BROTHERS - and PAUL MILLS as well

There are not too many parents who would have had the joy of seeing their sons both play in the No. 13 Wallaby jersey - but the late Margaret and Gerry Herbert did just that. Oldest son Anthony was first cab off the rank, proudly playing for Queensland and then Australia - including helping the Wallabies to a rare Test win on New Zealand soil. Some years later little brother Daniel Herbert came along, playing the first of his 67 Tests in 1994. Daniel was also an outstanding junior tennis player which was no surprise when you consider his father Gerry once beat the great Rod Laver at a junior tennis tournament in Rockhampton.

 

Anthony Herbert was a member of the Wallabies 1991 World Cup winning squad.
Anthony Herbert was a member of the Wallabies 1991 World Cup winning squad.

The Herbert's impressive family tree around rugby did not end their, with their cousin Paul Mills also an outstanding - you guessed it - outside centre. Mills was a legend at the Brothers club, and was in the same side as Tim Frisby (mentioned above) which upset Souths to claim the 1987 QRU club premiership. Mills, a wonderful tackler and classy runner, also played for Queensland. In addition, Anthony Herbert's father-in-law is Albie Taylor, who helped start Wests rugby and whose sons all played for GPS, including big hearted first grade backrower John who was highly respected by his peers.

 

Former tennis players Trevor Fancutt and wife Daphne Fancutt (nee Seeney), with sons Charles (back l), 17, Michael (back r), 15, and Chris, 10, in 1977.
Former tennis players Trevor Fancutt and wife Daphne Fancutt (nee Seeney), with sons Charles (back l), 17, Michael (back r), 15, and Chris, 10, in 1977.

THE FANCUTT FAMILY

The Fancutt family are institutions in Queensland Tennis. Husband and wife team of Trevor and Daphne Fancutt were outstanding tennis coaches, with mentoring a natural fit for Daphne after a decorated playing career which including being the 1956 Wimbledon ladies' doubles final runner-up alongside Fay Muller. One of Daphne's most notable juniors was former world No. 3, Wendy Turnbull. The couple had three sons - who all competed as professionals. Indeed all family members are some stage competed in the main draw of Wimbledon. The Fancutt name lives on through Daphne's five grandchildren, with Tom a modern day player.

 

Pat Howard displays his slick passing skills at Wallaby training.
Pat Howard displays his slick passing skills at Wallaby training.

HOWARD-TOWERS (Rugby)

Children of the 1960s and 1970s would know of Pat Howard as a lovely ball-playing fly-half or inside centre for Queenland, the Brumbies and Wallabies, and also as performance head of Cricket Australia. But the Howard sporting story stretches back to 1926 when his grandfather, Cyril Towers, played in the first of his 19 Tests. Towers' son-in-law Jake Howard, who is Pat's father, also played in the front-row for the Wallabies in the 1970s.

 

 

FREE TO ROW

The Free family is one of the most famous in Queensland sport. Duncan was an Olympic gold medallist and two-time world champion who represented Australia at four world rowing championships. From the Surfers Paradise Rowing Club, he was the son of ex-Australian rower Reg who coached several Queensland King's Cup crews, crews which included his sons Duncan and Marcus.

 

The Walker brothers with Wayne Bennett after signing with the Broncos.
The Walker brothers with Wayne Bennett after signing with the Broncos.

THE WALKERS (rugby league)

The Walker brothers are slightly in the shadows of the famous Ipswich brothers, the Walters, but the Walker legacy lives on and on. It started with dad Garry, a second rower for Brothers and Norths in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From Toowoomba, the good oil was that in 1982 the state selectors had to decide between Walker and Bob Kellaway for an Origin reserve position - and Kellaway was chosen. But the Walker name lived on through sons Ben, Chris and Shane, all NRL players, and now through has grandson Sam who is poised to make his NRL debut for the Roosters in 2021.

 

THE CARR FAMILY (rugby league)

There was no finer player in the BRL than Norm Carr, a Wests stalwart who moved to Souths late in his career where he won a premiership. Carr was a classic cover defending lock for the Panthers and then Souths who also played State of Origin football. He also had the honour of playing in the same Queensland team as his brother, five-eight Wayne, prior to the creation of State of Origin. Norm's son Cameron also became co-captain of the Australian wheelchair rugby team. Other BRL clubs had famous families associated with them as well, including the Cherry brothers (Redcliffe, see below), Albert Bishop whom Norths Devils' home ground is named after and the Hickey family on which Brisbane Brothers developed Corbett Park.

 

John Buchanan was ahead of his time as the Queensland Bulls coach.
John Buchanan was ahead of his time as the Queensland Bulls coach.

BUCHANAN FAMILY (cricket, rugby)

John Buchanan is best known as Australia's most successful cricket coach and the man who guided Queensland to its first ever Sheffield Shield win in 1994-95. But as a cricketer with the University of Queensland club, Buchanan twice won competition Player of the Year awards, with his all-round efforts leading to Queensland Sheffield Shield selection. The children of John and Judy Buchanan were also notable sporting talents. Michael was an Australian Schoolboys rugby player who played T20 cricket for his home state in 2006 and 2007. His brother Tim played a game for the Queensland Reds and was involved in two rugby premierships with University.

 

Surf lifesaving competitor Courtney Hancock and Nick Buchanan.
Surf lifesaving competitor Courtney Hancock and Nick Buchanan.

Nicholas then had the distinction of helping the Australian Schoolboys rugby side to a rare win over the New Zealand schoolboys and went on to play T20 for the Brisbane Heat and a List A game for Tasmania. Nick's partner is Courtney Hancock, ironwoman champion and three time winner of the Coolangatta Gold event.

 

Lionel Williamson watched his grandson Lindsay help Queensland to a State of Origin series win. Picture: Brendan Radke
Lionel Williamson watched his grandson Lindsay help Queensland to a State of Origin series win. Picture: Brendan Radke

COLLINS-WILLIAMSON CLAN (rugby league)

You would not get too many more famous rugby league sporting families than the Williamson-Collins clan. Most recently Lindsay Collins did his family proud by helping Queensland to November's State of Origin series win. Lindsay is the grandson of Lionel Williamson, a proud North Queensland man who represented Australia as a winger. His relatives are Henry and Max Williamson who were also BRL premiership winners with the mighty Wests Panthers in the mid-1970s.

 

Rugby League great Greg Veivers.
Rugby League great Greg Veivers.

THE VEIVERS LEGEND (rugby league)

The Veivers family is legendary in Queensland sport in both rugby league and cricket. From the Beaudesert/Beechmont region, initially Jack Veivers played rugby league for Souths Brisbane and Queensland and then his cousins, Mick (rugby league) and Tom (cricket) played Test matches for Australia. Jack's son Greg, then emerged in the 1970s as an elite rugby league player with the Souths Magpies. Indeed he was an inspiring state captain, a big match player who played better, the bigger the match. Greg, a prop, captained Australia in 1977. His young brother Phil then played 400 first grade rugby league games in England in the 1980s for St Helens where he was highly regarded.

 

 

THE HEALY'S (cricket)

The legend of the Healy sporting family lives on through Alyssa Healy who is an absolute gun player in the Australian women's team. Like her uncle Ian, Alyssa is both a wicketkeeper and batter who excels in both disciplines. Uncle Ian was, of course, the wicket keeper of the century prior to his retirement, so good was he standing up to the stumps to the great Shane Warne. Ian's brother, Ken, also had the distinction of playing a Sheffield Shield match for Queensland, while Ian's son was also an elite junior player.

 

 

KEFU BROTHERHOOD (rugby)

One of rugby's most famous Queensland sporting families is the Kefu crew. The most decorated of the boys is Toutai, a World Cup winning hero backrow powerhouse who was so skilled, he could play inside centre with ease. His younger brother Steve was leaner, specialist centre who played for Queensland while young Mafileo Kefu was also a fine provincial player. They were sons Tongan Rugby star Fatai Kefu.

 

Molly Nasse is introduced to the crowd. Picutre: Richard Walker
Molly Nasse is introduced to the crowd. Picutre: Richard Walker

THE NASSER FAMILY (rugby, water polo)

Brendan "Bobby" Nasser was a hard-nosed backrower who helped the Wallabies win the 1991 World Cup. Now he is watching his son, Joshua, don the famous Queensland jersey he once wore, while his niece, Molly, is an emerging left hand goal scorer for the Queensland Thunder water polo team.

 

Silver medalist Cate Campbell (left) and her sister gold medalist Bronte Campbell (right) during the medal ceremony for the Womens 100m Freestyle Final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. (AAP Image/Darren England)
Silver medalist Cate Campbell (left) and her sister gold medalist Bronte Campbell (right) during the medal ceremony for the Womens 100m Freestyle Final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. (AAP Image/Darren England)

SISTER ACT (swimming)

The Australian Dolphins currently have two sets of sisters - the Campbells and McKeown girls (the families are not related) - proudly representing their country. The Campbell girls are the best of the best, elite freestyle sprinters who have the best in the world peering over their shoulder when they share the same starting blocks with them. But the McKeown girls have fast generated their own legacy, with Kaylee joining older sister Taylor on the Dolphins team.

 

Tenealle Fasala from Queensland in the Australian Water Polo League. Picture: Renae Droop
Tenealle Fasala from Queensland in the Australian Water Polo League. Picture: Renae Droop

FASALA'S - father and daughter (swimming, water polo)

Greg Fasala was a member of the famous Mean Machine, 4×100m freestyle relay team that won a silver medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. And now his daughter, Tenealle, is closing in on her own Olympic achievement, having been elevated into the Australian squad preparing for the Tokyo Games after making giant strides for Queensland Thunder.

 

McDERMOTT MAGIC (cricket)

Billy "The Kid" McDermott burst onto the scene in the summer of 1984-85 to take on the West Indies at the height of their powers. McDermott went on to take 291 Test wickets for Australia and is one of our finest fast bowlers. But his sons, Alistair and Ben, also had successful careers, with Alistair winning a Sheffield Shield for Queensland and Ben one of the superstars of the BBL who recently shone for Australia A against India.

 

Australian swimmer Georgia Bohl in action. Picture: Darren England
Australian swimmer Georgia Bohl in action. Picture: Darren England

THE BOHLS

Rio Olympic Games selection Georgia Bohl followed in the footsteps of her father when she represented Australia. Years earlier, at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, the son of a policeman called Michael Bohl plunged into the water swimming for Australia in his home state. Michael remains on the Australian coaching team.

 

Wests Panthers premiership winning coach Craig Green with his daughter Lilly, right, and son Sam.
Wests Panthers premiership winning coach Craig Green with his daughter Lilly, right, and son Sam.

THE GREEN FAMILY

Few families can beat the golden touch the Green family have on rugby league grand final day. The story starts back in the 1970s when inspiring Wests Panthers front rower Bob Green led his team to a BRL premiership. Fast fast forward two decades and Bob's son, Craig, was ploughing up the middle, again playing front row for Wests in their grand final win over Easts. And then in 2019 Craig's daughter Lily won the women's QRL club premiership, helping Wests upset Burleigh Heads on grand final day. That side was coached by Craig. It was why the Green family can comfortably claim to be one of Queensland's most famous sporting families.

 

Richie Benaud (left) and Ron Archer.
Richie Benaud (left) and Ron Archer.

ARCHER MAGIC

If you picked Queensland's greatest ever Sheffield Shield side, then Ron Archer's name would be very, very high up on the short list of contenders. A brilliant all-rounder, Ron was arguably headed for Australian captaincy until injury curtailed his career. Ron's brother, Ken, also played Test cricket as a specialist batsmen. Between the boys they played a total of 24 Tests - an enormous feat for a couple of lads from Brisbane's inner eastern suburbs.

 

Brisbane coaches Bruce Palmer and Brian Kerle. Convention centre basketball Brisbane Bullets vs Canberra Cannons.
Brisbane coaches Bruce Palmer and Brian Kerle. Convention centre basketball Brisbane Bullets vs Canberra Cannons.

THE KERLE FAMILY

Queensland rugby league has Wayne Bennett, Reds rugby had Bob Templeton and John Connolly, and basketball had Brian Kerle. Kerle, a giant of a man, is a legend of Queensland sport, having led basketball out of the wilderness in the 1980s and into the spotlight in that decade and beyond. An Olympian, Kerle become a four-time championship-winning coach in the National Basketball League. He then watched his son, a shooting guard, produce a 381-game, 16-season NBL career

 

 

Vern (cowboy hat) and Frank Daisy, legendary Foley Shield footballers. Picture: Mark Cranitch
Vern (cowboy hat) and Frank Daisy, legendary Foley Shield footballers. Picture: Mark Cranitch

DAISY LEGENDS

Bush rugby league legends Vern and Frank Daisy were Foley Shield powerhouse in the 1970s and 1980s. Vern, uncle of popular Queensland and NRL premiership winning halfback Scott Prince, played in the forwards and Frank in the backs with Mt Isa.

 

CURRIE MEDALS

Like uncle, like nephew, Allan and Tony Currie hold a special place in Queensland Rugby League history, having both won a BRL Rothman's Medal. Allan played with Easts in the 1970s where he was a premiership winning lock, while Tony (Wests, Redcliffe, Canterbury, Broncos) was a backline superstar who played for Queensland and Australia as either a centre, winger or fullback.

 

Barracudas player Kate Gynther playing for Brisbane Barracudas. Picture: Liam Kidston
Barracudas player Kate Gynther playing for Brisbane Barracudas. Picture: Liam Kidston

GYNTHER GREATNESS

Australian water polo great Kate Gynther is a local legend who has been a Brisbane Barras stalwart forever and a day. Indeed earlier this year the triple Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medallist came out of retirement to play in the Water Polo Queensland Premier League - while Drew and Scott Gynther played for the men's Barras. Kate's stepsisters are Rebecca Rippon and Melissa Rippon, both of whom have played for the Australian women's national water polo team.

 

Lote Tuqiri in full stride.
Lote Tuqiri in full stride.

TUQIRI FLAIR - and FIRE

Fijian born, the Tuqiri family is renowned in rugby - and rugby league. It all started with three brothers, Tukula, Lote and Elia moving from tropical Fiji to Brisbane. Lote senior was a Fijian Test prop and one of the hardmen of club rugby, Tukula a fiery winger and Elia a centre. They initially played with QUT, but are better known at the GPS club. Tukula's son, Lote junior, went on to become a premiership winner with the Broncos and South Sydney, a Wallaby and State of Origin star. Elia's son, Elia junior, has been a coaching stalwart at the Souths rugby club but will return to his original club, GPS, to coach in 2020 while Emosi Tuqiri is one of the most promising young forwards in club rugby who has been snapped up by Melbourne Rebels.

 

THE CHERRY CLAN (rugby league)

The modern generation of league followers will be interested to know the Cherry family's part in the life of State of Origin series winning captain, Daly Cherry-Evans. You see on his mum Kellie's side of the family were the Cherry brothers - Mark and Steve, Cam - who travelled from Roma to play for the famous Redcliffe club. Steve, a centre-backrower, was the best of the boys who played representative football, but they could all play and are highly regarded at Redcliffe.

 

THE BRITTAIN BOYS

In the same breathe you mention the Australian football brothers, the Dickfos' boys (see above), you have to mention the Britain's. The brothers Wayne, Michael and Craig were great campaigners for Windsor-Zillmere before Wayne and Craig branched out into coaching. They were great enhancement to a golden era of QAFL.

 

All Hallows School swim star Georgia Powell at the 2019 CaSSSA Cup swimming carnival held at Chandler.
All Hallows School swim star Georgia Powell at the 2019 CaSSSA Cup swimming carnival held at Chandler.

POWELL POWER

The Powell family are sporting family quiet achievers, but deserve recognition. Richard Powell was an Australian rower while last year daughter Georgia Powell represented Australia at the 2019 world junior swimming championships. Her sister Pheobe is a Premier League water polo player with Barracudas and a volunteer coach at All Hallows' School.

 

MORRIS MAGIC (rugby league)

Long before the Walters and Langer boys came along, there were the Morris brothers, Des and Rod from Ipswich. Des, a long serving state selector, is arguably the finest Queensland footballer never to play for Australia. His brother Rod was a Kangaroo, playing prop for the Easts Tigers, Balmain Tigers, NSW, Qld and Australia.

 

Mark and Shane Nigtingale.
Mark and Shane Nigtingale.

NIGHTINGALE LEGEND (rugby)

The BRL may have had the Morris' boys but Brisbane club rugby had the Nightingale duo, Shane and Mark. Raw-boned combatants, they are entrenched in Brothers folklore for their deeds through the late 1970s and into the 1980s. Both backfive forwards, they were tough, unrelenting and suited the brutal nature of club rugby in that era.

 

MORE THAN "KING WALLY" (rugby league)

Cameron Smith may be rugby league's greatest player, but there is only one King - King Wally Lewis, a rugby league immortal and Queensland State of Origin legend. But Lewis also had a brother, halfback Scott, who was no mug as a player in the BRL. It is Scott's son, Lachlan, who now plays in the NRL with Canterbury while Wally's daughter, Jamie-Lee, was an outstanding sportswoman whose career was frustratingly held back by a knee injury.

 

 

THE MILLMAN'S

The Millman family is renowned in football and tennis circles. John, of course, is everyone's favourite Aussie battler, a tennis trier who gives hope to every young tennis player in the country with his courage and effort. But less known by the wider community is that his grandmother, Hazel, was a stalwart of the Eastern Suburbs FC. And in her honour, the tennis courts which sit adjacent to the football ground are named in her honour. "She (Millman's grandmother Hazel) did a lot of work for the Easts soccer club and in the community and back then those courts were owned by the football club,'' Millman said explained.

 

SCOTT-YOUNG (rugby)

The younger generation admire the work of Angus Scott-Young, but do they know his father Sam was one of Queensland rugby's finest? Sam was a brave backrower who had the distinction of starring for the Wallabies in a rare win over New Zealand on home soil in 1990.

 

THE GEE'S (rugby league)

Ipswich has the Walters, Langers and Morris' boys, and Beaudesert the Gee lads. Andrew is the most famous, being a Queensland, Test and Brisbane Broncos premiership front rower. But all the boys were good footballers, including Keith who played for Brothers in the BRL, 12 games for the Broncos and a game for Queensland residents. Mark was also a skilful inside back for the Seagulls in the NRL.

 

Cricketer Michael Kasprowicz.
Cricketer Michael Kasprowicz.

KASPROWICZ CLAN (cricket, rugby)

Michael, Simon and Adam were outstanding rugby players with Brisbane State High School, with Simon progressing to play Super Rugby with the NSW Waratahs. Yet the best known of the boys is older brother Michael who, after representing the Australian schoolboys rugby side, was chosen while still in year 12 as a Queensland Sheffield Shield cricket fast bowler. Michael, one of the nicest people you would ever meet, went on to take 441 Shield wickets for Queensland - and play in 38 Tests for Australia. In the same era, his old fast bowling mate Andrew Bichel was playing for Queensland and Australia - following in the footsteps of his uncle Don.

 

Rabbitohs' centre Bob Honan tries to break tackle during Souths v Canterbury at Redfern Oval, 17/06/72. Picture: News Ltd. Rugby League A/CT Historical
Rabbitohs' centre Bob Honan tries to break tackle during Souths v Canterbury at Redfern Oval, 17/06/72. Picture: News Ltd. Rugby League A/CT Historical

THE HONAN'S

Bob and Barry Honan are two of Queensland's finest sporting brothers who both played for the Wallabies. Older brother Bob was a trailblazer, playing for the Wallabies before switching codes to play rugby league with the famous South Sydney Club - a move which also led to his selection as a Kangaroo. Barry was a beautiful rugby player who could play anywhere from fullback to five-eight and later become a respected schoolboy coach.

 

Time should not diminish the greatness of Kerry Boustead. Picture: Peter Muhlbock
Time should not diminish the greatness of Kerry Boustead. Picture: Peter Muhlbock

BOUSTEAD BROTHERS (rugby league)

If you ever name Queensland's greatest ever Origin side, Kerry Boustead will feature strongly in the debate for one wing position. Boustead was a sensational finisher who had the distinction of scoring Queensland's first ever Origin try in 1980. But before him his brother Ian also represented Queensland as a centre in pre-Origin during the 1980s.

 

THE MARTYN'S (Australian football)

Like father, like son. Windsor-Zillmere Eagles great Andrew Martyn was a tremendous key position player in the QAFL in the late 1980s and early 1990s who represented Queensland. Now he is eagerly watching the progress of his son, Will, who has been drafted by the champion Richmond club.

 

Pine Rivers St Andrews rookies Liam Hart. Picture by Richard Gosling
Pine Rivers St Andrews rookies Liam Hart. Picture by Richard Gosling

HART and HAGER (hockey)

Mark Hagar is a former Australian hockey captain who led the Hockeyroos to an Olympic Games bronze medal and his wife is Michelle Hager, a two-time Olympian who won the Hockeyroos' first Olympic gold medal in 1988. Now his nephew, Liam Hart, is keeping the hockey tradition alive. Hart, from the Pine Rivers St Andrews club, is an under Australian 21 selection who is doing all the right things as he makes his way through the ranks.

 

BARSBY (cricket)

Trevor Barsby is one of Queensland cricket's legends, having scored first innings centuries in the first two Sheffield Shield wins by the Bulls in 1994-95 and 1996-97. Also a Queensland hockey representative, Barsby now watches his their children shine in the sport. Barsby's daughter Jemma is a WBBL player while Corey played two List A games for Queensland.

 

PRESTWIDGE

Like Trevor Barsby, see above, Scott Prestwidge is now enjoying seeing his children player. Sons Will and Jack remain thrilling pace bowling prospects, with Jack having played BBL for the Heat, while daughter Jemma is also a Heat WBBL bowler and elite fielder.

 

BROAD

Wayne Broad helped Queensland to its first ever major trophy in the early 1980s when the state side claimed an historic one-day win at the Gabba. A talented all-rounder from the Wynnum-Manly, Broad then had the joy of watching his son Ryan apply himself with distinction for the Bulls as a steady opening batsman.

Ruby Harris of the Blaze celebrates a goal. Picture: Kelly Barnes
Ruby Harris of the Blaze celebrates a goal. Picture: Kelly Barnes

HARRIS SISTERS - and dad (hockey, rugby)

Easts Hockey is fortunate to have three sisters, Ruby, Stella and Lola, playing in their ranks. They are the daughters of former outstanding Wests rugby backrower Scott Harris, with oldest daughter Ruby setting the highest of benchmarks for her siblings after breaking into the Brisbane Blaze line-up and earning Australian under 21 squad selection. The younger sisters are also outstanding junior representative players.

 

1964: Cricketer Sam Trimble in action in the nets 1964 - sport cricket
1964: Cricketer Sam Trimble in action in the nets 1964 - sport cricket

TERRIFIC TRIMBLE'S (cricket)

Two of Queensland's most famous father-son associations is Sam and Glenn Trimble. If Des Morris (rugby league, see earlier mention above) is Queensland's best league player never to play for Australia, then Sam Trimble is Queensland's finest cricketer never to don the baggy green cap. Old-timers love Sam Trimble. From the northern NSW hamlet of Bex Hill, Trimble became a Queensland cricketing treasure through his opening batting deeds. His son Glenn was also a mighty player and although he did not have the longevity of his father in the sport, he stayed long enough to play limited overs cricket for his country.

 

Scott Sattler.
Scott Sattler.

THE SATTLER'S (rugby league)

John Sattler is a South Sydney legend, but he qualifies for his list because he played for Queensland in the twilight of his career - then fathered a son, Scott, who proudly has a Queensland State of Origin jersey safe in his keeping.

 

Hockeyroos great Mark Knowles.
Hockeyroos great Mark Knowles.

MARK KNOWLES (hockey)

It would be an interesting conversation around holiday whenever the Knowles family is joined by the Dwyers. Both Olympians, Mark Knowles (triple Olympian) and Jamie Dwyer (four Olympics) are brothers-in-law after Mark married Dwyer's sister Kelly. All this after being long-time Australian Hockey teammates - from the same home town of Rockhampton. Dwyer's cousin is Matt Godhes who also played for Australia. Matt's wife Jill is a former Hockeyroo.

 

RENDELL

Three generations of Rendells have played Division 1 hockey for Norths, with three family members currently in the Eagles' top-grade men's side. Over the past 25 years, eight Rendells have played Division 1 for Norths men, with four Rendells having played first-grade for Norths women.

 

Christiaan Knapp on the charge for GPS.
Christiaan Knapp on the charge for GPS.

THE KNAPPS (rugby)

The Knapp family is a household name in Brisbane rugby, with Paddy rising to claim a Wallaby jersey bench position in 1961 against Fiji. All his brothers played, as did his nephew, Christiaan, who represented Queensland and was a first grade premiership winner with the GPS club in 1996.

 

SWIMMING PARENTS AND DAUGHTERS - PALLISTER and RAMSAY (swimming)

Lookout for the name Lani Pallister, a Sunshine Coast teen who is one of Queensland's hottest swimming prospects. And it is little wonder. She is the daughter of Janelle Elford, the 1988 Olympic 400 and 800m freestyle finalist. Likewise, Queensland's best junior swimmer is arguably Ella Ramsay, daughter of Olympian Heath who would have made the 2020 world junior swim team had the event gone ahead (COVID crisis).

 

Cal Bruton as a coach. Picture: Alan Porritt
Cal Bruton as a coach. Picture: Alan Porritt

THE BRUTON'S (basketball)

The Bruton name is a household one within Queensland sport. In the 1980s basketball was bigger than Ben-Hur, the hottest sporting ticket in town outside of when State of Origin league tickets went on sale. And one of the greats from that era was an US import, Cal Bruton, who won an NBL championship with the Brisbane Bullets in 1985 and was a two-time member of the All-NBL First Team. His son, CJ, then carved out his own successful career in Australia and the US.

 

GLEESON TRIO (rugby league)

Johnny Gleeson was a grand Queensland rugby league five-eight who played country league, and in the BRL for both Brothers and Wynnum-Manly. He played 10 Tests for his country and was an elite player of his era. But he also had two brothers, Joe and Trevor, who could play a bit as well. don't worry. In that area, Gleeson had a teammate at Brothers club, a magnificent representative second rower Noel Cavanagh who also had a brother Len whom played.

 

Jodie Kenny and her hockey husband Shane with their son Harrison Picture: Mark Cranitch.
Jodie Kenny and her hockey husband Shane with their son Harrison Picture: Mark Cranitch.

JODIE KENNY (hockey)

No prizes for guessing what is discussed around the dinner table when retired Australian women's hockey great Jodie Kenny and her husband Mark sit down to eat. Jodie is an Australian sporting icon and while Mark has not reach such heights, he is still an outstanding local player who has played representative hockey.

 

THE NAPA'S

Father and son, Stan and Dylan Napa, are household names in rugby league. In 1980 Stan helped the famous Norths Devils to an upset win over Souths n the BRL. Fast forward four decades and son Dylan, a St Patrick's College old boy, is a powerhouse NRL front rower who has represented Queensland.

 

Easts' Matt Pembroke pushes the ball past Pine Rivers St Andrews' Jacob Anderson. Picture: Terry Disteldorf
Easts' Matt Pembroke pushes the ball past Pine Rivers St Andrews' Jacob Anderson. Picture: Terry Disteldorf

 

PEMBROKE

Easts brothers Matthew and Hugh Pembroke have both won Brisbane Hockey League premierships and represented Queensland in the Australia Hockey League. Hugh was captain of the Brisbane Blaze in the Hockey One national league. Matthew's wife Jessica has played almost 150 Division 1 games for Easts.

 

THE EDWARDS (Australian football)

Former Fitzroy and Brisbane Bears player Brad Edwards is a Morningside legend who captained the side from 1993 to 1996 - winning premierships in 1991, 1993 and 1994. He then had the joy of watching his son, Luke, shine for the Panthers.

 

Troy McCarthy tackled by Cliff Lyons. Gold Coast v Manly. Pic Wayne Jones. 06/06/88.
Troy McCarthy tackled by Cliff Lyons. Gold Coast v Manly. Pic Wayne Jones. 06/06/88.

MACCA MAGIC

Last onto the list, and a somewhat controversial inclusion, is the McCarthy family. Why controversial? Because none live in Queensland and all support NSW in Origin night. But the family contributed enough to Queensland sporting life to warrant recognition. Father Bob is a South Sydney legend but in 1980 was appointed coach at Brisbane Souths, taking the Magpies to the 1981 premiership.

 

Bob McCarthy, his wife Jude and the author of this story in 1990.
Bob McCarthy, his wife Jude and the author of this story in 1990.

He later coached Combined Brisbane to a famous midweek Cup win over the Roosters (1984) and lived in Queensland while coaching the Gold Coast Giants in the NRL. Oldest son Darren attended school at Marist College Ashgrove, playing for the Queensland schoolboys and winning an Australian schoolboys jumper. His little brother Troy played first grade with the GPS club where he was the competition's leading points scorer and represented the Queensland under 21s, and later coached powerhouse Gold Coast club Burleigh Bears.

 

THE PARCELL's

The Parcell name is revered in Ipswich. Gary's father, Perc played seven times for Queensland in the 1920s, Gary for Queensland and Australia and his son, Steve, a Queensland Residents representative. Steve's son, Matt, played in the NRL for Broncos and Manly.

 

FITZPATRICK

The Tweed family has had several Australian hockey players including current Hockeyroo Madison and former Australian player Savannah, who is a premiership winner with Kedron-Wavell in Brisbane. Madison, Savannah and their younger sister Kendra represent Brisbane Blaze, and their brother Callum plays Division 1 for Valley.

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE LIST? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS

 

 

Originally published as REVEALED: The 80 great sporting families of Queensland


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