Brothers captain Trevor Bailey celebrates with teammates after the club’s 1987 BRL grand final victory.
Brothers captain Trevor Bailey celebrates with teammates after the club’s 1987 BRL grand final victory.

A cold beer with . . . Brothers premiership winner

IT'S 1987 and change is in the air. The birth of the Broncos is not too far away but out at Corbett Park Brothers were getting ready to take on Redcliffe in the grand final.

Led by their captain Trevor Bailey, the hooker was ready to right the wrongs of 1986 when Brothers lost to Wynnum. I sat down and dreamt of leprechauns and had a quiet beer with Bailey.

The 1987 premiership, is that your proudest moment? Brother hadn't won since 1968?

Yeah it was a terrific year, we lost the year before to Wynnum and we were raging underdogs again in 1987, which was pretty normal when you were playing that Wynnum side. I remember in 1986 we were ahead at halftime and the attitude was a little bit wow. We are ahead but in 1987 it was let's finish this now.

Brothers were not in great shape financially at the time to focus and to win the grand final is a magnificent achievement.

We found out about four weeks into the year that we were not going to be paid for 1987. Brothers had invested in Art Union homes and it hadn't gone well then they did it again thinking it will be alright this time and again it hadn't worked. So they were about three million in debt and without pokies that's pretty hard to come back from. We got together and decided to block that out and just play football.

It helped that football wasn't your primary source of income. It wasn't great to be missing out on $5000 but you could cope because your primary salary was from teaching or building.

How did you end up at Brothers? I was an Aspley junior and at the start of one year we only had five players. So a dad knew a guy at Brothers and said 'do you need five players' so we went over to Brothers and I stayed. We ended up playing through the grades and playing A Grade together.

Those years at Brothers must have included some battles against Ipswich? Tough. I remember the State League and you never wanted to play Ipswich at Ipswich. You'd be hoping it was a home game for you not them. Even when I coached at Norths you didn't want to go to Ipswich. When Tommy (Raudonikis) went to Ipswich it was always fiery because he was still cranky at Brothers for sacking him. I remember Pat Shepardson was a hard man to play against after he followed Tommy to the Jets.

Who was your toughest hooking rival? I think Ipswich wise, it was Kerrod Walters and Steve Walters at Norths with Steve Parcell too at Jets. They were all tough hard men and skilful too. But I always had problems with Greg Conescu when he was at Norths and Redcliffe.