Former Rothmans Medal winner Darryl Brohman comfortable as a commentator.
Former Rothmans Medal winner Darryl Brohman comfortable as a commentator.

A cold beer with . . . Medal winner from tough footy era

THE Norths Devils made the bold selection of a 17 year old schoolboy in 1974. Darryl Brohman would go on to win a Rothmans Medal in 1976.

He then would leave for Sydney and play for Penrith, Canterbury, and Origin for Queensland becoming FOG number 35 before launching a media career on TV and radio.

We pulled up our school socks and had a chat.

In 1974, it was a tough era. How did a 17 year old get picked and what did your parents think?

I played three games for under 18, coached by my dad, and on Sunday I was sitting at home with mum and dad watching the match of the day when Bob Bax rings and asks if I would like to play A Grade next week. It has come completely unexpectedly and mum and dad are in shock.

Bob Hagan was our coach but Bax was the boss of the club. I lived in Chermside and all I wanted to do was play for Norths. I played all my football for Norths through the grades.

FAVOURITE MEMORY: Believing you can be the best like past greats

SPECIAL PLAYER: Working with the King Wally Lewis

SHARP EYE: Looking for NRL players of the future

PROUD MOMENTS: Premiership success at Brothers

What do you remember about that debut?

I trained terribly all week. I have gone to training and there are all my Norths heroes and I am 17 in grade 12 at Wavell and I thought I was pretty fit and ready but 10 minutes into training I am lagging badly. The slowest forward is faster than me.

Wests at Lang Park was my debut. Well John Sattler has kindly come up to Brisbane to captain/coach for Wests and I am up against him. The same John Sattler that plays a grand final with a broken jaw four years earlier - yeah that one.

I actually thought he might kill me. They gave me the goal kicking duty and I was terrible the whole game. I thought that is it career done. I got a game against Brothers the following week and played a lot better.

We finished first in 1974 with the minor premiership, lost to Valleys and Brothers and out the back door. I got to play finals again in 1975. We got through to the preliminary final and lost to Dolphins and in 1977 lost to Easts before I left for Sydney.

I ended up playing with John Sattler when he came to Norths in 1975, so I have played with two heroes in Sattler and Tommy Bishop at the Devils.

It was a terrific era of football and the 1970's in Brisbane were great.

A Rothmans Medal win in 1976 at only 20. Was that your best year?

I had no idea I was a chance. It was a great night out and no dates or partners in those days so it is just a big boy's night and then I have won the thing by five votes from Dolphins' Chris Wellman. It was my best year in Brisbane. We had a bad year at Norths so I picked up votes in a team going badly.

Do you have a favourite Ipswich player?

Des Morris and Rod Morris. I played against them in a final in my last game in Brisbane. They were tough. Hugh Doherty I played against and I had a great respect for when I played Valleys.

I coached the Broncos Reserve Grade in their first year in 1988 so that was the first contact I had with Alf and I just took an instant liking to him. We both liked a punt and a beer and he was just a funny man.

Brett, Andrew and Kerrod Walters were all in that team I coached and they were all terrific people.

You were part of the great Bulldogs team of 1984. Who wins - Wynnum or Bulldogs?

No disrespect to Wynnum. They were terrific. Wally, Miles, Scott, Dowling and Lindner absolute super stars but I just cannot see anyone beating that Dogs team of 1984. It would have been a hell of a game but no, I think the Bulldogs get them. I think our forwards would be too hard and brutal over 80 minutes. Warren Ryan would have come up with a plan.

Where is your Origin jumper?

My first one is at home, although my debut only lasted 15 minutes. I have a room at home with all those things I have kept. My second one I gave to my accountant to try to get a bill down a bit.