Many Ipswich sporting families have elite winners, like Australian speedway racer Mat Pascoe.
Many Ipswich sporting families have elite winners, like Australian speedway racer Mat Pascoe.

Revealed: 34 top Ipswich sporting dynasties

OVER many decades, Ipswich has been home to some of the finest sporting dynasties in Australia.

From international footballers, rugby league players and baseballers to well-known cricketers, hockey achievers and swimming icons, the region has provided some exceptional moments.

Stories of skipping homework to play sport in the backyard are common, along with inspirational grandparents providing wisdom still relevant today.

In the latest QT sporting series, 34 of the best Ipswich sporting empires are relived, highlighting many memorable moments and sharing their successful family traits.

Seven high-achieving Ipswich families are celebrated in today's first part as the countdown begins.

34. HILLIER family: Brothers in arms

WHILE they haven't reached national or international level, the Hillier brothers are among the most popular and accomplished siblings around Ipswich.

Michael, Robert and Marcus shared in three first grade cricket premierships - one at Marburg where they grew up, and two titles with Northsiders.

The brothers were all high-performing cricketers, who continue to be involved in coaching.

The Hillier brothers (from left) Marcus, Michael and Robert. Picture: David Nielsen
The Hillier brothers (from left) Marcus, Michael and Robert. Picture: David Nielsen

Former Queensland Times sportswriter Michael has been Queensland Rugby League media manager since 2008.

As the oldest of the siblings, Michael often fulfilled leadership roles in his teams, transitioning smoothly into coaching later in his career.

Marcus Hillier. Picture: Rob Williams
Marcus Hillier. Picture: Rob Williams

Middle brother Marcus joined Michael and younger brother Robert in moving from the Marburg club to Northsiders for the 2003/04 Ipswich season.

Robert teaches at West Moreton Anglican College where he has guided school and Met West teams to championship successes.

Marcus Hillier (middle at back) with the Norths Blue under-9 rugby league team he coaches. Picture: Gary Reid
Marcus Hillier (middle at back) with the Norths Blue under-9 rugby league team he coaches. Picture: Gary Reid

The brothers all played together in Marburg's first A-Grade premiership team.

They were still a combined force in Northsiders A-Grade premiership wins in the 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons.

Michael made the Queensland Open Schoolboys team in 1996 and Queensland Country under-19 side. He played in various Met West teams.

He coached Northsiders senior teams on and off, for about four years as head coach.

This year Michael mentored the Ipswich Hornets Youth Cup team - a new development side underneath the Lord Taverners under-16 side that won the recent one-day grand final.

Michael also coaches his son Jack's club team.

Michael's extensive sporting knowledge includes being a former A-Grade rugby league referee in Ipswich.

He officiated in various representative games including Queensland v NSW schoolboys.

Self-employed Ipswich plumber Marcus was a talented batsman for many years, also with a diverse sporting interest.

He has dabbled in harness racing training with Geoff Small at Minden.

Marcus continues to coach his son Nate's junior cricket and rugby league teams.

Marcus also linked with Michael in coaching senior teams at Northsiders in recent seasons.

Robert co-ordinates sport and runs the cricket program at West Moreton Anglican College.

He managed this year's Met West 15 years cricket team.

Robert also coached that successful team in recent years.

He played representative cricket for Ipswich and Met West as a bowling all-rounder.

He had a year playing for Cheltenham in the United Kingdom.


33. SAVAGE family: Lifetime dedication to sport

WHEN it comes to family commitment, the Savage mother and daughters combination never seem to run out of steam.

Mum Janet and sisters Rachel and Andrea continue to make invaluable contributions to the history-rich sport of vigoro, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

Rachel received an Ipswich Vigoro Association life member in 2005 after Janet was honoured the same way in 1987.

Rachel (2016) and Janet (2011) are also life members of the Queensland Vigoro Association, where they served in senior positions for many years.

Rachel and Janet Savage.
Rachel and Janet Savage.

With Rachel's sister Andrea, they are wonderful servants of the sport at club, Ipswich and state level.

Janet was also being presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 QT-City of Ipswich Sports Awards function.

For more than four decades, the 2010 Ipswich Citizen of the Year has inspired countless children and adults to enjoy the benefits of vigoro.

She was the Ipswich association's longest serving president.

Janet Savage was named Ipswich's 2010 Citizen of the Year.
Janet Savage was named Ipswich's 2010 Citizen of the Year.

Janet started playing vigoro with Tangaloomas before later joining Sports and Black Knights and co-founding the Wildcats club.

Rachel and Andrea have been Wildcats first division stalwarts, highlighting the strong family connections in the sport play at East Ipswich.

"Vigoro was started by a family,'' Janet said. "And we'd like to keep that tradition going as long as we can because if it wasn't for the Rice family that purchased the ground back in 1930, we wouldn't have a vigoro ground."



Bates twins Michael and Tim with dad Danny
Bates twins Michael and Tim with dad Danny

32. BATES family: Twin talents making an impact

TELLING identical Bates twins Tim and Michael apart was a challenging exercise for everyone but family and close friends who knew their personal mannerisms.

They were dominant Ipswich-bred hockey players during the 2000s.

Tim and Michael regularly made representative teams together including sharing in successes with Australia's Junior World Cup team.

In 2009, they featured prominently in the Australian under-21 side that achieved bronze medal success at the Junior World Cup.

"It was the best six weeks of our life,'' Michael said after the Aussie Burras impressed in Singapore and Malaysia.

Both players scored five goals for Australia during the tournament.

Tim and Michael had earlier represented Australian under-21 sides in games against New Zealand and Junior World Cup qualifiers in 2008.

Michael and Tim were selected in Australian A teams playing against Canada, Malaysia and the national Kookaburras outfit.

The Ipswich born and bred twins enjoyed success together in Queensland under-21 teams at national championships and represented Queensland open sides in the Australian Hockey League (AHL).

Their first AHL grand final victory was with the Brisbane Blades in 2010. Queensland thrashed NSW 7-1 in the decider.

Bates twins Michael and Tim.
Bates twins Michael and Tim.

The Bates brothers spent time in Perth training with the Australian squad where the national hockey Academy was based.

In 2011, midfielder Tim broke away from striker Michael and his North Tivoli-based family to chase his London Olympics dream.

While he didn't make the final cut for the Olympics, Queensland Academy of Sport scholarship holder Tim made his national team debut in lead-up matches.

The Ipswich brothers played for Easts in the Ipswich and Brisbane competitions.

One of their major feats was playing two grand finals on the one day in 2008.

After completing a losing final with the Tigers in Brisbane, they raced back to the Briggs Road Sporting Complex to help Easts snatch an emotion-charged 5-4 victory over Norths.

The Ipswich Hockey Complex was buzzing with anticipation about whether the Bates twins would make it back in time. They did in the second half to inspire Easts' victory charge.

"It was good fun,'' Michael said after winning his first Ipswich A-Grade premiership.

The twin's father Danny was also heavily involved in Ipswich hockey as a player and coach, often working with Ipswich open teams at state championships.

The twin's mum Therese, who worked for many years in an Ipswich ANZ bank, was always a wonderful support as Tim and Michael chased their hockey dreams.



The Stolberg family - parents Ryan and Theresa with Tyla, Liam and Toby.
The Stolberg family - parents Ryan and Theresa with Tyla, Liam and Toby.

31. STOLBERG family: All-round athletic excellence

KEEPING pace with everyone in the Stolberg household must be like running a marathon.

With so much going on and inspired parents leading the way, it's hard to imagine a quiet day at home.

Children Tyla, Toby and Liam are displaying fine sporting qualities like their dad Ryan and mum Theresa.

Former Brisbane Bullets basketballer Ryan Stolberg.
Former Brisbane Bullets basketballer Ryan Stolberg.

Ryan was a former Brisbane Bullets basketballer who played 20 national league games in 1993, 1996 and 1998.

He also shared in a Suncoast Clippers CBA National Championship in 1997 and was named Most Valuable Player in the 1997 Queensland State League.

The powerhouse performer made Queensland All Star 5 teams from 1995-98.

Former heptathlon champion Theresa Stolberg (nee Martin).
Former heptathlon champion Theresa Stolberg (nee Martin).

Theresa, popularly known as Marty, was a national level heptathlete in the 1990s.

Competing regularly in seven events, she was a Pan Pacific school champion in high jump. She also represented Australia in Taiwan and New Zealand.

The Ipswich and District Athletic Club vice-president continues to do exceptional work as a coach, having also been chosen in the Australian over-30 honorary indoor netball team.

Tyla Stolberg
Tyla Stolberg

Tyla, 20, continued the family's athletic prowess with selection in the Queensland under-20 basketball team - as a 17 year old.

She is currently living in South Carolina, attending Newberry College on a basketball scholarship.

Tyla played junior basketball and netball in Ipswich from 2005-15, along with being a member of the Ipswich Little Athletics Centre.

She placed fifth in shot put at the 2017 All Schools Nationals.

Her other basketball achievements included being part of the Queensland under-18 team that came third at the nationals.

Liam, 17, also played junior basketball in Ipswich from 2008-15.

Like his older sister, he was with the Ipswich Little Athletics Centre from 2008-19.

Liam was a member of the Spartans under-18 team that were state champions earlier this year.

Liam is currently at St Peters Lutheran College Springfield where he just finished year 11.

Toby, 14, played junior netball and basketball at Ipswich from 2010-15.

She is currently in the under-15 age group with Ipswich Little Athletics and is competing with the Ipswich and District Athletic Club.

At the heptathlon nationals earlier this year, she placed seventh in under-15 competition.

Her favourite event is high jump with a current personal best of 1.66. That puts her fourth in Australia for her age.

Toby also plays representative basketball for the Brisbane Capitals and is currently in the Silver under-16 team.

Ryan and Theresa Stolberg
Ryan and Theresa Stolberg

Toby plays indoor netball with her mum on Monday nights at the Brisbane West Indoor Centre at Darra.

She has just completed year 9 at St Peters Lutheran College Springfield.



2020 Junior Sportsperson of the Year Blake Murray.
2020 Junior Sportsperson of the Year Blake Murray.


30. MURRAY family: Sharing martial arts achievements

HAVING won three world titles already, Blake Murray has created his own piece of history in the martial arts world.

Beating Koreans in their home competitions is a difficult task. Yet the 2020 City of Ipswich Junior Sportsperson of the year has done that on both visits.

After winning his first Haidong Gumdo world title in 2017, the Flinders View teenager was told repeating that against world-acclaimed Koreans was unlikely as he got older.

However, he stepped up his training - up to four hours a day - and rose above that mental obstacle to prove Australians can win against the best.

"It was definitely a harder competition,'' he said of returning to Seoul. "It was very exciting.''

Blake Murray winning his first world title in South Korea.
Blake Murray winning his first world title in South Korea.

The Queensland, national and Oceania champion is the world's best in his under-18 age group for taekwondo and Haidong Gumdo, a traditional form of sword cutting.

Murray's diary of Haidong Gumdo and taekwondo competitions is jam-packed with countless wins and placings from regional to national and international levels.

Ipswich father and son martial artists Derek (right) and Blake Murray.
Ipswich father and son martial artists Derek (right) and Blake Murray.

Teaming up with father Derek, Blake has started creating a dynasty.

Blake, 15, and Derek finished third in the family division at the latest Mulimpia Martial Arts Championships.

More than 5000 people compete in what is regarded as "the Olympics of martial arts'' every two years.

Like Blake, Derek has an enviable record of Gumdo and taekwondo achievements at state, national, Oceania and world championship level.

Blake's mum Claudia completes the family partnership.

Claudia has been performing judging and official roles at various martial arts tournaments in recent years.

She was also a scorer and timing official at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.



Members of the Bayliss racing family. Pictured are Will Murphy, Georgia Langlands, Jake Bayliss, Sharon Howes, Courtney Langlands, Hazel Bayliss and Regan Bayliss.
Members of the Bayliss racing family. Pictured are Will Murphy, Georgia Langlands, Jake Bayliss, Sharon Howes, Courtney Langlands, Hazel Bayliss and Regan Bayliss.


29. BAYLISS family: On course for decades

IT showcases the incredible respect in the Bayliss family when rising jockey Jake still follows the advice of his grandfather.

Jake often rides winners having learnt from his granddad Bob growing up.

Bob passed away recently, with the fifth race on Ipswich's December 4 program named after the former Ipswich Turf Club clerk of the course.

Three generations of the Bayliss family attended the race day, along with Bob's wife Hazel, for the "Vale Bob Bayliss Handicap".

Bob's late father Colin was a life member at the Ipswich Turf Club.

Bob was clerk of the course for four decades.

Bob Bayliss in his familiar Ripley surroundings. Picture: Peter Bull
Bob Bayliss in his familiar Ripley surroundings. Picture: Peter Bull


Bob's daughter Sharon performed clerk of the course duties for two decades.

In one of Ipswich racing's homegrown highlights, Sharon led her brother Jamie back to scale after his emotion-charged win on Dixie Kid in the 1989 Ipswich Cup.

After a recent victory at Ipswich, Jake shared Bob's advice to "be in front when straightening and improve your position down the running".

Ipswich jockey Jake Bayliss. Picture: Rob Williams
Ipswich jockey Jake Bayliss. Picture: Rob Williams


Jake was raised at his family's Stafford Street stables near the Ipswich racecourse at Bundamba before completing his riding apprenticeship with Michael Kent.

The Bayliss legacy started at Ripley where Jake's great granddad Col had a cattle farm.

Col, who passed away in 2007, was an Ipswich Turf Club life member having a 50 year association with the racing organisation.

Jake's aunty Sharon was also a clerk of the course for 26 years. She took over from Bob after the 2005 Ipswich Cup.

Jake's younger brother Regan has enjoyed tremendous Group One success based in Melbourne. That included winning the Newmarket Handicap aboard Redkirk Warrior in 2017.

Although jockey demands have carried Jake overseas to New Zealand, his dream remains to win an Ipswich Cup like his dad Jamie.

The former St Edmund's College student got his chance in 2018 in the $180,000 Ipswich Cup aboard outsider Skulduggery, being unable to run a place.

Jake had earlier soaked up the elite experience of riding in a Group Three race on the 2018 Melbourne Cup Day program before a successful six-month stint in New Zealand.

Ipswich jockey Jamie Bayliss celebrates his 1989 Ipswich Cup win aboard Dixie Kid
Ipswich jockey Jamie Bayliss celebrates his 1989 Ipswich Cup win aboard Dixie Kid

But it is Jake and Regan's dad Jamie who provided the most euphoric Ipswich Cup experience when Jamie rode Dixie Kid to victory in 1989.

"Growing up as a kid, that was probably our family's proudest moment - our dad as a jockey won the Ipswich Cup,'' Jake said.

"A lot of times, we'd have the old tapes on at home there and my favourite tape was when dad outrode Chris Munce to win the Ipswich Cup on Dixie Kid.

"We wore that moment on our chest.''

Since returning from overseas, Jake re-established his family links to Ipswich. He bought 100 head of cattle to continue his family's traditions at Ripley.

Regan continues to ride interstate, having a keen fascination in racing from a young age.

Whether practising on a saddle, or riding the pony around his parent's property at Stafford Street on weekends or after school, Regan was interested in little else.

Regan was quick to get to the Ipswich races after school when growing up and was often seen standing at the grandstand steps closely studying the horses in the parade enclosure.

When dad Jamie took 13-year-old Regan and Jake to Melbourne to pursue his training career, Regan's first school project was entitled "Horses to Watch This Spring Carnival".

Regan was always going to follow his dad Jamie who shared in that wonderful 1989 Ipswich Cup moment.

Former Ipswich Turf Club clerk of the course Sharon Bayliss.
Former Ipswich Turf Club clerk of the course Sharon Bayliss.

On that day, Jamie was led back to scale by his sister Sharon while Jamie's father and chief clerk of the course Bob Bayliss watched on.

Regan's great grandfather Colin was also looking on, having been presented with an ITC Life Membership a couple of years later.



28. PASCOE family: Racing in the fast lane

FEW moments in sport are more satisfying that when you pay tribute to a mentor, especially a father or mother.

That's exactly what Ipswich speedway racer Mathew 'Mat' Pascoe got to do in winning last year's inaugural GP53 Graham Pascoe Memorial.

Mat is one of Australia's most consistent and successful drivers who also builds victorious cars at his Sweet Chassis headquarters at Willowbank.

He has an impressive resume being a three-time Australian champion after sensational title successes in 2019 (Moama), 2015 (Latrobe) and 2013 (Perth).

Ipswich racer Mat Pascoe celebrates his fourth Queensland title victory.
Ipswich racer Mat Pascoe celebrates his fourth Queensland title victory.

Mat is a six-time Queensland champion (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2013, 2011) along with major title successes in Western Australia, NSW, Victoria and Grand Prix events.

However, losing his father Graham was a massive jilt. Graham was a major supporter.

Mat honoured him in the best possible way by winning the race named after his dad at Archerfield Speedway.

It was a marvellous team effort by Mat and his crew including Liam James, Ty Pascoe and Les Pascoe.

The Pascoe family - Mat with his his mum Rona and Graham, and sons Brad and Zac. Graham passed away in 2018.
The Pascoe family - Mat with his his mum Rona and Graham, and sons Brad and Zac. Graham passed away in 2018.

As the man in the hot seat, Mat has risen from humble beginnings following in the footsteps of his father Graham and his uncle Les.

That was when Mat was 16.

The Ipswich racer has continued to be a fan favourite racing around the country, winning multiple titles.

Mat also travelled with Graham to America in 2005 to improve his racing and engine-building knowledge.

The father and son team were involved in 43 race meetings while crewing for Hall of Fame speedway master Steve Francis.

Mat Pascoe wins at Latrobe in Tasmania.
Mat Pascoe wins at Latrobe in Tasmania.


Mat returned to USA in 2008 for a three-week holiday where he was crewing for another 10 race meets.

With his new knowledge, Mathew branched out into becoming a designer, builder and driver of his highly regarded "Sweet Chassis" super sedans.

Mat has designed and built 61 Super Sedan cars for a multitude range of customers throughout Australia.

Over the years he has won in seven different classes of cars at speedways around Australia. That includes Limited Sprint cars, V8 Dirt Modified, Modified Production, Amca, Stock Standard, Mod Lites and Super Sedans.

During all that, he won his three national championships.

Mat has also won the Apple Isle Grand Prix three times (2013, 2017 & 2019) along with Hobart Grand Prix in 2017 and 2019.

Mat was awarded Speedway Australia's Sedan Driver of the Year accolades in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons.

He has also claimed best and fairest awards by National Series Super Sedans in 2010 and 2013.

But his family support was never far from his thoughts.

Mat and Ty Pascoe.
Mat and Ty Pascoe.

Having the GP53 Graham Pascoe Memorial run was a wonderful gesture, appreciated by the Pascoe family.

Graham Pascoe passed away in 2018 aged 65.

The GP53, run over 53 laps, had the second largest entry list on the speedway program, behind the national Super Sedan title in Moama, Victoria.

Graham and his brothers Les and Vic also had a strong connection with harness racing.

Graham had an active interest as a trainer and a driver. He drove his first winner Cascover at Ipswich showgrounds in 1978, when he was just 25.

As a trainer, Graham presented 210 runners for 18 wins and 46 placings with earnings of $24,793.

In the sulky, he appeared on 349 occasions for 33 wins and 60 placings with a bankroll of $42,058, having his final drives in the 2004/5 term.

Graham and Les mixed speedway and pacers.

Vic, a former sprinter, is one of Ipswich's best known coaches.

The 2011 Ipswich Citizen of the Year travels around the country and sometimes overseas to support Ipswich and District Athletic Club competitors at various state, national and international events.

The Ipswich and District Athletic Club president also has a keen interest in pacing.

While he pursues his passion for athletics, Vic also keeps a keen eye on Mat's ongoing speedway achievements.

Mat and son Zac at Archerfield Speedway in 2019.
Mat and son Zac at Archerfield Speedway in 2019.

Vic is especially delighted to see Mat's son Zac becoming increasingly involved in motorsport.

Zac is displaying plenty of promise in the driver's seat, leading the Development Series for drivers with little experience.

Zac had a breakthrough heat win at Archerfield Speedway late last year aged 17.

TOMORROW: The countdown continues. See which families are next on the list.