Fortitude Valley Diehards

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Fortitude Valley Diehards
Valleys logo.jpg
Full name Fortitude Valley Football Club
Emblem Diehard
Colours Royal Blue
Founded 1909
Sport Rugby league
League Brisbane Rugby League
Ground Neumann Oval (now known as Allan Border Field)
Capacity
CEO
Captain
Coach
1995 12th from 12
Premierships 1909, 1911 (as Valley-Toombul), 1914, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1924, 1931, 1933, 1937, 1941, 1944, 1946, 1955, 1957, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1988 (as Seagulls-Diehards), 1989, 1990
Runners-Up 1916, 1923, 1930, 1935, 1936, 1943, 1958, 1969, 1972, 1978
Minor Premierships
Wooden Spoons 1995
Biggest win
Worst defeat

The Fortitude Valley Diehards were an Australian semi-professional rugby league football club based in the Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley.

History[edit]

Until their demise in 1995, the Fortitude Valley Diehards, often referred to simply as Valleys, were the oldest surviving rugby league team in Brisbane, Australia, being formed in, and winning their first premiership, in 1909 - also the year of the inaugural Brisbane Rugby League premiership. They have roots tracing to 1908 and the first rugby league game in the state, between North Brisbane and Toombul, who would combine with Valleys in 1911.

They were by far and away Brisbane's most successful rugby league team, having won a total of 24 premierships in their 86 seasons, including 7 of the first 11 premierships. With the introduction of the Brisbane Broncos into the New South Wales Rugby League in 1988, Valleys formed a short-lived joint venture with the Tweed Heads Seagulls playing under the name Seagulls-Diehards, winning the 1988 premiership. The joint venture broke soon after and Valleys returned to their old name.

Financial difficulties in the early 1990s took their toll on the club, leading Valleys to a short-lived merger with the Caboolture Snakes, calling themselves Caboolture Valleys, in 1995. However the club folded at season's end, preventing the foundation club from playing in the inaugural Queensland Cup in 1996.

In 2002, Valleys entered a partnership with another former Brisbane Rugby League team, Brothers, playing under the name Brothers-Valleys. Playing out of Perry Park, in the Brisbane suburb of Bowen Hills, approximately half way between Fortitude Valley and Albion, the Two-Blues participated in the Mixwell Cup and Mixwell Colts Challenge, before being accepted into the Queensland Cup for Season 2004. Based at O'Callagahn Park in Zillmere, the club's only premiership points that season were from a first round draw. At seasons end, Brothers Valleys announced a name change to Brothers Diehards, but were not accepted into the 2005 Queensland Cup, on the basis of club finance.

The Diehards still however compete in the Amateur Brisbane Second Division along with other Brisbane Clubs.

Perhaps the greatest ever year for Valleys was their 1955 success during which the side remained undefeated under the peerless leadership of fullback Norm Pope.

Crest[edit]

Unlike many other rugby league teams in Australia, until it was forced upon them Valleys never had an official moniker. Although they were nicknamed the "Diehards", which came about from their reported "Diehard spirit" in tough games, until the Queensland Rugby League's rebranding process in the 1980s, which saw all BRL clubs adopt a logo with the stylised Q, Valleys identified themselves with a simple VFC (Valleys Football Club) monogram. With the introduction of the new logo in the 1980s, the monogram was relocated to the shield of the newly adopted Gladiator moniker, although for the next few seasons the monogram remained on the jersey, beneath the AVCO sponsorship logo.

Colours[edit]

Valleys had a very traditional playing strip, and were the simplest of the Brisbane Rugby League clubs. Their colours were royal blue, with a white collar, and a white butcher stripe (irregular hoop) vertically on each side of the shorts. Their socks were blue, although again were complemented by a white butcher stripe in the middle on occasion. The VFC monogram was white, as was the majority of sponsorship logos placed on the jersey.

Home Ground[edit]

Main article: Allan Border Field

Although not technically in the Fortitude Valley area, the Diehards played out of what was then known as Neumann Oval in Albion, in the same area as the Albion Park trots and Brothers Rugby Union's Crosby Park. Following the Diehards departure for Caboolture, and eventual extinction, in 1995, Queensland Cricket purchased the ground and renamed it Allan Border Field. Currently Valleys Juniors, who evolved from the BRL team in 1951, play full-time at Emerson Park, Grange, and have done so since gradually moving out of Neumann Oval in the early 1970s.

Junior Clubs[edit]

Valleys Juniors and Valleys United Stars (now Easts Bulimba Stars) were the only two junior clubs that belonged to Valleys.

Representative Players[edit]

Australia[edit]

Great Britain[edit]

Queensland (state of origin)[edit]

Queensland (residents)[edit]

  • Mark Shipway
  • David Bourke
  • Shane Buckley
  • Nicholas Butler
  • Tony Catton
  • Peter Coyne
  • Brett Daunt
  • Kelly Egan
  • Bill Holmes
  • Eric Kennedy
  • Gerard Kerr
  • Steele Retchless
  • Frank Rolls
  • Shaun Rubesaame
  • Trevor Schodel
  • Craig Marshall
  • Greg Walker

Sources[edit]

  • Lester, Gary. The Sun Book of Rugby League
  • Lester, Gary. Action '85

External links[edit]