Brothers Bulldogs are celebrating 50 years of kicking goals with the milestone crowning the organisation among the oldest AFL clubs in the region.
What started from a meeting in 1971 has transformed into a club with over 200 registered players and there's no sign of it slowing down soon.
The first Brothers Bulldogs committee formed five decades ago included Bill Jenkins as President, Ted Winterbottom as Secretary and Graham Stringer as Treasurer.
Bill said the club was established after he saw an advertisement in the paper calling for people interested in starting an AFL competition.
“There was a meeting held for anyone interested in AFL and representatives came from Brisbane and said, ‘we need three or four clubs’,” Bill said.
“I put my hand up and that is where it all began.
“I worked very closely with Ted Winterbottom who played for the Bulldogs in Brisbane, and we had meetings at his house and kept building from there and now we have 50 years of history behind us.”
50 years of Brothers Bulldogs
Five decades of Brothers Bulldogs achievements and history are proudly on display in their clubhouse.
The walls are lined with memories including the 36 premiership cups and the expansive honour board.
Current President Braden Krebs said he had been part of the club of seventeen years and started playing back in 2005.
“It is a wonderful club to be involved with and I have made many lifelong friends through the club and the game of AFL,” Braden said.
“I started off in the under 17s in 2005, I then went on to play 200 senior games which included winning a premiership in 2010.
“2010 was a big year, we call it the year of the dog, where I played in the Senior Men's premiership winning team, and the club won all grades from Under 13 through to Seniors.”
Proud of the club’s history, Braden said he was looking forward to celebrating 50 years of Brothers Bulldogs at a special event for past and present players, members and the community.
“I have been on the committee for the last three years before taking over the President's role from Jason Baulch for the 2022 AFL Wide Bay season,” he said.
“Marking 50 years this year provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the rich history of our club.
“Personally, I am looking forward to catching up with former teammates and past members of the club to reminisce about old times.
“We would not be where we are without the hard work and dedication from volunteers and longstanding sponsors.
“It is a professional, family friendly club and we are always looking to welcome new players, coaches, volunteers and supporters.”
As the game continues to grow within the region, so does the Brothers Bulldogs, most recently expanding into the Senior Women’s competition.
“The continual growth of the club and AFL in Bundaberg and the Wide Bay is great to see,” he said.
“We have over 200 registered players for the first time in the club's 50-year history.
“I'm particularly excited about the continual development of our Brothers Bulldogs senior women's team under the coaching of Felicity Tankey.”
50 years: celebration marks milestone
To celebrate this milestone, there will be a 50th anniversary dinner held at Brother Sports Club on Saturday 11 June from 6 pm.
“This will be a full day of celebrations and will feature a full round of fixtures from Under 12s through to Seniors,” Braden said.
“The Senior Men's team will wear a one off guernsey that will then be auctioned off at the function on the Saturday night upstairs at Brothers Sports Club.”
Tickets to the dinner are available for $50 through Eventbrite until Friday, 3 June.