Dave Brown was from Kingaroy then came to Davies Park and became a Magpie, left for Sydney and found fame at Manly and Roosters before coming home to Redcliffe.
Along the journey he found time to play two interstate games and 10 Origin games, topped off nicely with five Test matches for the Kangaroos.
Dave Brown Q&A
You came from Kingaroy to Souths in Brisbane, why the Magpies?
Magpies and Redcliffe sent a guy up to watch me play for Kingaroy and Souths followed it up, so I came down to Souths in 1978. I was pretty happy to come to Brisbane and Souths were a good fit for me. They had a young team and I was only 19. I played for Wide Bay against New South Wales Country in 1977 and that sort of caught their attention.
The 1979 Grand Final doesn’t really go to plan, does it? What went wrong?
At 26-0 you could say things didn’t go to plan, but we were young and I think Valleys were the opposite. They had Duggan and Struddy at the peak of their powers and we just weren’t ready at all for that. They were too good and too ready. 1979 on the whole was a pretty good year, I played in the grand final, played for Brisbane and played for Queensland twice.
1980 isn’t really flash either, is it?
Gee, thanks. Yeah, again Norths just peaked and played great football on the day. That’s the great thing or bad thing about grand finals you just have to be the best team for 80 minutes and you get the prize. I was really happy when Mick Reardon scored in 1981 and Souths finally got there.
You go to the Roosters in 1981 - how did you get there?
I had no real plans to go to Sydney. I played for Queensland in 1979 and John Lang was the Queensland hooker with me in the front row. Langy went to the Roosters in 1980 and then I think he put in a good word with Bob Fulton for me and the Roosters came up to see me and I said yep, I will come down there.
Then Manly in 1983 and 1984 and you’re prop of the year and in another grand final against Eels?
I didn’t get to play in the grand final in 1983. I hurt my knee in the KB Cup game against Brisbane and given my grand final record you’ve highlighted, probably not a bad thing because we lost again to the Eels. Bob Fulton went back to Manly and asked me to go and I said yeah, so I went across to Manly and a few Roosters boys followed Fulton across. He could get you to do anything. Boustead, Cleal and myself all followed Fulton back to Manly.
What sort of influence did Bob Fulton have on you?
He could be a hard man, but you always felt (he was) fair. I learnt a lot from Fulton and he was an innovator as far as things like splitting up centres and second rows. He had a system where Fatty would do 40 tackles and Cleal would do 4 so Cleal was free to run.
10 Origins, you got picked from reserve grade in 1985 at the Roosters, so Queensland wanted you in that team.
Origin was sensational, I loved every second of it and we were such a tight team. I have great mates from that era and love them. Mostly the forwards. I didn’t mix with backs. I broke my thumb against Balmain and Arthur said 'you come back through reserve grade', so that was it and Queensland picked me anyway.
I watched your only Origin try in 1983, you go to dummy half and push over Max Krilich after a Steve Stacey run, and you dropped it.
Well, it’s a somewhat dubious put down sure, but to be fair I am a prop. Are you going to take my only Origin try off me? We are up 37-6 at Lang Park and Wally is telling the ref that’s a try, definitely a try - it's a bold move to say no.
Best Origin roommate and teammate?
Greg Conescu for sure, little champion. And we both liked to sleep all day. Bryan Niebling is a great bloke too.
Do you still have your jumpers?
I have kept some, but my son wears my Queensland jumper from 1979 to Origin. He likes the attention because everyone stops him and asks where he got it from. It’s the big Q with the Kangaroo on the front. I divided them up amongst my children, but I have kept some.
Then Home to Redcliffe and another grand final?
I was playing in England and put a feeler out that I wanted to come home for 1987 and Brothers and Dolphins responded. Wouldn’t you know it, I chose Redcliffe and we lose the grand final to Brothers. My mate Turtle Conescu said to 'Tosser' to get me and Tosser did the rest. I went to Dolphins.
Is it true you nearly joined the Broncos in 1988?
Yeah Wayne asked my plans and I said I was open to playing, so he arranged a meeting with Paul Morgan. I went in there and the contract they put up was all if you play this many games you’ll get paid this. I was going to have to play 22 games to earn anything. I just didn’t feel like at that end of my career I needed incentives. Part of me does wish I’d signed and played. It would have been good to play with all those Origin players and mates and starting up a team.
Second Test 1984 and your third Test match. The Australian pack is nearly all Queenslanders at Lang Park - Dowling, Conescu, Vautin, yourself and Niebling with Fullerton Smith on the bench - 11 out of 15 are Queenslanders and Wally captain - that’s special.
It’s a great memory, we loved being in camp with each other. I just wanted to be with those Queensland blokes I didn’t see too much because I was in Sydney and them in Brisbane. Wayne Pearce ruined the all-Queensland pack.