81. Brian Lowe

Player Inductee

City South/Geelong/Cooee/East Launceston, Ruckman, 1958-71

> 36 games, 1 goal for Geelong, 1961-63
> Around 50 games for City-South, 1958-60
> Around 50 games for Cooee, 1964-66
> Around 100 games for East Launceston, 1967-71
> Cooee captain-coach, 1964-66
> East Launceston captain-coach, 1967-71
> East Launceston coach, 1975-76
> Geelong VFL night series premiership, 1961
> Geelong VFL reserves premiership, 1963
> City-South NTFA premierships, 1959, 1960
> City-South state premiership, 1960
> Cooee NWFU premierships, 1964, 1965
> Cooee state premiership, 1964
> East Launceston NTFA premiership, 1967
> City-South Best and Fairest, 1959, 1960
> Tasmanian National Carnival representative, 1966 (Hobart)
> Eight representative matches for Tasmania, 1964-68
> NWFU representative team captain, 1966
> Alstergren Trophy for best NWFU player in intrastate matches, 1965, 1966

A superb ruckman, Brian Lowe experienced a highly successful playing and coaching career in both major football competitions in the north of the state, either side of a short VFL career.

Born in 1939, Lowe first played senior football with City-South in the NTFA in 1958. His impact was immediate and substantial, with Lowe winning back-to-back Best and Fairest awards in the club’s premiership years of 1959-60. On the back of such enormous early success he was signed by Geelong in the VFL and headed over to Victoria to join the Cats for the 1961 season, under the tutelage of the legendary Bobby Davis. He went on to play 36 games in three years between 1961 and 1963 during a period of significant success for Geelong; the club played off in grand finals in 1961 and 1963 and only narrowly missed out in 1962 after a drawn preliminary final against Carlton before a five-point defeat in the replay. Unfortunately for Lowe he did not feature in either grand final, however he did achieve premiership success of sorts with Geelong, playing in a night premiership in 1961, as well as the Cats’ reserves premiership win over St Kilda in 1963. Remarkably, Lowe’s 36 VFL games featured three draws, an unusually high ratio.

Lowe departed Kardinia Park at the end of 1963, returning to Tasmania as the captain-coach of NWFU side Cooee. The Bulldogs had tasted their maiden premiership success three years earlier and now under Lowe the club achieved another first, taking out their first Tasmanian state premiership over fellow first-timers Scottsdale by eight points at West Park. The Bulldogs went back-to back in the NWFU in 1965, a year when Lowe attained the captaincy of the NWFU representative side, a role he would keep for two seasons. He was a magnificent performer for the Union team during his three years on the north west, winning the Alstergren Trophy as the best NWFU representative player in two consecutive years in 1965-66. 1966 also saw Lowe represent his state at that year’s National Carnival in Hobart, where he went head-to-head with some of the great ruckmen of the era such as Victoria’s John Nicholls and Western Australia’s John McIntosh.

After three seasons at Cooee Lowe returned to the NTFA in 1967, but not to City-South, instead taking up the position of captain-coach with East Launceston. For so long the NTFA’s perennial battlers, Lowe’s arrival was the catalyst for East Launceston’s first – and ultimately only – senior premiership in the club’s 40-year history, with the Demons sensationally knocking over an inaccurate North Launceston by just two points, 9.12 (66) to 8.16 (64).  Lowe would steer the club to a second grand final appearance in 1969, and although the day ended in a 44-point defeat to Launceston, the Demons were far from disgraced. Lowe continued as coach for a further two seasons before hanging up his boots at the end of 1971 with 237 senior appearances to his name. After a few season away from the game he returned to East Launceston as non-playing coach for two more seasons in 1975-76.