Winners: Presidents Cups and Pike Ambulance Cup and Medals. Runners Up B.R.L. Premiership
The last Annual Meeting of Coorparoo was held in February 1933 and the first Annual Committee meeting of Eastern Suburbs was held on February 5, 1934 so Easts came into being in 1933. Former Publican, the late Tom Bird was the club’s first president with George Shields first secretary.
In the first year of establishment, Easts club handled a total of 163 pounds 7 shillings and sixpence. Eddie “Babe” Collins learned his early football with Easts before Australian selection and other Internationals from the club included Nev Broadfoot, “Chum” Christie, Les Sellars and Arthur Henderson.
In 1946, the Club was successfully revived after suffering many defeats during the war years. A.G. (Taffy) Welch was re-elected President; M. Mullins, Secretary; and W.Robertson Treasurer. The Managent Committee were L. Davis, A.Donovan, N.Milne, J.Murray, L.Morley, J.F.McCartney, H.McInnes and N.Wright.
This committee really set to work to rebuild the club and stimulate interest in the code in the district.
In 1945, five teams were fielded. In 1946 no less than twelve were registered with the BRL (Brisbane Rugby League). Of these teams, ten were semi finalists and seven made the grand finals. The main object was to present to the public a really strong first grade team. The next year, 1947, saw what would probably be the greatest side fielded by the club. Every trophy competed for in the BRL competition and Premiership were won.
All credit to Neville Ryrie who coached this side and Jack Ryrie who so ably led them. Eleven of the First Grade players represented Brisbane in the 1947 Bulimba Cup Matches. These were: J.Ryrie, Cliff Green, J.Jager, Tom Drysdale, Ron McLellan, P.Steinhueur, T.Callinan, H.Kissick, J.Schatz, Jack Atkins and R.Kille.
The second post war Premiership was in 1950 and the team (reproduced below) also won the Peter Hickey Cup and the Frank Fullarton Trophy that year.
Again in 1951, Easts contested the Grand Final being beaten by Southern Suburbs, This meant that, since the revival of the club in 1946, they had played six finals in succession. Charlie Walsh (later to become Vice-President of the BRL) became President in 1952 and continued in this position for a number of years.
In 1952 also Easts appearances in Grand Finals was stopped as Brothers beat them in the third Semi-Final. They made the Grand Final again in 1953 playing Souths who they had defeated in the First Semi-Final but they were unable to repeat the feat in the Big One.
In 1954, they failed to make the top four so, for the first time in eight years they failed to compete in the semi-finals. Little was the club to know how long this drought was to continue! 1954 also saw the Easts Juniors club win their very first premiership.
1960 Eastern Suburbs Rugby League
Eastern Suburbs RLFC 1965
Front Row: R.Webster; M.Henderson (V.Capt); F.McCartney (Pres.); B.Wall (Capt); L.Cross (Man.); J.Davies; G.Turner
Second Row: Greg Lawson; J.Denman; M.Thistlethwaite; Graham Lawson; N.East; G.English
Back Row: L.Crutchfield(Masseur); M.Verrenkamp; C.Churchill (Coach); B.McColl; C.Wallace (Cttee)
The 60’s were not a happy time for the club on the field though several players were to make their mark. Jeff Denman a strong running winger from Ipswich was an outstanding player who was to represent Australia while other notable players included David Wakerley, “Shrimpy” Haines and Stan Neaves.
The club’s home ground was, and still is at Langlands Park at Stones Corner – and through the sixties, Easts Cricket Club shared the tenancy during the summer season. When the club was formed, team members had the use of two ovals, but by this time the ground housed just one playing field.
The only real success the A grade team enjoyed in the early sixties was the winning of the Peter Scott Memorial Trophy in 1960 played between the two leading teams at the end of the second competition round. The 15 year premiership drought forced club officials to search for a top coach and in 1965 former international, Clive Churchill was engaged to try to mould the team into a premiership 13.
In 1965, the leaders were Fred Macartney (President) and Bill Munt (Secretary). Other top office bearers are: Ian Bertram (Treasurer); Wal Blackman (Asst Treasurer); Tom Drysdale (Asst Secretary). Arthur Sparkes, the club’s delegate to the Brisbane Rugby League was the assistant manager on the 1964 trip to England and France by the Kangaroos.
1967 saw several events that were to start the revival of the Tigers in the Brisbane Competition. The experienced Prop, Les Geeves was recruited from Norths as Captain coach and brought with him the prolific points scoring fullback, Peter Lobegeiger. In the junior grades, an outstanding crop of juniors was being developed with the U/18 side boasting young hooker John Lang and Five-eighth “Butch” Pearse while the U/17’s of that year contained Paul Khan and mercurial fullback Roger Kuhn. The club also recruited a young Lock Forward from the Ipswich Competition in Des Morris.
Many of these names were to become household names in Brisbane and Queensland football over the next decade as they were involved in making Easts the glamour side of the Seventies. The immediate effect was the club’s appearance in the 1968 Grand Final against an awesome Past Brothers side containing the likes of Peter Gallagher, Dennis Manteit, Johnny Gleeson and Wayne Abdy. Easts were well beaten (21 – 4) and also suffered the ignominy of having fiery red headed Prop Danny Ryan sent from the field for an “incident” involving international Five-eighth Johnny Gleeson.
In 1969 the Club was successful in winning the Woolies $2000 – a pre-season competition.
The Successful 1970s
Under the astute leadership of Jack Aitkens and Tom Drysdale, the Tigers set about establishing their place in the competition. The Leagues Club had been formed and the club took another step forward with the appointment of Ted Verrankamp as A Grade coach. Ted had enjoyed a great playing career in England and had been involved in TV commentary before returning to “hands on” football with Easts.
1972 saw the Tigers win their first Grand Final in 22 years when Lock Forward Jeff Fyfe kicked “that field goal” in the dying seconds to defeat the Valley Diehards in a thriller.
The Ipswich connection was to become very prominent in the Seventies with Rod Morris joining his brother Des along with Terry “Stumbles” Creedy and Kev “Chicka” Stephens. Des Morris (pictured) was to take over as A Grade coach in 1975 and the stage was set for the Tigers to be the club of the second half of the decade.
The 1990s and the new Millennium
In the Queensland Wizard Cup era, the Tigers have made the Grand Final twice although having lost both matches, the first to the Redcliffe Dolphins in 1997 and most recently losing to the Burleigh Bears in a memorable extra-time final in 2004.
The Club is currently led by President, Keith Philips and Chief Executive Officer, Des Morris who continues an association with the Club that dates back to 1968. In 2008, the year of the centenary of rugby league in Australia, the Club will celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary. 2013, the Easts Tigers will begin celebrations for the clubs ’80 year Anniversary'(1933-2013).