Bernie Quinlan VFL Player popularly known as Superboot
Former player of Victorian Football League earned most of his fame after he turned 30 year old.
Born on July 21, 1951, Bernie Quinlan remains one of the most famous VFL players of all time. With over 366 games under his belt, Bernie Quinlan kicked 817 goals throughout his career. He was known for prodigious long kicking that earned him the name Superboot.
Bernie Quinlan is one of the very few players who have played over 150 games for two different clubs.
1969-1977 – Footscray
Traralgon recruited Bernie Quinlan in 1969. Though he started his career with Traralgon, Bernie Quinlan eventually landed at Footscray when the 1969 VFL season was only halfway through.
Traralgon was actually in Footscray’s zone, which made this transition smooth for Bernie Quinlan. 1969 was also the debut year for his teammate Barry Round. Both of them eventually went on to tie for Brownlow Medal in 1981 but by then they played for different clubs. Bernie Quinlan sometimes played as centre-half back but his primary position was centre-half forward.
He played 177 games for the Bulldogs but was then cleared to Fitzroy in 1978 because the Bulldogs faced financial trouble during the 1970s.
1978-1986 – Fitzroy
In 1978, Bernie Quinlan was cleared to Fitzroy for 70,000 Australian Dollars. One year later in 1979, it was announced by Frank Bibby – president of Fitzroy, that Bernie Quinlan informed the team committee of his intentions of spending more time for his farm. This was shocking news for both football fans and the Lions.
By the time this announcement came, Bernie Quinlan had only one year of his contract left but Fitzroy was so desperate to retain Bernie Quinlan in the club that they made a substantial financial offer to him. Bernie Quinlan finally yielded to the request and returned for VFL’s 1980 season.
The 1980 season was nothing extraordinary for Bernie Quinlan. However, for next 5 years, he continued to play for Fitzroy and completed 189 games for Fitzroy, which made him the only player in the history of VFL who played more than 150 games for two different clubs before he finally retired in 1986.
The seasons 1983 and 1984 were great for Bernie Quinlan as he managed to kick more than 100 goals in each season. Throughout the mid 80’s Bernie Quinlan led a very formidable forward line with other great players like Gary Sidebottom, David McMahon, Garry Wilson and Michael Conlan.
The post-war period was the most successful period for Fitzroy when Bernie Quinlan played at back line together with Gary Pert and Paul Roos.
After retirement, Bernie Quinlan joined the ABC football commentary team in the year 1987. One year later, he moved to Seven Network when they earned the broadcasting rights.
He continued as a commentator for Seven Network until mid 90’s. He also became a weight coach for Port Melbourne, which was also a VFL team. As a tribute, the Brisbane Lions partially named their mascot after Bernie Quinlan as Bernie “Gabba” Vegas.
Awards And Achievements
Bernie Quinlan earned quite a few accolades throughout his playing career. Here is quick list of his awards and achievements:
• 1981 – Won Brownlow Medal but tied up with his former Bulldogs teammate Barry Rounds.
• 1983 and 1984 – Won the Coleman Medal.
• 1971 – Earned the fame of leading goal kicker for Footscray.
• 1981-1985 – Earned the fame of leading goal kicker for Fitzroy.
• 1996 – Inducted into Australian Football Hall of Fame.
• 2012 – Inducted into Brisbane Lions Hall of Fame.
Bernie Quinlan was also a centre-half forward player for Fitzroy Team of the Century.
There is absolutely no doubt that Bernie Quinlan is one of the most prodigious Rules players Australia has ever seen. Though he continues to live today, his name and fame will surely outlive him.