Tasmanian University Football
In Memory of Brian Eade (1936-2007)
1967 IV Coach and 1970 Premiership Coach
Marge and Brian at the Club's 70th Anniversary 2006
Eulogy Given by Rod Radford at the Funeral of
Brian Charles Eade (1936-2007)
I feel very privileged to be asked by Marge and the boys to say these few words about Brian and his time at the University Football Club. Brian’s time as coach from 1967 -1973 was only a small part of his illustrious football career but a time of great importance to the club and a time of significance for Brian and Marge. A visitor to the TUFC clubrooms will notice a photo of Brian and see the premiership pennants that the club won during Brian’s tenure as coach. These are substantial reminders of Brian’s considerable talents as a football coach. 3 state premierships in 4 years. (Peter Fish. Jelly beans)
But Brian’s contribution to the Uni Footy Club amounts to much more than these tangible remnants. For while photos may fade and pennants gather dust, the legacy of Brian as a man and as a friend lives on in our personal and collective thoughts and actions.
Brian contributed substantially to changing the nature of the club and, in the process, developed a culture of teamwork and acceptance of individual differences that has endured and helped define what the club is today.
It is hard to imagine anyone else so effectively managing such characters as Razz Simpson, Peter Bird, Bruiser Felmingham, Martin Flanagan and Baldy Alexander and getting the best out of them – and, at the same time, utilising the sublime and exquisite skills of a Steve Morton, Terry Owens and Greg Rundle.
TUFC when Brian arrived was a disparate collection of players, some eccentric, some with interesting personalities, some more difficult to coach and with an informal hierarchy of older and newer players. The Club had always performed reasonably well but seemed to wobble when the big games came around. There were many for whom football was very much a minor priority.
Some had adhered to the old football adage “ you play as you train” They only played once a week, therefore you need to train only once a week. There were some who made a practice of running away from police cars before it became fashionable!
What Brian did was, by his force of personality, unstinting hard work and professionalism transform a collection of individuals into a football community where winning premierships sat side by side with the development of a positive club culture where everybody, whether you were in the Firsts or the Fourths, had a part to play and above all, a place where lasting friendships were built.
We were all fortunate to see at close quarters those many sterling qualities that made up Brian Eade, the person. We could all admire and respect his:
Strength of character
• His view of the importance of family and friends
And, at the same time, tolerate, to varying degrees, his moods and his stubbornness
We all have memories of experiences shared with Brian
Autocratic and democratic (Chiefy)
• Magnificent Seven
• Commem. Day 1967 flour bombs
• IV Brisbane
• Broken nose
He made Uni mentally and physically strong, changed TUFC from easy beats to become one of the premier football teams in Tasmania outside the TFL.
The 7 years Brian looked after the Rainbows were very significant ones - for most of us, at that stage, a third or a quarter of our lives. As we have got older and wiser and more reflective able to appreciate and value Brian’s part in our lives. We could recognize that behind the gregarious façade there was a very private person and a proud and self-effacing individual
This is a time of sadness for us all -
Not only a sadness at Brian’s passing, but a deeper sadness that we were never allowed to let Brian know publicly how we felt about him as a person and a friend and the part he played in our lives.
An added bonus of Brian’s stewardship at Uni was for us the privilege of knowing his boys and Marge – understanding how this gentle and kind lady was such strength to Brian.
It was Marge who helped with the leadership that saw women play a more significant and meaningful role within the club. We saw Rod and Greg grow from young boys who had inherited their mother’s graciousness and father’s self effacement. We share with them and Wendy and Sue and their families the pain of their sorrow but also the warmth of memories of Brian that we all have.
I think that Brian would tell us not to fear death, hard that it may be. Don’t grieve for his loss, but think of the peace he now has, spared of a prolonged suffering and to give thanks for his life which lives on in us.
I’m sure Brian would be greatly embarrassed by the things said here today. I can imagine him saying," Life is a relay race, pass the bloody baton.”
Brian has passed the baton to Rod and Greg, we know how proud of them he was. He has passed to us the baton of enduring and warm memories of a loyal and generous friend. Brian, our lives have been enriched by your friendship and your family. Brian, you have run the good race.
On behalf of all your friends at the TUFC, all your other sporting colleagues and all your many friends - Thank you, Cocky – rest in peace.
A Minute's silence 14/4/07