The history of Grange Thistle:
According to the scribes who keep the records, there was a club in Brisbane called Thistle as far back as 1888. A fore-runner to the current club, ‘Merthyr Thistle’, was founded in 1911 and disbanded in 1918 after a group of supporters and all but one player broke away and formed the Grange Thistle club of today. The recognised founder of the club is Robert Waddell, father of a past president of the Club and the Queensland Soccer federation, Bill Waddell.
The Grange Thistle’s time continuum can be divided into a series of eras when really
outstanding players represented the Club that impacted on a much broader geographical scale than just an inner-Northern suburb of Brisbane.
In the 1920s and 30s, ten members of the first division team also represented Queensland and Australia. They were Billy McBryde, Jack & Dave Cummerford, Jim Peebles, Andy Thompson, William Nichols, Ross Craig, Sam Ross, Allan McMillan and Jim Perrotte. Jack Cumberford scored Australia’s first goal on a tour of New Zealand in 1922.
The Club went into a minor hibernation in the late 1930s and the competition was stopped during the war years, but charity matches were played at Lanham Park against visiting Navy, Army and Airforce personnel and the money raised was used to send food parcels back to England.
Grange Thistle was reformed after the Second World War and an influx of Scottish and English immigrants boosted the playing strength of the Club. It was in the late 1940s and 50s that the next band of notable players emerged. During this period Thistle set a record by appearing in four consecutive Tristram Shield finals from 1949 to 1952, winning the last three, thereby allowing the Club to proudly display the Shield as their own. Eight players of that era also represented their state and country, including Herb Bool, Wally (Shirley) Cansick, Derrick (Nobby) Clark, George Haggert, Clem Higgins, Robert (Bob) Jardine, Sammy Morgan and Charlie Stewart.
The 1960s started a new era and the Club entered the import business in earnest. Over the next few years many quality players were brought to Grange from overseas to play at Lanham Park and start a new life in Australia. It was in this period that the Club was also represented by many players who had progressed through the junior ranks and once again Thistle provided Brisbane and Queensland with many colourful and talented personalities such as Barry Allison, Barry Dann, Barry Jardine, Jim Ancliffe, Alec Anderson, Tom Bewick, David Jones, Owen Monaghan, Alan Rigby, Ian Shaw, George Shearer, John Parker, Allan (Bluey) Smith, Richie Smith, Norm Tran and George Whitaker.
The late 1970ss and early 1980s were undoubtedly the most successful period in the Club’s history. Players of this era equalled and surpassed the success of their predecessors of the 1920s and 50s with Mark Aponas, Tony Bailey, Steve Dolan, Iain Fagan, John Ferguson, Peter Gee, Glen Huntley, Alan Marley, Wilson Maelaua, John Patterson and Ken Swan all gaining Queensland honours. From 1977 to 1983 Thistle won three premierships, four championships, the Ampol President’s Cup and the Golden Circle Cup.
Grange Thistle holds the record for the most appearances in Brisbane’s top flight competition and return to the Brisbane Premier League in 2017 after securing second place in the 2016 Capital League 1 competition (with the most wins in the competition) as well as attaining the Reserve Grade Premiership, Capital 1 Grand Final and the Capital League 1 Club Championship.
Grange Thistle has been wokring hard to come up with a sturdy plan for the future. We have divided these plans into 2 sections, the master plan and the strategic plan. Below are links to both of these documents: