DOSA Football Club announced that Mr Brian Smith, past parent, DOSA Football Club Life Member and loved and respected friend of the College, the Club and the Church, died this week. the Club's honorary historian and chronicler, Mr Jack Szymanski, wrote of Brian's contributions to the Club:
Vale Brian Alfred Smith
It has come as a great shock to the DOSA family to hear of the passing of Club legend, Brian Smith.
Of a large group of people who have been wonderful servants and supporters of the DOSA Football Club, the name Brian Smith stands at the top of that group. The list of superlatives that describe the impact he made at our club is never ending.
It is with great sadness that the DOSA Football Club will farewell one of its most revered Life Members. The Committee, Life Members, players and supporters pass on their humblest condolences to Brian’s family. To Marj, Maree and Rob, their partners and their children, our thought are with you at this sad time.
While we grieve the loss of one of our favourite sons, we also have a lot to celebrate about the time that Brian spent at the DOSA Football Club. Almost everyone who walked through the change room doors from about 1979 onwards, knew Brian. There was no pomp and ceremony about Brian, he always introduced himself as Brian. He didn’t say anything about his position or former roles at the footy club, but everyone knew he was important.
In the early years of the DOSA Football Club, there was a lot of enthusiasm in establishing an old boys football club. Names synonymous with the Club in the early years like Paul Curtain, Steve and Dick Caplice, Noel Sharp and John Byrne to name a few, served on the committee. Brian was asked to help out, which he did graciously and took on the presidency in 1980. These were formative years for the Club but they also laid the ground work for the Club we have today. In this stint, Brian was president from 1980 to 1983. As we know, the Thirds won the flag in 1981. In 1982, the Reserves were State Premiers in the Tasmanian Amateurs. The seniors won their first premiership in 1984.
In those days, the Football Club ran a bar in the Rathole which was under the school. Bar trade boomed and like a lot of the players, Brian put in the hard yards. He was one of the boys but everyone knew he was in charge. Brian loved the atmosphere and the camaraderie of the footy club. You’d often see him having a beer with the likes of Paul ‘Muscles’ Curtain, Ronnie Sullivan, Paul ‘Rammo’ Ransom, Bob Whitmore, Johnnie Merrigan and the list goes on. In those days the Racecourse Hotel was one of our sponsors and to many players it was a home away from home. Brian would get the odd call from the Racecourse when someone misbehaved and he sorted it out. There was nothing worse than having Brian have a chat with you about your behavior. People didn’t play up when Brian was around. It was a sad day when the Racecourse Hotel made way for the new Northgate complex. Many partners of the players would disagree.
Brian had a second stint as President in 1990 and 1991. The Club needed a steadying hand and Brian was there to help. He had a hand in getting the Honour Boards made in 1991 – they are a lasting legacy. It’s interesting to observe that after both periods of Brian being the Club’s leader, in the following years we won senior premierships. That’s because he laid the ground work.
It’s interesting to see that Brian served as Club president for a period of five years in total, but in the years when he didn’t have an ‘official’ role, he was always around. He acted in a ‘consultant’ role for successive committees. Brian had an important role in the building of the DOSA Football Club’s new clubrooms. While they were named the TYCC, everyone knew that the Football Club was by far the biggest contributor in getting the place fitted out. Brian could work miracles. Building materials would appear from nowhere and tradies would work for free. Imagine getting a tradie to work for free now, it wouldn’t happen. Brian organised working bees at the TYCC and lots of work got done. Brian always made sure the workers got looked after. BBQs and beers.
Not surprisingly, bar trade boomed at the TYCC. With the Racecourse Hotel gone, the TYCC became a home away from home. When Brian ran the bar, it made a profit. While a lot of the young players didn’t know it at the time, he was doing their health a favour by watering down the spirits. He did that to stop the boys getting too silly. He didn’t give out free booze. At the TYCC, Brian presided over one of the most social periods for the footy Club. Everyone came to training on Thursday nights because they were fun. The food was good and the games were even better. We had eight ball competitions, carpet bowls and regular euchre competitions. There was no greater shame than being knocked out of the euchre competition in the first round. Brian kept a watchful eye on proceedings and checked on people to make sure they got home.
In the mid 1980’s the Tasmanian Amateurs were a shambles with Districts teams paying large amounts in player payments. The Old Scholars didn’t. Brian was the Club’s delegate in the setting up of the Old Scholars (Amateur) Football Association. It is now known as the OSFA. In a mark of respect, the Old Scholars Association have named the Reserves Best and Fairest medal as the Brian Smith medal. Brian was very proud of that. Brian was also very proud in being a Life Member of the OSFA, he became one in 2017.
Brian won every non playing award the Club had on offer and he was always flattered to receive them. That said, he didn’t work for the Club to win awards, he was there to win premierships and make DOSA a better place. He did a good job at both. Brian was made the 4th Life Member at DOSA Football Club. Brian always worked on our relationship with the school and he was on a first name basis with the Dominic hierarchy.
Brian didn’t have kids playing footy at DOSA, he was just there because he loved the place and to him it was another place where he could feel welcome. Brian was a great guy, everyone loved him. He was hard working, loyal to a fault and he bled Maroon and Gold. He went out of his way to do things for people. If you were hard up, he’d help you whichever way he could. Brian could be the life of the party, when he was on a roll, he was funny as anything. He’d have us in stitches and he could swear like a sailor. He and Marj were a regular fixture at social functions and they hold the world record for attending the most DOSA Football Club annual dinners.
Brian was proud of DOSA and we’re terribly proud that he is one of us. It’s people like Brian who made DOSA a better place. He was our mate and loved nothing better than a beer and the DOSA Football Club song.
Farewell Brian old friend, you’ll be sorely missed.
Jacko Szymanski, DOSA Football Club