Throwback Thursday: Bears claw their way into the VFL Competition

THE BRISBANE BEARS cemented their place in AFL history in 1987, when they became one of the first teams ever to win their inaugural game, defeating the North Melbourne Roos in round one of the VFL competition at the MCG.

The Bears, along with West Coast Eagles, are the only two teams ever to have won their first official game, both taking out the record in round one of the 1987 competition.

The game proved to be a huge confidence booster for the Bears who defeated a tired and rundown Roos team by 33 points, with the final scoreboard reading (19.23) 137 to (15.14) 104.

Bernie Harris was a standout from the game, kicking the Bears’ first ever goal, in front of a crowd of 14,000 at the MCG.

Not only does the game represent the Bear’s first victory, but it also issued a challenge to the many punters who had been bold enough to tip that the new, unknown Club would go the entire season without a single win.

The game was made ever more memorable by the commentary of Bernie Quinlin, a Fitzroy great who would later become an icon in the Brisbane Lions’ Hall of Fame.

The passion and pride shown by the Bears in their first victory continues to be mirrored in the Club today.


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