Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hall of Fame honour for Tony Browning

Tony Browning
AFL Tasmania Hall of Fame
Player Inductee
Admitted July 4, 2014

• 223 senior games and more than 200 goals for New Norfolk from 1967-80.
• New Norfolk Best and Fairest Award winner, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975.
• New Norfolk TFL Premiership team member, 1968.
• New Norfolk State Premiership team member, 1968.
• TFL Best and Fairest (William Leitch Medal) award winner, 1974.
• TFL Under 19 Best and Fairest (Vic Geard Medal) award winner, 1966.
• TFL Under 17 Best and Fairest Award winner, 1965.
• Represented TFL on numerous occasions.
• Represented Tasmania versus South Australia, 1971.
• Life Member, New Norfolk District Football Club, 1976.
• Member, New Norfolk "Official Best Team 1947-2001"

CITATION: Tony Browning enjoyed a long and decorated playing career with New Norfolk District Football Club during its "golden era" in the southern-based Tasmanian Football League (TFL). Browning was a quiet achiever from a legendary New Norfolk football family.

Following in the path forged by older brother and dual TFL best and fairest award winner Roger Browning, Tony debuted as a 17-year-old in 1967 and was a creative midfielder who was unscrupulously fair and recognised throughout his career by the men in white and his own club for the quality of his game.

Tony Browning played an important role in New Norfolk’s golden era in the TFL. Being a young member of the club’s inaugural TFL and State premierships in 1968 he also helped the Eagles to further finals campaigns in 1969 (finishing 3rd), 1970 (2nd), 1971 (3rd) and 1972 (2nd). In the 1970 first semi-final, Tony Browning helped the Eagles destroy reigning premier North Hobart’s aspirations by kicking 10 goals as they cruised to a decisive 80 point victory in front of more than 11,000 fans.

As well as winning the TFL under-age best and fairest awards at a young age, Tony Browning took out the William Leitch Medal for TFL senior best and fairest in 1974. Browning had been considered unlucky on a number of occasions, including being runner-up for the 1973 Leitch Medal. However, in 1974 he was able to hold out Sandy Bay’s Graeme Mackey for a deserving victory. It was said in 1974 he won the Leitch Medal because he had only given away seven free kicks for the whole season and all of these were for "holding the ball".

Considered by all observers as a very fair and honest player, Tony Browning was also a high quality ruck-rover who could find the loose ball, space and the goals. New Norfolk’s legendary club president the late Les Hepper said Tony Browning’s Leitch Medal victory was the highlight of his final year at the helm of New Norfolk as Tony was a great representative of the club and the game.

In many ways with Hepper finishing his term as president and the William Leitch Medal finally going to Tony Browning, it was the end of a great era for the New Norfolk District Football Club.

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