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Updated: 07/10/2009

Roger Merrett

Roger Merrett played 310 games of AFL/VFL Football before retiring at the end of 1996 to continue as the Brisbane Assistant Coach. He was the 32nd player to join the "300 Club" and was the oldest and longest serving AFL Player in 1996. He retired as the Bears games record holder with 161, goal record holder and favourite player. He was affectionately known as "Papa Bear" or "Roger the Lodger" or just plain "Roger".

Merrett played his first game with Essendon in 1978 and after a 149 game career including the 1984 and 1985 Premierships he was lured north to the Bears for the 1988 season.

What Merrett  found was in stark contrast to the successful Essendon. The Bears had little on field success and were a shambles off the field. There were times in the early years when he was depressed and considered moving back to Essendon. "Roger" however was never one to shirk an issue. He became the public face of Australian Football in Queensland. In 1990 he became captain.

1996 AFL Centenary Maximum Card

With the move to the Gabba success started to come. In 1995 he led the Bears to their first finals appearance, a game they narrowly lost to eventual premiers, Carlton. 1996 saw the Bears win two finals before loosing to eventual premiers North Melbourne in the preliminary final.

In recognition of his services he was chosen by the Brisbane Football Club as its star on the inside cover of the stamp booklet (displayed above), Brisbane Centenary Maximum Card and Postcard. The maximum card is displayed below. The postcard is essentially the same except that the background is brighter and there is no postmark. A cover with the outline of the postcard was also released.

In 1998 Merrett  replaced John Northey as Coach of the Brisbane Lions midway through the season but after finnishing last on the ladder he was not awarded the job in 1999. The Brisbane Lions Best and Fairest Medal was named after Merrett, jointly with Fitzroy champion Kevin Murray.

On the 19th May 2002 Roger Merrett  became the first Bear to be inducted into the combined Hall of Fame at a luncheon at the Town Hall. Along with 15 new inductees, taking the total inductees to 38. Haydn Bunton became the first "Legend". A cover by First Class Collectibles was released to commemorate the event.