The Gladiator Emblem

The Gladiator Emblem


Club emblems in Brisbane started to be used in 1968.  They appeared first in the match programme called “The Rugby League News” (TRLN).  Emblems for Northern Suburbs and Brothers were printed in the Club Notes section of the TRLN on 6th April, 1968.  By 22nd July, emblems were being used by: Southern Suburbs, Wynnum-Manly, Eastern Suburbs and Redcliffe.  It was not until the 3rd August, 1968 that the Valley Diehard Gladiator was first displayed in the Club Notes of the TRLN.

The story of how the Gladiator was chosen as the emblem for FVC is recalled by Les Dellitt as going something like this:

A 1968 meeting was called by Fred “Firpo” Neumann to discuss the need for a VFC emblem.  It is not clear whether the meeting was called because the BRL had asked VFC to supply an emblem for programmes or if “Firpo” or other club members thought that, as other clubs had started to publish emblems, VFC should follow suit.  At any rate, “Firpo” argued that any emblem for the club should be based on VFC tradition.  He reminded the Committee that, from the earliest times, the sporting public had described VFC as the “Die Hards” and any emblem should be representative of this sentiment.  “Firpo” then asked the questions: who dies the hardest and who is the hardest to defeat?  He then answered his own questions with “A Roman Gladiator”.  The Committee agreed.  The Roman Gladiator was thus adopted as the VFC emblem to symbolise the “Die Hards”.

William “Billy” Brassington tells the story (in his own words) of the origins of the image:

The Champion Tobacco Tin Gladiator – Typical of the Boys in Blue
 to choose an emblem from a tobacco tin lying on the bar as
inspiration for the VFC Gladiator Emblems below.

The Diehard Digest Vol5.No.2 1977

“How Sweet It Is” by Gordon Robson 1973 Grand Final Victory over Redcliffe

Story contributed by Gerard Fitzpatrick October 2012

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