News

Winning mattered most for Leigh Matthews

MOTIVATING: Leigh Matthews at the Link Lunch held at The Waves yesterday. INSET: Leigh Matthews playing for Hawthorn in the 1970s.
MOTIVATING: Leigh Matthews at the Link Lunch held at The Waves yesterday. INSET: Leigh Matthews playing for Hawthorn in the 1970s. Mike Knottcontributed

SUCCESS did not follow Leigh Matthews through his playing and coaching days; he created it through an almost mindless approach to each game of which he was a part.

He arrived at Hawthorn Football Club in 1969 as a 17-year-old boy, and left 16 years later (in 1985) at 33 with 332 games, eight best-and-fairest awards and four VFL premierships to his name.

The year after he retired, Matthews took over the senior coaching job at Collingwood, led the Magpies to a premiership in 1990 and was sacked in 1995.

In 10 years at the helm with the Brisbane Lions, Matthews coached the team to three consecutive flags from 2001-03, moulding a team of champions into a champion team.

Matthews is one of the AFL's most respected commentators now and, reflecting on everything he had achieved both directly involved with football and now in the media, he said there was only one part he wanted to repeat.

"In my football life playing was what I liked doing and I could only do it when I got to my late teens, at the highest level," Matthews said.

"If I had a choice that is what I would do again.

"And clearly once I got into my 30s it was finished; I was a coach who coached because I couldn't play any more."

Dubbed "Barney" on his arrival at Hawthorn because of a perceived resemblance to Barney Rubble from the Flintstones, he left with the title of 'Lethal Leigh' after a career of sometimes brutal acts on the field.

Matthews approached his footy as if he was going to war, and with a fierce desire to win burning inside him he was suspended numerous times during his career.

Footballers today claim they play for enjoyment, but Matthews said that was the last thing on his mind when he played his 332 games.

"I played footy in a sense for the challenge; I never wanted to play footy after I finished at Hawthorn," he said.

"Footy for me was a bit like going to war - whether that's applicable to that level I don't know - I didn't want to go and play footy for fun.

"Footy for me wasn't fun; footy for me was the challenge of the contest."

Matthews is a grandfather now and looks back on parts of his career in horror.

He might have been callous, brutal and nearly lethal at times, but his legacy of hard work, courage and ability to get the best out of a team will live on.

Topics:  afl brisbane lions hawthorn hawks leigh matthews



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

WATCH: Still no sign of vessel after mayday call

RESCUE: RACQ Lifeflight were tasked to air searches for a possible sinking vessel yesterday.

Emergency services continue search

Expect a very costly Christmas

Money, cash, coins, Australia dollar and two dollar coins.
Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Revealing cost of living report

Local Partners

Rob's off to start a fresh new chapter

AFTER more than three decades delivering fruit and vegies to loyal customers across Bundaberg, Robert Ward is packing up his ute and retiring.


What's on: Saturday, December 3

Not sure what to do today? We've got you covered

Head to the sugar museum for a sweet taste of history

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the revamped Sugar Museum at Fairymead House is Mayor Jack Dempsey and Fairymead House Team Leader Hayley Vale.

Learn about the industry that made Bundy what it is

List of gigs happening around Bundy

KEY NOTE: Country singer Alex Peden. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail

There's a live show for everyone

MOVIE REVIEW: Bad Santa 2

Billy Bob Thornton and Brett Kelly in a scene from Bad Santa 2.

NAUGHTY Santa sequel falls flat.

Coldplay bathes Brisbane fans in sea of colour

Chris Martin, lead singer of British rock band Coldplay, performs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Coldplay are in Australia for a five-show tour. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Frontman Chris Martin drapes himself in Australian flag

Sia, Keith Urban top Aussie Grammy nominations

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban at the 50th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards

Beyonce dominates with nine nods for 2017 Grammy Awards

New gallery connects humanity and nature

One of Craig Parry's amazing images to be shown at the gallery.

Well known photographer to display one metre images

Hailey Baldwin: I don't understand Taylor Swift's squad

Hailey Baldwin has taken a quick stab at Taylor Swift and co.

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

Council opens up on 'secret' private development companies

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!