Tigers in history: the slide down the ladder begins

After the success of the 1950s when playing mostly as a combine with Acton, the Tigers entered the 1960s with plenty

of momentum. 1961 saw the club make its first grand final in 20 years as a single entity, ultimately losing by just eight

points.

But there’s an old adage in life that suggests that after every rise there is usually a great fall. Just as the Tigers

appeared to be returning to its former powerhouse status, supporters were shocked to see the club plummet to fifth

position on the ladder.

1962 was a season of great unrest. The club lost many players that weren’t replaced while many in the club didn’t

support the appointment of a new coach in place of popular and successful former Mulrooney Medallist Keith Schow,

who subsequently moved to Canberra club, Turner.

One of the more historic events of the 1962 season was the achievement of 200 first grade games by the late Alan

Muir, who was recently elevated to Wall of Fame Legend status at the 90th Anniversary Dinner last Saturday evening.

By 1964 the future of the Tigers was looking grim. Retirements and departures weren’t able to be offset by new

recruits. Two vice-presidents and the club secretary resigned in protest over the club’s treatment by league headquarters

in Canberra. A headline in the local Queanbeyan Age read “Rules Club at the Crossroads”.

The off-field troubles had an impact on the on-field performances. The club slipped to sixth in 1964 and then to the

wooden spoon in 1965.

In 1966, ’67 and ’68 the club amalgamated with fellow besieged club Turner. Both clubs were struggling for playing

personnel. The amalgamation resulted in yet another playing strip, this time navy blue and white hoops with a large

gold ‘Q’ on the front.

Despite the Turner/Queanbeyan amalgamation generating reasonable playing numbers, the team still couldn’t match

it with the stronger clubs in the competition and finished outside the finals spots consistently.

During the years of the amalgamation the Junior Tigers had maintained their own identity. Many of those junior

players were ready to graduate into the senior ranks. This was a factor in the decision for the Tigers to break away

from Turner in 1969. But, unfortunately another wooden spoon rounded out the end of a difficult decade.

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