Bruce’s introduction to football was one of uniqueness. At the age of 10 he was told by a doctor that he had to stop playing rugby union due to his sight, and so football became the only alternative. Bruce played with Linfield Football Club right throughout his whole playing career, and also represented Ku-ring-gai in representative teams. During his playing career he was a striker and as the years went on was moved to the stopper position.
As soon as Bruce got his driver’s licence, he took up coaching kids teams. When he turned 17, he coached a team of under 9’s which he took right through to All Age and even played with them.
“I don’t know why I did it, but it was rewarding and that was my little bit for the community,” he says.
Additionally, he became involved with Lindfield Football Club on their management committee and held various positions for several years, eventually receiving Life Membership for club in 1978.
His involvement with NSFA began in the end of 1972, when Walter De Ste. Croix, former President and Life Member, called a meeting of all age clubs with the idea to formulate an All-Age committee to run the competitions. At the time, Bruce was playing All-Age and decided to go along to the meeting where he was subsequently elected to incoming All-Age committee.
Bruce served on the KDSA All-Age committee from 1973 to 1992 and in 1982 he was nominated for the KDSA Management Committee where he served for a number of years.
Within the association Bruce served as All-Age secretary from 1981-1985, All-Age convener 1982-1983, Senior Vice President 1984-1985, Afternoon Football Chairman 1987-1988, All-Age Convener/Secretary 1988-1993, Afternoon Registrar/ Recorder 1992, Senior Vice President 1993 and Afternoon Football Secretary 1994.
In terms of his jobs Bruce remembered “doing things like draws, manually before computerisation – that was tricky making sure you did not double up.” He also had to deal with ground closures and wet weather, a process which involved “meeting together late at night and look at what ovals are pooled out” and rescheduling games and ringing clubs at 9/10 pm Friday night.
In the mornings “everyone on the committee was given a couple of ovals” and Bruce would look at Berowra Oval others on Saturday, before meeting back at Hornsby, have a cup of coffee and decide which fields could be played on. Coffee was absolutely necessary every time.
In reference to all his various positions and roles, Bruce had a strong enjoyment of working for the KDSA.
“I loved every minute of it, it was very rewarding. I felt like we were achieving something, putting on football for around 12000 kids and 120 All-Age teams.”
In the club environment Bruce moved north, and was heavily involved with Berowra Football Club for 32 years from 1990 till 2021, serving as President and Secretary in addition to various other responsibilities. He played an instrumental role in developing a new clubhouse, installing lighting and creating fencing on the oval. He was also a part of a crew of club members involved in fundraising, especially through cooking and serving meals at events.
Bruce developed a lifelong bond with many members of KDSA and the All-Age committee who still meet today going out for dinner and reminiscing on old times. Bruce still watches Berowra play.
“We go up on a Saturday afternoon, sit and freeze if it’s cold but we enjoy the game of football being played in front of us.”
The Northern Suburbs FA has existed since 1957 (formerly KDSA) and as we enter our 65th year we are seeking support to help us collate information, digitise records and present this on a specific NSFA History website.
In partnership with Macquarie University we have commenced phase 1 of this project, which aims to compile photos and information on each NSFA Life Member.
If you have any information on NSFA Life Members (particularly before 1980) or would like to provide assistance on the larger NSFA History project, please email email@example.com