3: LEON WIEGARD
Before Fitzroy’s 90s demise there was the 80s, when despite constant speculation on their survival the Lions defied the odds and prospered. Finals appearances in 1981, 1983, 1984 and 1986 was not the stuff of a club on death row – in a decade where just 3 clubs shared 9 of the 10 premierships they were as competitive as anyone else. But the financial issues were ever present, and at various times in the mid-80s it appeared that Fitzroy was on the verge of merging with any one of Melbourne, St Kilda or North Melbourne, or relocating to Brisbane to form the first Queensland side. Leon Wiegard had been a long time committee member of Fitzroy and was to eventually become the President ahead of 1986 when things were at its craziest – a season that on the weekends saw them one game from a Grand Final but during the week seemed to have a new merger partner talked about weekly. When the merger noose seemed to be tightening in 1989 for a whole clutch the Roys were again looking healthy on the field just missing the Finals. It was this climate that saw Fitzroy finally have some cards of their own to play in the game of merger poker, with Wiegard at the table. Leon Wiegard joins us to talk about the Fitzroy Bulldogs. Produced by Bad Producer Productions. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/TGSTW See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.