The newest inductee into the South Australian Amateur Footballer Magazine Hall of Fame is Mark Simpson. A man who has been involved in football since he was five years old, Simpson and his family have had a massive impact on the Broadview Football Club.
Mark Simpson started playing at Broadview in 1966 when he was five years old, following his father and four brothers.
His dad was the biggest influence on his career.
When asked what he was proud of in his football career, Simpson didn’t hesitate in his answer, “there have been three generations of Simpsons at Broadview,” he said, “my dad, me and my son.”
His father played 180 games, Simpson himself played 275 games and his son played 100.
If you count the whole Simpson family, including his four brothers, the Simpson family has represented Broadview on over 1000 occasions, a very special feat.
Individually however, Simpson’s career highlights included three grand final wins in 1987, 1989 and 1993, as well as three other grand final appearances in Broadview A1s.
He was the captain of the team for six years at Broadview, including being the 1987 premiership winning captain.
Simpson also won the A grade runner up best and fairest award four times at Broadview, where he played predominantly in the centre.
Outside of Broadview, Simpson had many other football achievements, “playing State footy was definitely one of my highlights,” he said.
Simpson played 13 representative games for South Australia and was also awarded All-Australian honours one year.
Simpson was also involved in the South Australian National Football League, having represented North Adelaide from under 17s until reserves.
However, injuries restricted him from going any further at North Adelaide, so he had a year off just playing amateur football until he was picked up by West Torrens.
Unfortunately, injuries once again ruined his chance to play more in the SANFL so he went back to Broadview.
Once Simpson retired from football at the age of 37, he stayed heavily involved in football by coaching.
He coached Gepps Cross A grade for two years before returning to Broadview where he also coached the A grade for two years.
Simpson said his coaching highlight was leading the team to an A1 grand final appearance in his first year of coaching.
After that, he coached the B grade for three years, as well as coaching junior football for eight years.
Simpson ended up coaching almost 300 games in total, another significant feat in his football career.
Having been around South Australian football for over 50 years, Simpson has seen a lot of football talent.
There were a number of players whose ability Simpson admired, however he said there were a few who stood out, “Phil Allen and Phil Kineno were the best two I played with, and John Griffen and Billy Botten are two I really respected from the opposition.”
Now days, Simpson’s only involvement in football is watching his son play for Adelaide University, however the impact he has had on South Australian Amateur League football is lasting.
Written by Kirralee Thomas @kirralee_thomas