Redland Bay’s ‘Mr Soccer’ acknowledged in park renaming

A resident who was once known as the ‘Mr Soccer’ of Redlands Coast will have a community park renamed in his honour.

Mayor Karen Williams said the site currently known as Donald Road Sportsfield on Donald Road, Redland Bay would be renamed John Edward Downie Sportsfield.

“John Edward Downie migrated to Australia from the United Kingdom shortly after World War II and settled in Redland Bay, where he was a farm manager for more than 30 years,” she said.

“He was passionate about the game of football (soccer), joined Redlands United Football Club and for many years was central to the development of junior football in the region.

“He went on to become known as ‘Mr Soccer’ and it is a fitting tribute to his contribution to sport in our city that this park be renamed in his honour.”

Division 6 Councillor Julie Talty thanked Councillors for supporting the name change, which she said followed a request to her from a resident.

“This resident also has a long association with football in our city and when I heard about John Downie it seemed appropriate to acknowledge his dedication to the sport by renaming this park after him,” she said.

“Mr Downie’s family still lives locally and I am told  he instilled a real sense of fair play in all those he trained, as well as how to be gracious in both winning and losing a game.

“This is a way of saying thank you to Mr Downie, and I am sure those from the football fraternity would support this decision.”