Career : 1949 - 1950
Debut : Round 4, 1949 vs Essendon, aged 26 years, 296 days
Carlton Player No. 631
Games : 21
Goals : 18
Last Game : Round 10, 1950 vs Hawthorn, aged 27 years, 344 days
Guernsey No. 31
Height : 183 cm (6 ft. 0 in.)
Weight : 85.5 kg (13 stone, 7 lbs.)
DOB: 15 July, 1922
Geoff Brokenshire certainly packed a lot of living into the first 28 years of his life. Only 18 when World War II began in 1939, he volunteered for military service with the Royal Australian Air Force, and spent five years at war against the Japanese. When he returned home intact in 1946, he was discharged in time to be an outstanding forward for VFA club Sandringham in their first-ever senior Premiership. Two years later, he joined Collingwood for one season, before crossing over to Carlton and playing in the Blues’ 1949 VFL Grand Final team.
Brokenshire was born in Melbourne's bayside Brighton, to a middle class family who ensured that he received a good education, and a sound grounding in football skills with the nearby Sandringham Football Club. But the outbreak of war in September 1939 changed Geoff’s life forever. He joined thousands of other Australians in volunteering to fight for his country, and was accepted into the RAAF. Over the next five years, he served in northern Australia and the Pacific, eventually attaining the rank of Flight Lieutenant with a torpedo-bomber squadron.
In 1945, Brokenshire returned safely to Australia, where he wasted little time in pulling on Sandringham’s gold, black and blue guernsey again. Having matured into a solid 86 kilograms, the 183 cm hard-hitting forward was one of the stars of the VFA in 1946, when his 59 goals for the year not only propelled the Zebras into the finals, but also to a thrilling 7-point maiden Grand Final victory over Camberwell. In 1947 Geoff continued to impress, booting 83 goals for the season as he steered the Zebras into another Premiership decider against Port Melbourne. Only this time, Port were too good in the wet conditions, and knocked over Sandringham by five goals.
By then, Brokenshire’s 43 matches for the Zebras had produced 142 goals and made him a prime recruiting target for a bevy of VFL teams. Collingwood convinced him to swap clubs in 1948, but Sandringham wouldn’t hear of him leaving. Eventually, he crossed to Victoria Park without a clearance, and made thirteen appearances - mainly as a follower-forward - for the black and whites. He was not entirely happy at the Magpie nest however, and after just that one season, Geoff walked out to join Carlton.
When the Blues handed Brokenshire guernsey number 31, he was also given the big responsibility of partnering ‘Chooka’ Howell in the ruck. Geoff’s career reached its high point when he was feted for his strong work around the packs in Carlton’s impressive 1949 second Semi Final victory over North Melbourne, before the Blues were routed by Essendon in a one-sided Grand Final - remembered for a classic duel between the Bombers’ emerging champion full-forward John Coleman, and Carlton’s tireless full-back, Ollie Grieve.
Understandably, the shock of that 73-point drubbing sounded the death-knell in the careers of a number of senior players at Carlton, including Brokenshire. He continued on into 1950, but when his senior opportunities began to dry up, he called it quits after playing at centre half-forward in a gutsy 5-point win by the Blues over Hawthorn at Glenferrie Oval in round 10.
Brokenshire passed away on the 28th April, 1986 aged 63.