Howard K Tarpey
Career: 1984 - 1993
Senior Games: 83
Reserves Games: 0
3rds Games: 0
Senior Captain: 1984-85, 1991
Senior Best & Fairest: 1985, 1991
Senior Premiership: 1990
Senior Coach 1984, 1985, 1990, 1991
Team of the Century
The “Find a Coach Committee” of Noel Hopgood, ‘Curley’ Ellis and Peter Coghlan returned from their quest with only one name on their lips—Howard Tarpey. He would be the one to get that desperately sought after premiership.
Howard was an unusual person. He had the persona of a hippy who smoked, drank and drove an old car, often with his surf board on top. Despite this, he was dead serious about his football, showing himself to be a most demanding coach. Recruited from Oakleigh Districts in 1984, Howard provided the Seagulls with additional players in brothers Andrew and Melvyn and a top class rover in Brendon Farrelly.
His second season saw his team lose the ’unloseable’ Grand Final. Virtually unbackable favourites, they failed in the final contest.
It was just too much for Howard who chose to travel overseas for a few years before returning as coach in 1990. Re-energised, he led the club to a wonderful premiership victory with what many believe was Chelsea’s best team ever. Howard proved himself every bit a quality coach by developing a forward running type of game that certainly held the Seagulls in good stead against quality opposition.