AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan today said Dr Alan MacKenzie would be remembered as one of the most important figures in the game’s history for the growth and success of Australian football in Queensland.

Dr MacKenzie died on Friday at the age of 76.

A life member of the QAFL and a former winner of the AFL’s Jack Titus Award for conspicuous service to the game, McLachlan said MacKenzie would be remembered for the many thousands of hours of service he gave to football in Queensland at both the elite and community level, and a constant drive to see the game reach its full potential across the state.

After injury forced his retirement from West Districts in the QAFL in the early 1970s, he relocated to Southport on the Gold Coast and was elected President of the Sharks in 1973 – a role he held across nearly five decades that saw them become a powerhouse of the state league.

He also served as medical officer for the Brisbane Lions during part of their premiership reign in the early 2000s, and then was a central figure in the entry of the Gold Coast SUNS into the AFL competition during the game’s expansion period.

“Dr Alan MacKenzie gave a lifetime of service to the Queensland community as a doctor and football was equally privileged with the commitment and time he gave to our game as a player and then as an outstanding administrator for more than 50 years,” Mr McLachlan said.

“Doc was a central figure driving football in Queensland at the grassroots level when the idea of one team in a national competition, let alone two, was a distant dream, and he was at the forefront for key moments in the success of the Lions and the birth of the SUNS.

“The AFL, and football in Queensland in particular, offers its sincere condolences to his wife Jo-Ann, his family and his many, many friends on his passing."

Dr MacKenzie was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and the Jack Titus award in 2011. A life member of AFL Queensland, he was inducted into the QAFL Hall of Fame in 2008 and elevated to Legend Status in 2011.