Geelong mourn the death of local legend Frank Costa

Geelong are mourning the death of local legend and former Cats president Frank Costa.

Born in 1938, Costa died after a battle with cancer.

Frank Costa is mobbed by fans in 2007 after Geelong’s premiership.Credit:Jason South

Costa made his wealth in the fruit and vegetable business with the Costa Group cleaning up the industry that had been racked with criminal influence and division.

But it was as the transformative Cats president that Costa came to national prominence, helping the club break a premiership drought of 44 years when they won the 2007 flag under coach Mark Thompson and captain Tom Harley.

Costa was revered at the Cats for his selfless approach, one which underpinned the cultural change at the club that has led to them being one of the most highly regarded organisations in the AFL for most of this century.

He was also down to earth, approachable and had a strong connection to fans, players, coaches administrators and the upper echelons of the AFL.

He began the rebuild of Geelong when he became president of the debt-ridden club in 1999 and appointed Brian Cook as CEO soon after with the pair becoming one of the most respected administrative pairings in the game.

Costa’s board led the club to success with the 2009 flag following the 2007 triumph before he was able to hand over the reins to Colin Carter at the end of 2010, as the club went on to win the 2011 premiership under current coach Chris Scott, who was in his first season as Cats coach aged just 35.

Costa stepped down from board of the publicly listed Costa Group in 2019.

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