Twelve men can stake a claim that they’ve shaped the Collingwood Football Club like no one else.

They are the most influential figures in the club’s 123 year history. They’ve arrived from various backgrounds but all left having made hundreds of tough decisions.

Many of these have been made behind closed boardroom doors, yet shaped the team that millions of fans follow every weekend.

Club historian Michael Roberts and the Herald Sun’s Glenn McFarlane have delved into the history books to uncover the stories behind the twelve Presidents of the Collingwood Football Club.

COLLINGWOOD FOREVER: Read the profiles of all 12 Collingwood Presidents.

From founding President and former Mayor of Collingwood William Beazley to current leader and media tycoon Eddie McGuire, every President has a unique story.

Second President Alfred Cross only served in the job for one year in 1912, but his profound impact on the club saw him become Collingwood’s first ever Life Member.

People claimed that there had “never been a more popular President” than Jim Sharp, a talented footballer whose playing career was cut short by injury.

For 36 years, Harry Curtis was a name everyone in football knew. After playing 122 games for the Magpies, he went on to be Collingwood’s longest serving President in an era which included six premierships and the coaching span of the legendary Jock McHale.

Already a legendary name at the club, Syd Coventry lifted Collingwood out of turmoil in the early 1950s. His dedication to the club he loved saw him barely miss a committee meeting in his 12-year reign.

The name Sherrin has been printed across every football used in the AFL for decades, yet it was another Tom Sherrin that overlooked the development of Victoria Park and sadly was killed in a car accident on the way home from a Collingwood victory in 1978.

Allan McAlister’s pledge to be a “low-profile President” was never realised, with the controversial leader’s love for Collingwood clearly evident in his unsuccessful dream of turning Victoria Park into ‘Maggieland’.

Similar to Coventry before him, Kevin Rose was already a Collingwood champion when he took up Presidency in 1996. He was determined from the start that his term at the top would not be lengthy, but in his three years, he fought off a hungry Port Adelaide to retain the prized signature of a young Nathan Buckley.

Rose welcomed Eddie McGuire and the current era of Presidency with open arms in 1998, on McGuire’s 34th birthday.

17 years later, McGuire remains the figurehead of Collingwood’s off-field success. The history before him is extensive, and can be read in full on the links below.

Collingwood Football Club Presidents

1892 - 1911William Beazley
1912Alfred Cross
1913 - 1923Jim Sharp
1924 - 1950Harry Curtis
1950 - 1962Syd Coventry
1963 - 1974Tom Sherrin
1975 - 1976Ern Clarke
1977 - 1981John Hickey
1982 - 1986Ranald Macdonald
1986 - 1995Allan McAlister
1996 - 1998Kevin Rose
1998 - currentEddie McGuire