North Melbourne is mourning the death of life member, club historian and passionate North Melbourne fan, Father Gerard Dowling OAM.

Fr Dowling was the author of 'The North Story', which charted the club’s history from humble beginnings in 1869 to the success of the 1970s.

He was a regular fixture at North Melbourne home games well into his later years.

In his capacity as a Catholic priest, he officiated at countless weddings, funerals and baptisms for North Melbourne players, staff and supporters over many years.

He enjoyed close relationships with many North Melbourne figures, especially through the 1960s, 70s and 80s, and was known to write personal letters to players at the conclusion of each season.

Famous for his passion for his beloved Kangaroos, Fr Dowling was just as well known in broadcasting circles.

He was heard every Sunday night from 10pm to midnight for 50 years as the host of radio program The Family Counsellor on RSN (formerly 3UZ).

Our AFLW players honoured Fr Dowling, as well as fellow football club life member Gordon McDonald, by wearing black armbands in the team’s stirring preliminary final win over Adelaide last weekend.

The life of Fr Dowling, who was 91 at the time of his passing, will be celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne from 10am on Thursday, December 7.