The Brisbane Lions extend their sympathies to the family of Paul Cronin, who passed away at the age of 81.

Cronin was instrumental in growing the game of Aussie Rules in Queensland when he was awarded a license for the Brisbane Bears in 1986, after leading a consortium with Christopher Skase.

He served as President of the Club from 1987-1989.

Brisbane Lions Chairman Andrew Wellington passed on his condolences to the Cronin family.

"We at the Brisbane Lions are saddened by the passing of Paul Cronin," he said.

"Paul played a important role in bringing AFL to Queensland through leading the consortium that established the Brisbane Bears.

"Paul was the inaugural Chairman of the Brisbane Bears and is a key figure in our Club's history.

"A national Australian Rules football competition exists today because of the passion and energy of people like Paul and we are very grateful for his contribution to this legacy.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

The Brisbane Lions will wear two black armbands when they meet GWS GIANTS tonight, as a mark of respect for Cronin and Danny Frawley.