Rep Games in 1947

One of the gun NSW Players from 1947: Frank Larkin

During the past ten months or so we have written a number of stories on the year 1947 but we found there is more to be said.

In that year the NSW Football League (NSWANFL) played TWELVE representative matches – four of which were played on consecutive days over respective weekends (see green shade). Three of these games were played in Sydney and the other in Broken Hill;  all were against different opponents.  Of course the respective NSW teams that played on the both days of these same weekends were made up of different players.

Now if you have ever been involved with representative football or even club football, putting a team on the field requires a fair amount of planning, commitment and work.  The team which travelled to Tasmania comprised of players from Sydney, Broken Hill, Riverina and Albury.

Now granted 1947 was a year of a national carnival, played in Hobart (shaded in yellow) which made up four of the games, but nevertheless the other matches required players, managers, trainers, jumpers, shorts and socks and the list goes on.

In one of our earlier posts about 1947 we mentioned that the league secretary of the time, Ken Ferguson, made a public appeal for ‘clothing coupons’ in order to purchase player ‘clothing.’  Remember, this was just two years after the finish of WWII and the general public were still operating under the coupon system for food and clothing etc.

When the NSW Carnival team returned from Hobart, as if they didn’t have enough football, the league arranged for this side to play “The Rest” on the following weekend.

‘The Rest’ were made up from players not chosen in the NSW Carnival contingent but were Sydney players selected in the other NSW teams whilst the main team was in Tasmania.

So from a competition of seven Sydney clubs a total of 66 players were involved in representative football during that year. A further six were selected from clubs outside the metropolitan area.

Here are the matches:

1947-05-25 Sydney Queensland 20.13 (133) 15-17 (107) Won
1947-06-01 Sydney Broken Hill 18-15 (123) 8-13 (61) Won
1947-06-14 Broken Hill Broken Hill 12-12 (84) 11-9 (75) Lost
1947-06-15 Sydney Canberra 21-9 (135) 19-16 (130) Won
1947-06-21 Brisbane Queensland 18-22 (130) 18-24 (132) Won
1947-07-30 Hobart Canberra 13-18 (96) 7-8 (50) Won
1947-08-01 Hobart Tasmania 6-10 (46) 16-10 (106) Lost
1947-08-06 Hobart South Australia 14-12 (86) 17-9 (111) Lost
1947-08-08 Hobart Queensland 12-6 (76) 5-12 (42) Won
1947-08-09 Sydney Subiaco FC 8-11 (59) 11-10 (76) Lost
1947-08-10 Sydney East Fremantle FC 20-13 (133) 15-11 (101) Lost
1947-08-17 Sydney “The Rest” 21-18 (144) 13-16 (94) Won

You can see by the last score that the better players in the Sydney competition were chosen for the main NSW team.
All NSW games from 1881-1947, together with all their details, players, umpires and scores are listed here.

NSWAFL 1947 annual report
NSWAFFL 1947 Football Records
Metropolitan and Broken Hill newspapers of the day


1924 NSW State Team Hobart smallWe have a number of images in our repository, of which quite a considerable amount are displayed on our website.

Additionally we have pages of names which we have to add or fix up and while it is on the drawing board, we just haven’t had time to get round to it, but we will.

Recently we were sent a fantastic photograph by Sean Cowan in Western Australia.  It is of the 1924 NSW State team taken at North Hobart Oval, Tasmania during the All-States Carnival in August.

We have the names of the players in another studio photograph so can transpose those onto this pic., again, when time permits.

The captain of the team was A. Ellis.  Yes, thats all we have, A. Ellis.  We know he was from the Newtown club and that he captained that club in the same year, but that is it.  We have since found that his name was Bert, Albert.

Immediately behind Ellis is Byran Rush who was vice captain.  Bryan played with North Shore and formerly had two seasons with Collingwood before moving to Sydney.  He was 31 when this photograph was taken.

The side only won a single game from five in the carnival and that was against Queensland in the opening match.  They really were not competitive against the other states.

NSW played the VFL on three occasions that year and apart from the game in Hobart, their Sydney and Melbourne matches were reasonably close.  However this was probably on weekends where the VFL had other representative teams in different parts of the country playing representative games.