Herb Gilbert, Jr.

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Herb Gilbert, Jr
Personal information
Full name Herbert Michael Gilbert
Born 4 May 1917
Kogarah, New South Wales
Died 31 October 1983
Bexley North, New South Wales
Playing information
Position Hooker
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1938–43 St George Dragons 89 12 2 0 40
1946–48 Balmain Tigers 45 0 2 0 4
Total 134 12 4 0 44
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1940–46 New South Wales 8 2 0 0 6

Herbert Michael Gilbert (1917-1983) was a three-time premiership winning and State representative Australian rugby league footballer of the 1930s & 1940s. A hooker who played with the St. George and Balmain clubs, he won premierships and made state representative appearances, both before and after active service in World War II.

Club career[edit]

Son of Kangaroo great Herb Gilbert, Herb Gilbert, Jr started playing first grade in the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership with the St. George club in 1938. Gilbert played alongside his brother Jack in the St. George Dragons 1941 Grand Final winning team. The following season, Gilbert played in the 1942 Grand Final loss to Canterbury. The outbreak of war then interrupted his football career.

After discharge Gilbert returned to football, moving to the Balmain club for the 1946 season. That year Balmain reached the Grand Final against his former club St. George. Gilbert played in a close game, won by Balmain 13 - 12. Tensions of the encounter overflowed after full-time and the match concluded on an ugly note when Saints forward, Jim Hale went toe-to-toe with Gilbert. Hale was then attacked by a spectator and an all-in brawl followed. Gilbert won another premiership with Balmain Tigers in season 1947 when his team defeated Canterbury-Bankstown in the Grand Final. He retired after the 1948 NSWRFL season.

Representative career[edit]

In 1940 he began representative playing duties for New South Wales appearing in games III and IV in Brisbane of that year's series against Queensland. In 1942 he again made representative appearances in Brisbane for games III and IV of the interstate series.[1] In 1946 he represented New South Wales against England in the first post-war Lions tour and made another appearance for the Blues in the inter-state series. Gilbert was a member of the New South Wales rugby league team on seven occasions between 1940-1946.

Gilbert (middle far right) in St. George's 1941 premiership-winning team

War service[edit]

Gilbert's football career was interrupted due to his enlistment in the Australian Army in 1942. He served in the 54 Anti-Aircraft regiment as a gunner and was not discharged from active service until the war was over in November 1945.[2] Both his younger brothers Jack Gilbert and James Gilbert (born 1923) also saw active service. James, like Herb was in the 54th Anti-Aircraft Regiment and was stationed in the Northern Territory[3]

Herb Michael Gilbert died 31 October 1983, age 66.

References[edit]

On-line sources[edit]

Published sources[edit]

  • Whiticker, Alan & Hudson, Glen (2006) The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players, Gavin Allen Publishing, Sydney
  • Haddan, Steve (2007) The Finals - 100 Years of National Rugby League Finals, Steve Haddan Publishing, Brisbane