Herb Gilbert, Jr.
|Full name||Herbert Michael Gilbert|
|Born||4 May 1917
Kogarah, New South Wales
|Died||31 October 1983
Bexley North, New South Wales
|1938–43||St George Dragons||89||12||2||0||40|
|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.
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.
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. 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'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. 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
Herb Michael Gilbert died 31 October 1983, age 66.
- Herb Gilbert, Jnr. at yetsredayshero.com.au
- Herb Gilbert, Jnr. at nrlstats.com
- Dragons History at showroom.com.au
- 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