Albert Rosenfeld

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Albert Rosenfeld
Albert Rosenfeld.jpg
Personal information
Full name Albert Aaron Rosenfeld
Nickname Rozzy
Born 28 July 1885
Sydney, Australia
Died 7 September 1970
Huddersfield, England
Playing information
Height 166 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Weight 73.5 kg (162 lb)
Position Stand-off/Five-eighth, Wing
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1908 Eastern Suburbs 12 6 1 0 20
1909–21 Huddersfield 287 366 2 0 1102
1921–23 Wakefield Trinity 66 16 1 0 50
1923–24 Bradford Northern 23 1 0 0 3
Total 388 389 4 0 1175
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1908–1909 Australia 5 1 0 0 3
Source: [1]

Albert Aaron Rosenfeld (28 July 1885 – 7 September 1970) was a pioneer Australian rugby league footballer, a national representative whose club career was played in Sydney and in England. He played for New South Wales in the very first rugby league match run by the newly created 'New South Wales Rugby Football League' which had just split away from the established New South Wales Rugby Football Union. During his 16-year English career he set a number of try-scoring records including the standing world first-grade record of 80 tries in a season in 1913–14.

Australian career[edit]

Born in Sydney, the son of a Jewish tailor, Rosenfeld was a foundation player for the Eastern Suburbs club in the Australian inaugural season 1908 and in 1909. He played on Easter Monday 1908 in the Easts team that beat Newtown 32–16 on the first day of rugby league premiership football in Australia.

A Stand-off/Five-eighth, Rosenfeld represented his country in four Test matches. He made his Test début in Australia's first ever international series against New Zealand in 1908 where he appeared in all three matches. Later that season he was selected for Australia's inaugural Kangaroo Tour of 1908–09, making one Test appearance and playing in 13 minor representative matches.

Rosenfeld middle centre (under the lamp) with the 1908 Kangaroos
Rosenfeld (back row, far right) with 1908 Kangaroos

English career[edit]

Whilst on tour Rosenfeld signed with English club Huddersfield after falling in love with Ethel Barrand a local mill manager's daughter whom he later married. He was moved to the wing position by his new club and became a try scoring sensation. In the English season of 1911–12 he set a new try scoring record for one season with 78 tries only to better it the following but one season by scoring 80.[2] To date neither mark has been beaten in England or Australia. The nearest anyone has come was 72 by, coincidentally another Australian and former Eastern Suburbs player, playing in England Brian Bevan in the 1952–53 season.

In England he played for Huddersfield, Wakefield Trinity (Heritage № 277) and Bradford Northern and made the following Cup Final appearances or internationals:

War service[edit]

Rosenfeld's phenomenal try-scoring record is all the more extraordinary considering his career was interrupted by three years of active service. He enlisted in the British Army in 1916 and saw service in the Mesopotamian campaign. He was discharged in 1919.

Later life[edit]

Rosenfeld played rugby league until he was thirty-nine and then, still married to Ethel he lived out his life in Huddersfield, He owned a tobacco shop and worked variously as a van driver and in a local dye house. Aged 85 years, Rosenfeld was the last of the inaugural Kangaroo Tourists to die.

Accolades[edit]

During his career (1908–24), Rosenfeld scored 391 tries. His try scoring feats earned him in 1988 a place in the British Rugby League Hall of Fame. In 2005, Rosenfeld was accepted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame with his official induction to take place at the 2009 Maccabiah games. He is one of only two rugby league players to be so honoured. Albert Rosenfeld was awarded Life Membership of the New South Wales Rugby League in 1914.[4]

In February 2008, Rosenfeld was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.[5][6]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Gate, Robert (2003). Rugby League Hall of Fame. Stroud: Tempus. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-7524-2693-8. 
  2. ^ Corbett, Claude (1933-09-20). "Warm Welcome: League tourists meet veterans". The Courier-Mail. Australia. p. 11. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  3. ^ Hoole, Les (2004). Wakefield Trinity RLFC - FIFTY GREAT GAMES. Breedon Books. ISBN 1-85983-429-9
  4. ^ Referee, Sydney.List of Life Members of the NSW Rugby League.13/05/1914(page 12)
  5. ^ Peter Cassidy (2008-02-23). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  6. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League – The Players". NRL & ARL. 2008-02-23. Archived from the original on 2008-02-26. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 

External links[edit]