Cec Fifield

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Cec "Dicky" Fifield (1903-1957)[1] (born Cecil Richard Henry Fifield in Adelong, New South Wales) was an Australian rugby league footballer of the 20th century

Club career[edit]

Fifield was born to Sara Ann (née Compton) and George Fifield in Adelong on 23 September 1904. He played for West Wyalong as a teenager in Group 9. From there he was recruited to the Western Suburbs Magpies, playing the 1923, 1925–26,1929 and 1936 seasons. He played over 100 first grade games with the Magpies.

He was selected to play for the New South Wales rugby league team in 1925 and 1929, then was selected to play on the 1929–30 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain. The team sailed on the Orsova via the Panama Canal and played an exhibition game in New York before arriving in England. The first Test was played at Hull, Yorkshire. The second Test at Wembley and the third Test at Swinton in which there was a big controversy over a try. After much deliberation it was decided to play a fourth Test at Rochdale.

This was the first and only time that a fourth test has been played on any Kangaroo tour. In this match Cec broke his ankle and was unable to play the remainder of the tour.

Kangaroos 1st Test 1929.

On returning to Australia in 1930 he played for and captained the Balmain Tigers. It was in 1931 that Cec returned to play football for Hull, Boulevard. Owing to the difference in seasons, he played there until it was time to depart England and returned to Australia and play for Junee.

Cec continued to play for Hull, playing 224 games and scoring 80 tries, gaining England Championship honours in 1936 and in 1937 he returned to Australia. He played one season with Canterbury-Bankstown in 1937 before he then returned to Western Suburbs Magpies as captain-coach for the 1938 NSWRFL season.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

After a couple of years involvement with Canterbury-Bankstown, (he coached the team in 1944), he returned to England.

In 1950 Cec was approached by English club Rochdale Hornets to be Manager-Coach and to select several young players to help strengthen their team. He selected Tom Duffy, Wally Elliot, Cec "Babe" Kelly, Reg Stanford and Ron Stanford. They arrived in Rochdale in September 1950 and commenced training. The Australian Rugby League lodged a complaint against the five boys playing for Rochdale owing to the then current 'poaching' ban being in place. The Rugby League case was lost because these boys were only Junior Rugby Union players and were not affiliated to any Rugby League Club, but they had played Rugby League as teenagers. The boys had a successful career before returning to Australia.

Cec Fifield's last appointment was coach of the Parramatta Eels for one year in the 1956 NSWRFL season.[3]

Accolades[edit]

Cec is listed in the ARL, Kangaroos Register as player number 152.

In 2008 he was named as one of the Australian Rugby League's 100 Greatest Players of all Time.

Cec never had any sons. Jack and George Fifield were his nephews born to Norman. They both started playing Rugby League in Sydney.

Death[edit]

Cec "Dick" Fifield died suddenly at his Earlwood home on 7 December 1957. After a largely attended funeral, he was cremated at Rookwood on 11 December 1957.[4]

His Epitaph reads: "He was the most marked man on the field but the most respected off".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cec Fifield at rugbyleagueproject.org
  2. ^ Alan Whiticker - Encyclopedia Of Rugby League Players
  3. ^ Rugby League Project
  4. ^ Sydney Morning Herald:Death Notice 09/12/1957 & Funeral Notice 10/12/1957