Dan Dempsey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dan Dempsey
Dan Dempsey.jpeg
Personal information
Born (1902-12-15)15 December 1902
Died 9 December 1960(1960-12-09) (aged 58)
Playing information
Position Hooker
Years Team Pld T G FG P
19??–25 Brothers (Warwick)
1925–3? Tivoli
Total 0 0 0 0 0
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1924–25 Toowoomba
1925–34 Queensland 31
1933–35 Ipswich
1928–34 Australia 7 0 0 0 0

Dan Dempsey (15 January 1902 – 9 January 1960) was an Australian rugby league national and Queensland state representative player. He played his career at Hooker and is considered one of the nation's finest footballers of the 20th century.[1]


Club career[edit]

He played with the Toowoomba side in 1924-25. Alongside Herb Steinohrt, Tom Gorman and Duncan Thompson Dempsey was in the Toowoomba sides which beat all comers including Sydney premiers Souths, Brisbane, Ipswich and visiting representative sides including New South Wales, Victoria, Great Britain and New Zealand.[2]

In the 1930s he played in the Ipswich Rugby League for the Tivoli club, and was a major influence in the years 1933-1935 when Ipswich dominated the Bulimba Cup, the triangular series played between the city representative sides from Brisbane, Toowoomba and Ipswich.

Representative career[edit]

Dempsey played in all three Tests of the 1928 domestic Ashes series and in the first two Tests of the 1932 domestic series. In the famous "Battle of Brisbane" Test of 1932, Dempsey was forced off the field with a broken arm early in the second half. Dempsey, his arm placed in splints, began weeping on the touchline because both the ambulanceman and the team's manager, Harry Sunderland wouldn't let him back into the game. He is listed on the Australian Players Register as Kangaroo No.135.[3]

He made two Kangaroo tours: 1929-30 where he played in one Test and nine tour matches and 1933-34 playing one Test and eleven minor games. All up Dempsey played in four Ashes series against Great Britain.


In February 2008, Dempsey 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.[4][5]

Dempsey 2nd from left, Kangaroos 1st Test 6 Jun 1932
Run-on Test side plus mgrs 6 Jun 1932, Dempsey centre of back row

In 2008, rugby league in Australia's centenary year, Dempsey was named at hooker in the Toowoomba and South West Team of the Century.[6]


  1. ^ Century's Top 100 Players Archived 25 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Fagan reference to Dempsey at Toowoomba
  3. ^ ARL Annual Report 2005, page 52
  4. ^ Peter Cassidy (2008-02-23). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  5. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League - The Players". NRL & ARL. 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008. 
  6. ^ Leslie, Cameron (21 August 2008). "Rugby League Team of the Century named". The Chronicle. Retrieved 8 January 2012.