Ernest Mair

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Ernest Mair
Personal information
Born 15 January 1891
Australia
Died 12 January 1957
Brisbane, Australia
Coaching information
Representative
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1926–1927 New Zealand 4 0 0 4 0

Ernest Hartley Mair was an Australian rugby league administrator & hotelier who coached the New Zealand side on their 1926-27 tour of Great Britain.

Early years[edit]

Ernest Mair was born on 15 January 1891 to a Scottish father and English mother in Ipswich.[1] He played rugby league as a youth, but was much more prominent as a swimmer, becoming President of the Toowomba Swimming Association and also the Queensland Amateur Swimming Association.[2]

In 1920 he married Mildred Readshaw and with her ran several hotels in Toowoomba.[3]

After becoming President of the Valley club in Toowoomba and Toowoomba Junior Rugby League, Mair was appointed New Zealand Rugby League representative on the Australian Rugby League board of control.[4]

1925-26 New Zealand Tour[edit]

New Zealand lost the series 0-3 against the Great Britain Lions and also lost a test match against Wales. The tour of Britain involved several skirmishes within the Kiwi party.[5] Problems began on the boat journey over, with disputes developing about aspects of the trip and a rift developed between Mair and seven forwards. The disputes continued once the party arrived in Britain, with one of the rebels being involved in a street fight with another member of the tour party after the opening match. At a meeting with English Rugby League authorities in on 8 November, following further disturbances which almost led to the tour party being evicted from their Harrogate hotel, it was decided that Mair would withdraw from team selection and match tactics for a period of a month.[6]

The tour, and the costly disputes, continued with the rebels eventually setting sail for home a week earlier than their colleagues. Three months later all seven players (Arthur Singe, Neil Mouat, John Herbert James Wright, Alphonsus Carroll, Bill Devine, Lou Petersen and Frank Henry) were banned for life by the New Zealand Rugby League.[7]

Later life[edit]

Mair returned to Toowoomba in March 1927, becoming one of the district team selectors and was made a life member of the Toowoomba Rugby League in November 1927.[8]

In September 1929, Mair was charged with attempting to convince two men to set fire to a hotel he owned, the Commercial Hotel in Cunnamulla. Mair was discharged after the case against him collapsed.[9]

He died on 12 January 1957 after injuries sustained after being struck by a car in Brisbane.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Coffey, J. (2012) Strike: The Tour That Died of Shame, Scratching Shed Publications: Leeds p31
  2. ^ Coffey, J. (2012) Strike: The Tour That Died of Shame, Scratching Shed Publications: Leeds p31-2
  3. ^ Coffey, J. (2012) Strike: The Tour That Died of Shame, Scratching Shed Publications: Leeds p32
  4. ^ Coffey, J. (2012) Strike: The Tour That Died of Shame, Scratching Shed Publications: Leeds p35
  5. ^ Baker, Andrew (20 August 1995). "100 years of rugby league: From the great divide to the Super era". Independent, The. London: independent.co.uk. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  6. ^ Coffey, J. (2012) Strike: The Tour That Died of Shame, Scratching Shed Publications: Leeds p161-4
  7. ^ Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4.
  8. ^ Coffey, J. (2012) Strike: The Tour That Died of Shame, Scratching Shed Publications: Leeds p264
  9. ^ Coffey, J. (2012) Strike: The Tour That Died of Shame, Scratching Shed Publications: Leeds p265-6
  10. ^ Coffey, J. (2012) Strike: The Tour That Died of Shame, Scratching Shed Publications: Leeds p266
Preceded by
Charlie Pearce
Coach
New Zealand Kiwis

1926-27
Succeeded by
Thomas McClymont