Ian Walsh (rugby league)
1966 Grand Final Captain
|Born||20 March 1933|
Bogan Gate, New South Wales, Australia
|Died||4 April 2013 (aged 80)|
Forbes, New South Wales, Australia
As of 10 January 2016
Ian John Walsh (20 March 1933 – 4 April 2013) was an Australian professional rugby league footballer and coach. He was a hooker with the St. George Dragons during their 11-year consecutive premiership winning run from 1956 to 1966. He was a representative for Australia and captained them in 10 Test matches from 1963 to 1966.
Born on 20 March 1933 in Bogan Gate near Parkes in western New South Wales, Walsh played in country sides at Parkes, Forbes and Eugowra. He was selected to represent the Western Division when they hosted the 1951 French touring side and lost. It was as a country representative that his international début was against New Zealand in 1959, and later that year was selected for the 1959-60 Kangaroo tour. He played in all six Tests and in 17 minor tour matches.
Walsh joined St. George Dragons in 1962 and played ninety-six games till 1967, playing in four winning Grand Finals (1962, 1963, 1965 and 1966). His first Test as captain was on the 1963 Tour of Great Britain which saw the Kangaroos become the first Australian touring team in 50 years to win the Ashes. He was captain for the "Swinton Massacre" 2nd test of that tour when the Kangaroos registered the biggest win in Anglo-Australian test history, 50-12. After the retirement of Norm Provan in 1965, Walsh took on the role of St. George's captain-coach. In 1966 he achieved a rare distinction becoming the only player to captain-coach Australia to an Ashes series victory and his club to a premiership. He played a total of twenty-five tests for Australia from 1959 to 1966. The Dragons' star players were growing old, the young and brutal South Sydney Rabbitohs were looming as title contenders and the inevitable end to the run had to be approaching. Nevertheless, Walsh was able to lead the Dragons against the Balmain Tigers to their 11th straight victory and the end of their run.
Post playing and accolades
After retiring as a player Walsh coached the Parramatta Eels to the semi finals of the 1971 NSWRFL season before becoming a successful columnist with the Daily Telegraph for over 20 years and a Country and State selector. He worked in sales in the printing industry in Sydney.
Walsh died on 4 April 2013 at the age of 80 after a long illness.
- Whiticker, Alan (2004) Captaining the Kangaroos, New Holland, Sydney
- Andrews, Malcolm (2006) The ABC of Rugby League Austn Broadcasting Corpn, Sydney
- Writer, Larry (1995) Never Before, Never Again, Pan MacMillan, Sydney
- Writer, p. 415
- Writer, p. 413
- Peter Cassidy (23 February 2008). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
- "Centenary of Rugby League - The Players". NRL & ARL. 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
- "Rugby league great Ian Walsh dies". Sky News. 4 April 2013. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
| Australian national rugby league captain
St George Dragons