|Full name||James Devereux|
Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia
James Devereux (1885–1936?) was a pioneering Australian rugby league footballer of the earlier 20th century. A New South Wales state and Australia national representative three-quarter back, he played in the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership from its first season in 1908 for the North Sydney club, before playing several seasons in England will Hull F.C.. He later returned to Australia and coached North Sydney.
The son of Irish immigrant parents, James Devereux and Ellen Shanahon, Devereux played for the first ever New South Wales rugby league team in their début match against New Zealand, and later in was selected to play in the first ever trans-Tasman test, which was début match of the Australia national rugby league team against New Zealand on the return leg of their tour of Britain. Devereaux is listed on the Australian Players Register as Kangaroo No. 4. He went on to play in all three matches.
Devereaux was a member of the Australian side selected for the first ever Kangaroo tour and was the first Australian to score a try in rugby league against Great Britain when he got a hat-trick in the first ever Test between the nations. After the tour he stayed in England and played for Hull F.C., and became the first player to score 100 tries for the club. He was awarded Life Membership of the New South Wales Rugby League in 1914.
Jim Devereux played right-centre, i.e. number 3, in Hull's 7-7 draw with Leeds in the 1910 Challenge Cup Final during the 1909–10 season at Fartown Ground, Huddersfield, on Saturday 16 April 1910, in front of a crowd of 19,413, this was the first Challenge Cup Final to be drawn, played right-centre, i.e. number 3, in the 12-26 defeat by Leeds in the 1910 Challenge Cup Final replay at Fartown Ground, Huddersfield, on Monday 18 April 1910, in front of a crowd of 11,608, played stand-off/five-eighth in the 6-0 victory over Wakefield Trinity in the 1914 Challenge Cup Final during the 1913–14 season at Thrum Hall, Halifax, in front of a crowd of 19,000.
Devereux was in England during World War I and served in the military. In April 1916 he gained selection in an Australasian servicemen's rugby union side. After the war he resumed his playing career with Hull.
Testimonial matches at Hull F.C. were shared with; Jim Devereux, Tom Herridge, William Holder, and Ned Rogers, and took place against Keighley at The Boulevard, Hull on Saturday 29 January 1921, and against York at The Boulevard, Hull on Saturday 12 February 1921.
Returning to Australia after the War, Devereux coached North Sydney in the 1924 NSWRFL season, and worked as a labourer on the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. On 3 December 1929 his leg was crushed in an industrial accident on the bridge, and was subsequently amputated at Royal North Shore Hospital. Devereux was unable to work thereafter, and came close to destitution. The North Sydney Leagues Club voted him a ₤50 donation in 1932 to assist with living costs.
It was said that Devereux died in England about 1936, although the date has never been confirmed. The Sydney Sun newspaper noted on 30 October 1941, that "Devereux had died about 4 years ago." Some argue that he died at sea. His wife, Daisy Elizabeth Deveruex née Heath, did not remarry and died at Leeds in 1956.
On 26 August 2006 the North Sydney club announced their team of the century, with Devereux named in the centres.
- Masters, Roy (25 April 2014). "Enlisting Kangaroos were followed by NSW league players in their thousands". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. p. 44.
- Jim Devereux at yesterdayshero.com.au
- Moore, Andrew (2000). "Jimmy Devereux's Yorkshire pudding: Reflections on the origins of rugby league in New South Wales and Queensland" (PDF). 1st Annual Tom Brock Lecture. Australia: Tom Brock Bequest Committee. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 January 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- ARL Annual Report 2005, page 52
- Hull's Australians Archived 27 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine. at hullfc.com
- Referee, Sydney. 13 May 1914.
- Collins, Tony (2006). Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain. England: Routledge. p. 15. ISBN 9780415396141.
- Tom Brock Lecture: Andrew Moore
- Jim Devereux at stats.rleague.com