Joe Pearce

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Australian rules footballer, see Joe Pearce (footballer).
Joe Pearce
Joe Pearce.jpeg
Pearce in 1932
Personal information
Full name Sidney Henry William Pearce
Nickname Joe
Born 1910
Woollahra, New South Wales
Died 16 October 1995
Double Bay, New South Wales
Playing information
Weight 15 st (95 kg)
Position Second-row
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1929–42 Eastern Suburbs 147 34 14 0 130
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1930–41 New South Wales 32 6 10 0 38
1932–37 Australia 13 1 1 0 5
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1944 Eastern Suburbs 14 4 0 10 29

Sid 'Joe' Pearce (1910–1995) was an Australian rugby league footballer of the 1930s and 1940s. An Australian international and New South Wales representative second-row forward, he played his club football for Eastern Suburbs with whom he won the NSWRFL Premiership in 1935, '36, 37 'and '40. Son of fellow Australian Rugby League Hall of Famer, Sandy Pearce, he is considered one of the nation's finest footballers of the 20th century.[1]

Club career[edit]

He was a junior Australian Rules footballer in Sydney's eastern suburbs district but switched to rugby league and first appeared as a full-back for the Tricolours in 1929 before moving into the forwards.[2]

Joe was an outstanding ball-playing second-rower in the champion Easts' side that saw premiership success in seasons 1935, 1936 and 1937. He had captained the club in 1933 and saw further premiership success with them in 1940.

Pearce fourth from left, Kangaroos 1st Test 6 Jun 1932
Run-on Test side plus mgrs 6 Jun 1932, Pearce standing 3rd from right

Representative career[edit]

He first represented for New South Wales in 1930 and for the next twelve seasons without fail he played in the interstate series.[3] He debuted for Australia against the touring Great Britain side in 1932. He played in all three Tests of that tour and whilst not a kicker at Easts, booted a conversion in the second Test filling in for Eric Weissel.

He was selected on the 1933-34 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain led by Frank McMillan and played in 2 Tests and 22 minor matches. He was picked for a second Kangaroo tour in 1937, played in two matches on the first stanza of the tour to New Zealand where he suffered a broken leg. He did not appear in any further matches of the tour nor again represent for Australia. Joe Pearce appeared for Australia in thirteen Test matches.

Joe Pearce is listed on the Australian Players Register as Kangaroo No. 170.[4]

Father and son[edit]

Like his father 'Sandy', Joe played in over 150 matches for the Eastern Suburbs club. They were the first father and son to represent Australia in rugby league. Both players' representative careers were ended by a broken-leg suffered on a Kangaroo tour.

Pearce came from a family of sporting champions. His grandfather Harry, brother Cecil, cousin Bobby and aunt Lilly were renowned scullers (Harry a world champion, Cecil an Olympian and Bobby a dual Olympic gold medalist). His uncle Walter was an outstanding long distance cyclist.


Joe Pearce coached Sydney Roosters in first grade in the 1944 NSWRFL season. During and after his football days he was competitive sailor on Sydney Harbour in the fast 18-foot class.

He is recognized as Sydney Roosters player No. 193.


Joe was in 2007 named a member of Easts' greatest ever side – their 'Team Of The Century'. In February 2008, Pearce 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.[5][6] In 2007 he was inducted into the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame.[7]


  1. ^ Century's Top 100 Players
  2. ^ ARL (2007). "Australian Rugby Football League Annual Report 2007" (pdf). Australian Rugby League Limited. p. 48. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  3. ^ Pollard, Jack (1965). Gregory's Guide to Rugby League. Australia: Grenville Publishing. p160. 
  4. ^ ARL Annual Report 2005
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League – The Players". NRL & ARL. 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  7. ^ Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame