Tedda Courtney

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Tedda Courtney
Tedda Courtney 1908.jpg
Courtney in 1908
Personal information
Full nameJoseph Edward Courtney
Born(1885-08-30)30 August 1885
Died23 July 1957(1957-07-23) (aged 71)
Lakemba, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1908 Newtown 7 1 0 0 4
1909 Western Suburbs 5 1 0 0 4
1910 North Sydney 12 1 0 0 4
1911–24 Western Suburbs 156 34 2 0 140
Total 180 37 2 0 152
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1908–15 New South Wales 9 2 0 0 6
1908–14 Australia 11 1 0 0 3
1910 Australasia 2 1 0 0 3
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1930 North Sydney 14 2 1 11 14
1935 Canterbury-Bankstown 16 2 0 14 13
Total 30 4 1 25 13

Ed "Tedda" Courtney (1885–1957) was a pioneer Australian rugby league footballer and coach. He played club football for North Sydney, Western Suburbs and representative football for the New South Wales state and Australian national sides. He is considered one of the nation's finest footballers of the 20th century.[1]

Born in Sydney, Australia Courtney was one of six brothers who all played for North Sydney. His brothers Raymond and Robert died in World War I. He was a wharfie throughout his working life and was renowned for his fearless tackling style and ability to harass the opposition with his defence.

Playing career[edit]

Rugby union[edit]

Courtney played rugby union for North Sydney and for St George. He was one of the group of New South Wales rugby footballers who played against Baskerville's All Golds on their seminal trip to the United Kingdom in 1907 which started rugby league in Australia and New Zealand. He played in the second of the three exhibition matches; was promptly banned from amateur rugby union thereafter and the following year was given a vote of thanks by being made a lifetime member of the New South Wales Rugby League.

Rugby league[edit]

Tedda (front 2nd from left Pioneer Kangaroos 1908-09

Tedda Courtney had a remarkably long first grade career that lasted for 16 seasons.

Courtney joined Newtown in 1908 in the professional code, moved to Wests in 1909 and the North Sydney in 1910. He found his club home back at Wests in 1911 where he played the next thirteen seasons, amassing over 300 games across all grades.[2]

He was selected on the inaugural Kangaroo tour of 1908-09 appearing in all three Tests and in a total of thirty-one games on tour on which he was the top-scoring forward with 10 tries. He made a second Kangaroo tour in 1911-12 in which he made twenty five match appearances. He played in three other Test series against Great Britain at home in 1910 and 1914 and against New Zealand in 1909, he also represented Australasia. On 14 June 1924 when Courtney was 39 he played in a game for Wests against Glebe alongside his son, Ed Courtney, Jr.,. It remains the only time a father and son combination has played together in a Sydney first grade game.

He is listed on the Australian Players register as Kangaroo No.37.

Coaching career[edit]

Courtney retired at the end of 1924 and returned to the district of his football beginnings - North Sydney. He coached the lower grades for some years and coached first grade in 1930.

Courtney's coaching services were obtained by the newly formed Canterbury-Bankstown DRLFC for their first season in 1935.[3]


Courtney a 1911 Kangaroo

In September 2004 Courtney was named at prop in the Western Suburbs Magpies team of the century.[4]

Ted Courtney was a Life Member of the New South Wales Rugby League.

In February 2008, Courtney 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]


  1. ^ Century's Top 100 Players Archived 25 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Whiticker, Alan; Hudson, Glen (2007). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players (6th ed.). Sydney, Australia: Gary Allen. pp. 103–104. ISBN 978-1-877082-93-1.
  3. ^ "History". bulldogs.com.au. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  4. ^ westsmagpies.net (2008). "Western Suburbs Team of the Century". Wests Archives. Western Suburbs Magpies R.L.F.C. Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League - The Players". NRL & ARL. 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.

External links[edit]