Tom Bourke

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Tom Bourke
Tom Bourke.JPG
Personal information
Full name Thomas Matthew Bourke
Born 4 April 1918
Woy Woy, New South Wales
Died 29 December 2001 (age 83)
Five Dock, New South Wales
Playing information
Position Centre
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1939–48 Balmain 147 47 76 0 293
1949–?? Griffith
Total 147 47 76 0 293
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1945 New South Wales 1 0 0 0 0
Source: [1] & [2]

Tom Bourke (1918-2001) was an Australian rugby league footballer of the 1930s and 1940s. A New South Wales representative centre, he played his club football in Sydney for Balmain who he captained, and with whom he won several premierships. During his career he was described as, "one of the heaviest tacklers playing rugby league."[1]

Playing career[edit]

Bourke progressed through Balmain's junior ranks before debuting in first grade in the 1939 NSWRFL season. Later that year he played in his first grand final, scoring two tries in his team's victory over South Sydney.

At the end of the 1944 NSWRFL season Patton captained Balmain from the wing in the grand final against Newtown, winning 12-8. Succeeding Arthur Patton as Balmain captain for the 1945 NSWRFL season, Patton again lead them to the grand final which was narrowly lost to Eastern Suburbs. He led Balmain to successive premierships in 1946 (kicking two goals) and 1947 (playing at lock). He captained Balmain to the 1948 NSWRFL season's grand final, hoping to make it three premierships in a row to equal Souths' record of eleven premierships.[2] He scored his team's lone try and goal, but Balmain were beaten by Wests.

In 1949 Bourke left Sydney and took on a position of captain-coach in Griffith, New South Wales.


After his retirement from the playing field, Bourke continued his association with the Balmain club through coaching and as a selector. He died in 2001, aged 83.[3]

In 2003 Bourke was named in the Balmain Tigers team of the century.[4] and was thus one of the inaugural inductees of the Balmain Tigers Hall of Fame in 2005.[5]


  1. ^ "Tom Bourke Proves His Fitness". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 August 1948. p. 4. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "League grand final on soft field". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia. 1948-09-18. p. 7. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  3. ^ "Tom Bourke". SmartPack International Pty Ltd. 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  4. ^ AAP (2003-05-01). "Balmain team of the century". Sydney: CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2009-11-20. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Balmain Tigers Hall of Fame Inductees". Balmain Leagues Club. Archived from the original on 2011-10-01. Retrieved 2009-11-20.