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Title: ... Memories of Harry Bath - by Glyn Rees - Allora (Qld) Aus

Since joining you all on ''Rugby League Players Past, Present & the Future" I have been recalling plenty of great memories of British rugby league, even had a look at my history of the Challenge Cup DVD of late while I am laid up recovering after surgery.

In 1989 to 1995 I resided in Warwick (Queensland) after relocating due to transfer in my job in the Fire Service. (Moved the 28 kilometres to Allora in 1995 and stayed here)

A great man of rugby league came to Warwick in 1993 as the new owner of the Horse & Jockey Hotel. That man is someone no doubt many of you are aware of, none other than Harry Bath.

Harry played for both Queensland (4 games) & New South Wales (4 games) but not Australia. He would have though had he not headed to England where he enjoyed an amazingly successful career.

In England Harry turned out for Barrow (1948) and then Warrington (1948-1956) where he played 346 games.
He played for Souths in Brisbane and Balmain in Sydney before heading to the UK, and then joined the great St. George 'Dragons' club from 1957-1959 on his return to Australia.

He was also an outstanding coach, mentoring Balmain, Newtown & St. George over a period of two decades & also Australia (1962-1971), with premierships, Test & World Cup wins to his credit.

I recall fondly sitting at Harry's Horse & Jockey Hotel bar on quiet Saturday mornings, and if very few around Harry would get out his box of photos and we would look through them. What League history sessions those mornings were over a half dozen schooners or so.

In the legendary 1953–54 Challenge Cup final replay Harry captained Warrington to victory in front of a record crowd of over 102,569 people, and he had many photos from the game. Harry's reputation as a skilful ball-player and a great goal-kicker grew while playing in England. He scored over 700 goals in his career, including 173 goals in 1952–53 when he was the season's leading goal kicker.

I organised the Queensland Junior Rugby League Championships (13, 14 & 16 age) in 1993 in Warwick, and recall Harry's willingness to call down to the eventual venue, St. Mark's Sports Grounds, and coach the lads in the local representative sides who would be involved, in scrummaging and other game skills. Alas those arts appear lost now, but for those young lads at those coaching sessions, it was a special time as they received tuition from one of the games true international legends.

Thanks Harry for all your help, and for officially opening the Queensland Juniors Championship Carnival. The schooners were also champion in those lengthy photograph chats, a special time indeed.

Appears in the following pages ....P23_Harry BATH
Date of posting ... 14-Dec-2014
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