1914 again started with much promise for Wests. A number of experienced rugby union players came across to the Club and some of the promising Wests juniors were now developing into fine First Grade players. The team had twelve First Grade debutants; however, all did not go to plan in season 1914 as the team used twenty-nine players throughout the season. Developing a winning combination was always going to be difficult under those circumstances. Wests finished second last in the competition.

A report in the Sydney Sun newspaper noted that; “Every team that has gone to Pratten Park this season, came back with respect for the local Club. The team as a whole are described as deadly tacklers, and terribly hard to wear down. What is more, they are never beaten and are triers right up to the final whistle.”

A report in the Referee newspaper in September summed up the year; “Western Suburbs have now finished their season and are to be commended for the manner in which they have stuck to the game in the face of depleted ranks. No team has been so consistently affected, and it is to be hoped that next season they are fortunate enough to get going without such a serious handicap.”

However, even before the final whistle blew in 1914, the world was about to change significantly with war being declared in Europe. All teams in all sporting endeavours would be impacted by some of their finest departing for the other side of the world. Most young men would eventually return, but some would pay the ultimate sacrifice. Rugby League would continue but it would be an uncertain future in the immediate years.

Western Suburbs Rugby League First Grade 1914
Back: R Duff (Committee), H Clarke, M Anderson, H Naylor, R Vest, C Foord, E Mead (Committee)

Third Row: W Elliott (Trainer), C Rothwell, W Easterbrook, E McFadyen (Secretary), W Joass, C Tye, R Haston, P Nudson (Trainer)
Second Row: F Holt, H McIllmurray, E Courtney (C), G. Gagan, F Lane, Front: A Gillett, J Nicholson, H Sly, C Collier (VC)

Western Suburbs Rugby League Reserve Grade 1914
(Note: No names were attached to this photograph – The photo noted that the team was Finalists)

Those identifiable include Claude McFayden (Back, far left), Ernie McFayden (Back, far right), Charlie Elliott (Middle, far left)

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