1945 was a huge turnaround for the club. For the first time in seven years, they made the final four, going down in the semi-finals to the eventual Premiers, Eastern Suburbs. The injection of Col Maxwell, who had played for St George in 1940, Jim Seery on debut and, very importantly, Jack “Duck” Walsh, from Souths made a significant difference to the makeup of the team. “Duck” Walsh was immediately installed as Captain and played all 15 matches, leading from the front. Eight wins and a draw from fifteen games was an excellent result. Jack Snare’s effort on the wing to score 12 tries in 15 games should also praised.

Col Maxwell, future Kangaroo Captain debuted in 1945 for Wests

Ex-Kangaroo and Wests’ great, Frank “Skinny” McMillan, took over as coach and had an obvious immediate impact.

It was also noted that it was Wests best financial season in the club’s history, and considering one of the crowds was 40,293 against Easts at the SCG in an early round, it’s not hard to see why.

A testimonial was held during the year for old player, Sam Shaw (1909-13) which raised £73/15/6, a considerable amount in 1945.

Arthur Clues, Eric Bennett and Dick Johnson all represented City and NSW (against Queensland) and also went on a tour of Queensland with the representative team.


Western Suburbs DRLFC President’s Cup/Inter District Squads – 1945

 Western Suburbs:
R Martin (Concord CSA), W Lett (Homebush), J Ambury (Concord CSA), N Thackeray (Liverpool CSA)
D Grayson (Babcocks), J Stewart (Concord CSA), F Vincent (Homebush), R Tyson (Auburn), A Hornery (Auburn), L Fetterplace (Lidcombe CSA), N Brennan (Granville CSA), J Thompson (Homebush), R Ogilvie (C) (Babcocks), Reserves: B Bosley, G Booth, H Selem, T Smith (To continue training: W Stedman, A Ridley)

Western Districts:

T Grannall (Riverstone), A Jones (Fairfield), W White (Penrith), N Schofield (Riverstone), L Brien (Wentworthville), J Haywood (St Marys), R Gibson (St Marys), S Sammut (Wentworthville), Harold “Tim” Hobbs (Fairfield), L Fredericks (Penrith), R Croghan (Wentworthville), A King (Merrylands), M Wilson (Wentworthville)

Western Districts defeated Newtown 14-8 in the Final of the President’s Cup competition in 1945.

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