On paper, 1955 looked like a very disappointing season; the Wooden Spoon again and only three wins out of 18 games. However, it was a season blighted by a huge number of injuries. Early on, Wests had a “Black Saturday” against Manly, losing 46-0 at the SCG. Jim McKenzie was badly injured, not playing again until 1957, John Brest and Jim Plater were both carried off and Wests finished with 10 men. Numerous Reserve Graders were also injured, with Joe Leslie breaking a leg.

A number of new players did make an impression, however, when they were injury-free. Winger, Bill Bailey, a Maroubra boy who had been trialing with Workington Town in England, Jim Plater (ex-Tamworth), Pat Hyde (ex-Balmain) and John Brest from Port Macquarie all made significant contributions. Ron Watson also came back from the country and slotted straight in as a front-row partner for Neville Charlton and hooker, Hec Farrell.

Bill Carson being tackled by Jack Harrison (Manly) while Bill Owens and Roy Bull (Manly) also get into the action at the SCG

Western Suburbs Leagues Club was established, immediately becoming a success.

Wal “Duke” Taylor was granted Life Membership.

A potentially golden era for Wests was foreshadowed in the Annual Report with the confirmation that Harry Wells, Kel O’Shea, Darcy Henry, Cliff Smailles and Don Meehan had all agreed to three-year contracts.


Confirmed 1956 recruit, legendary Harry “Dealer” Wells

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