Western Suburbs DRLFC – First Grade 1959
Back: Peter Dimond, Harry Wells, Kel O’Shea, Nev Charlton, Mark Patch, Darcy Russell, Keith Holman, Bill Carson
Front: Buddy Bowman, Doug Jones, Bernie Kelly, Darcy Henry, Bede Goff, Ian Moir

1959 was an injury-riddled season, with key injuries at inopportune moments and with sometimes up to six First-Graders out. Despite this, the team was able to make the semi-finals, losing 35-25 to St George and then losing a close Final to Manly-Warringah 14-13. The Final was a good example of how the season had gone. Harry Wells and Buddy Bowman were out injured, and the match developed into a bash and barge affair with Manly forwards Rex Mossop and Roy Bull taking up the ball. Neville Charlton thought the tactics were outdated but he obviously stood his ground in a hard-fought battle.

Darcy Russell (206 points) was again prolific while it was an absolute mystery why Neville Charlton wasn’t picked for the Kangaroo tour. Harry Wells was, however, and word filtered back that he was regarded as the world’s best centre and his combination with a young Reg Gasnier was terrorising the English.

Because of the injuries, a number of promising Juniors, Joe Ryan, George Downie, Roger Buttenshaw, John Mowbray and Dave Barsley all made debuts.

Two of the greats of league passed away during the year: Jimmy Craig, instrumental in the 1930 Premiership, and the legendary ‘Dally’ Messenger.

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