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Frank farrell (rugby league)

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Francis Michael "Bumper" Farrell (19 September 1917 – 23 April 1985) was an Australian premiership winning and international representative rugby league footballer. A prop forward, his long club career with the Newtown Bluebags was from 1938 to 1951 with four Test appearances for the Australian national side between 1946 and 1948.

Outside of football he was a policeman in the New South Wales force; he rose through the ranks and was stationed in Sydney's tough inner-city suburbs, where he earned a reputation as feared and revered detective in the Vice Squad.

Farrell was the great-grandson of an Irish convict named Patrick Farrell who was shipped to the Sydney in 1837 for stealing a pig.[citation needed] His father, Sydney-born Reginald Francis Farrell (1889–1983), was a jeweller and his mother, Scottish-born Margaret Theresa Wynne (1886–1977), an ironing lady. His parents were married in 1913. Frank, their second child, was born at St. Margaret's Hospital in Surry Hills, an inner suburb of Sydney. He was brought up in the tough Sydney city suburbs of Redfern, Tempe, Arncliffe and Marrickville. Frank was educated at Patrician Brothers' school, Redfern and Marist College Kogarah,[1] and remained a committed Roman Catholic throughout his life.

Frank Farrell married Phyllis Dorothy Read (1912–1981) on 11 November 1944 and had two sons and two daughters.[3]

Farrell was a rugby league footballer with a long sporting career. He rose through the ranks to become The Greatest Bluebag of them all.[4] Graded in 1936, he made his début for the Newtown Rugby League Football Club's first-grade team in the 1938 NSWRFL season.[1] He played his entire New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership career of over 250 games with the Newtown club. He made his state representative debut for New South Wales against Queensland in 1939 and went on to play thirteen career matches for his state. He became captain of the club in 1942, leading them to victory in the 1943 NSWRFL season Premiership Final against North Sydney. One of Farrell's closest and lifelong friends, Frank Hyde, was his opposing captain that day.

Farrell was captain in 1944 when Newtown finished the regular season on top of the table. Decimated by injuries and the active-duty call up of servicemen Len Smith and Herb Narvo who had starred for them all season the Bluebags were beaten by Balmain 16–19 in a Final. Newtown exercised their "right of challenge" as minor premiers and called for a Grand final in which Farrell led the side. Balmain again prevailed in a low scoring match when their representative centre Joe Jorgenson kicked two late penalty goals to give the Tigers a 12–8 win.[5] In a famous incident during a game on 28 July 1945, he was accused of biting off a portion of St. George player Bill McRitchie's ear during a match at Henson Park. He formally denied the allegation at the time. It took seven months for the New South Wales Rugby League judiciary to finalise their inquiry and Farrell was found not guilty.[6][7]

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