Rugby league immortality has been hot on everybody’s lips lately. The thirst for a story and the epic performances of Billy Slater and Paul Gallen early in 2012 has everyone hungry for more inductions. Yes the time has come for another legend to be added to this prestigious group. But we must go back to 1930 to find him.
Dave Brown was born on the 4th of April 1913 in Hurstville and quickly became a sports prodigy. The gifted athlete was a representative surfer, cricketer and tennis player. He was also lucky enough to have Arthur Hennessy, Australia’s first ever rugby league test captain as his sports coach at school.
Brown’s first grade debut came at just seventeen when selected for Eastern Suburbs. Within twelve months, he had played three games for New South Wales.
The following two years saw him not only take on the captaincy at Easts, but make the tour of England with the 1933-1934 Kangaroos.
On that tour, the youngster scored 285 from 32 games. Including a remarkable performance in an exhibition match against England in France where he scored six tries and kicked nine goals.
Easts went down to the Western Suburbs Magpies in the 1934 premiership decider but returned the following year to hand Eastern Suburbs their fifth title.
1935 saw the superstar centre truly set the NSWRL alight with a remarkable season. In just fifteen games for the club that year, Brown scored 38 tries and kicked 65 goals.
Brown’s steep rise to the top was complete in September of the same year as he was named Australia’s youngest ever captain as he led the Kangaroos to a series win over New Zealand.
1936 saw Easts go undefeated and win the premiership.
The legendary outside back then took up an offer with Warrington in the United Kingdom before returning in 1940 to lead Easts back to two more grand final appearances.
Making his career even more spectacular was the fact that he didn’t have use of two fingers on his right hand after an accident as a child.
Brown retired at the tender age of 29 and spent the rest of his days giving back to the game he loved so much. He even spent time coaching and promoting the game in South Africa.
Prior to the Clive Churchill Medal being awarded in grand finals, man of the match on the big day was awarded the ‘Dave Brown Medallion’.
Frank Hyde once wrote of Brown: “He was a master at backing up. If a ball was dropped he’d swoop on it like a shark homing in on a mackerel.”
If ever someone was to going join the likes of Dally Messenger and Johnny Raper as an Immortal, it would be the man nicknamed ’The Bradman of League’.
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FOOTYSOCIAL.COM.AU