24. Dan Dempsey

His real name was Dan O'Dempsey, but the 'O' disappeared during his football career.

Dempsey was a second-rower, and an ''iron man'' in more ways than one, for he was an iron moulder.

His grounding for some three years was at Toowoomba, and he was there in the golden years of the mid 1920s. After this period of Toowoomba domination he transferred to Ipswich.

During his career, from 1925 to 1934, Dempsey played 30 matches for Queensland, seven Tests for Australia, and went on two Kangaroo tours (1929–30 and 1933–34).

In The Kangaroos, Ian Heads related a story by Ray Stehr, of Dempsey, then at St Helens, being ''kicked across the face when he fell in a scrum in as vicious and foul an incident as I have ever seen''.

Dempsey was carried off, blood spurting from a cut above one eye.

Stehr then recalled how, suddenly, Dempsey sat up and held the edge of the gash together, and said, ''put a safety pin in it, and let me get back there''.

Dempsey played in all three Tests against England in 1928, and was Australia's hooker in the famous ''Battle of Brisbane'' Test that Australia won in 1932.

In that game, Dempsey's left arm was fractured, but he played on for quite a time until the doctor forced him off. He was a tough, hard man. Later, he became coach of Queensland and an Australian selector.

Position: Second-rower/Hooker.

Clubs: Warwick 1922; Valleys Toowoomba 1923–26; Booval Swifts 1927–34.

Games for Queensland: 30 (1925–34).

Tests for Australia: Seven (1928–33).

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1929–30, 1933–34.