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Sid "Sandy" Pearce

Hooker

Player Bio

Inducted:
2008
Birthplace:
Double Bay, NSW
Date of Birth:
31 May 1883
Nickname:
Sandy
Debut Team:
New South Wales
Opposition:
New Zealand
Date:
17 August 1907
Venue:
Royal Agricultural Society Ground, Sydney
Representative:
City, New South Wales, Australia
Club:
Eastern Suburbs

Career

Milestones
  • Premierships: 1911-13
  • Kangaroo Tours: 1908-09, 1921-22
  • New South Wales Team of the Century: 2008
  • Rated No. 43 in Rugby League Week’s Top 100 players: 1992
First Class Games
286
Points
24
Tries
8

Biography

A player of immense strength and character, Sandy Pearce was Australia's first great hooker. He emerged from the same ''village'' as the great Dally Messenger at Double Bay on Sydney Harbour.

Born in the same year, Pearce and Messenger were close mates, participating in scratch games of football on the local Double Bay Oval.

Messenger claimed years later that it was only his encouragement that enticed the easy-going Pearce to take up rugby, convincing him to join the junior club Warrigals in 1901.

From there the two played second-grade rugby at Eastern Suburbs in 1905 and both made the switch to the professional ranks in August 1907.

While Messenger dominated the spotlight, the clean-living, taciturn Pearce preferred to work away in the background.

But it was impossible to ignore his efforts in the middle of the Easts scrum, where he became renowned for his feats of strength.

Australian team-mate Frank Burge rated Pearce the ''greatest personality'' the game had ever had. ''Football has never had a gamer, rougher, tougher nor more loyal team player,'' wrote Burge. ''Old Sandy, hooker, was easily the best I have ever seen in the position.''

Pearce toured with the First Kangaroos, declined a second trip to England for business reasons in 1911–12 (as did Messenger), but then toured again 10 years later.

His career essentially ended when he broke his leg in a tour match at Crown Flatt, Dewsbury, in 1921. His final Test appearance that year at the age of 38 and 158 days established an age record that is likely to stand forever.

“Football has never had a gamer, rougher nor more loyal team player. Old Sandy, at hooker, was easily the best I have seen in his position.”

Frank Burge Kangaroo team-mate in 1921-22

Career Stats

Club Career

Club
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Eastern Suburbs Premiership 1908 1921 157 4 - - 12
Eastern Suburbs City Cup
1912
1921
1919
1922
18 - - - -

Representative Career

State

State
Team Name Competition Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
New South Wales Queensland
1910
1920
1911
1920
6 1 - - 3
New South Wales Touring Teams
1907
1911
1920
1909
1914
1921
24 5 - - 15
New South Wales Queensland and New Zealand 1921 1921 1 - - - -

International

International
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Australia Tests
1908
1914
1920
1909
1914
1921
14 - - - -
Australia Internationals 1908 1909 4 - - - -
Australia Tour matches
1908
1921
1909
1921
48 2 - - 6

Other Representative

Other Representative
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Kangaroos Rest of NSW
1909
1917
1909
1917
3 - - - -
Kangaroos Wallabies 1909 1909 4 - - - -
Kangaroos England 1910 1910 1 - - - -
Metropolis Hunter and Northern 1911 1911 1 - - - -
Metropolis Kangaroos 1912 1912 1 - - - -
Metropolis England 1914 1914 1 - - - -
Metropolis Newcastle 1915 1915 1 - - - -
Next Best Best 1918 1918 1 - - - -
Sydney England 1920 1920 1 - - - -

Hall Of Fame Members