The NSW Rugby League community is saddened to hear of the recent passing of Pat Devery.
Devery came to the Balmain club as a 21-year-old from Tweed Heads, after playing in the Brisbane competition with Fortitude Valley. He played four years with the Tigers, and was an integral part of the club’s premierships in 1946-47. Devery was selected to play for City Firsts and then NSW in 1946 and ‘47 and represented Australia in 1946. He was the Balmain club’s top point-scorer in 1947 and also captained the NSW team against Queensland in that year.
Devery signed to play with the Huddersfield club in the UK at the end of the 1947 NSWRL season on a then record contract for an Australian player. He played seven years at Huddersfield and still holds the record for the most points scored in a season with the club – 332 in the 1952-53 season. During his time at Huddersfield he played in several Yorkshire Cup and League Championship finals and the 1953 Challenge Cup final (won by Huddersfield) against St Helens, with fellow Australian Lionel Cooper.
Devery returned to Sydney and coached the Manly Warringah club in 1955 and 1956 before departing Australia to live in the US. He retired to Portland, Oregon where he passed away on 17 December 2017 at the age of 95. He was the last surviving member of Huddersfield's 1952–53 Challenge Cup Final winning team.
During the second World War, Devery served in the Australian Navy.
NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said he had the privilege of meeting Devery when he returned to Australia from the US for his induction to the Balmain Tigers’ Hall of Fame along with Harry Bath.
“It is very sad for the Rugby League community to lose a legend of the game like Pat,” Trodden said.
“He leaves a legacy both in Australia and the UK where he will be remembered as a gentleman on and off the field.”