Our History – The Wentworthville Magpies
Rugby league in the Wentworthville area as far as records have established was formed in 1913, an historic date considering that rugby league in New South Wales was first played only a few years earlier.
The original Rugby League Club that represented the Wentworthville District was known as the Wentworthville Rovers; making it one of the oldest clubs in Australia. The team colours were Red and White. Mr W. (Bill) Lane was the first President and the home ground was known as Lane’s Paddocks. After one short season, competition ceased at the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914 and did not recommence until peace was declared in late 1918, most likely in the winter season of 1919.
Changes occurred in 1923 and the name changed to Wentworthville Rugby League Football Club and the jersey colour changed to black.
The club was successful with a hat-trick of “A’ titles in the later part of the 1920’s.
The Club in the 1920s played under the jurisdiction of the Western Districts League Association (later called Western Suburbs), an association that covered a large geographic section of Sydney’s West. Records are light on about the Club in the 1930s but by 1937 the Club was in the wilderness and was disbanded in 1938.
Re-birth came in 1940 and the Club fielded a full team plus two reserves, managed to complete the 1940 season and from this humble start a great Club grew and grew. The reformation of the Club also saw other significant changes. The Club was registered as Wentworthville United Rugby League Football Club and colours were changed to black and white and the home ground,
Ringrose Park; a virtual mallee swamp was cleared and made playable for rugby league.
The famous colours of black and white were first successful when a Wentworthville United “C” grade side became Premiers.
Post-war in 1946, the Parramatta District Rugby League attained First Division status and played at that level from 1947. The emergence of the Parramatta Leagues saw it effectively control all rugby league in the Parramatta District, severing ties with the Western Districts Rugby League Football Association.
In 1963 the Club participated in the Inter-District under the control of the NSWRFL, and in 1964 the NSWRFL introduced a 2nd Division to complement the existing 1st Grade Competition; and the Wentworthville District Rugby League Football Club was formed. Wentworthville were the benchmark for all other clubs with our first grade playing in 10 successive Grand Finals and winning nine.
The Wentworthville United Rugby League Club was retained to compete under the auspices of the Parramatta District Rugby League Football Club which it still does to this day.
The decision to strongly support the Second Division resulted in the club signing the “Welsh Wizard “of rugby union and rugby league, Lewis Jones, as a player/coach. He was the Club’s most dominant player for nearly a decade and rewrote the record books at this level.
The Club competed in the Second Division until 1973 which meant that four top sides had to be fielded each week; two in the Parramatta District Junior Rugby League and two in Second Division.
Despite this enormous workload, the Second Division sides became part of the history of the NSWRFL by their record –breaking achievement. In that period from 1964 to 1973, Wentworthville were:
· Club Champions: 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1973;
· First Grade Premiers: 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1973;
· Reserve Grade Premiers: 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971.
During the same period of 1964 to 1973 playing in the Parramatta Junior League at the highest level, Wentworthville were:
· Club Champions: 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1973;
· A Grade Premiers: 1968 and 1970;
· A Reserve Grade Premier: 1965 and 1968.
In the 70’s Wenty had a three year stint in the Illawarra Competition (1st and Reserve Grades) appearing in 5 Grand Finals and winning 2 Premierships but were rejected from this competition in 1978.
After the rejection, the District Club and Wentworthville United merged and the Wentworthville Rugby League Club was formed.
In the early ninety’s the Parramatta District A grade competition could not sustain a reasonable competition due to the strength of Wentworthville, Mounties, Guildford and Hills District and so a Metropolitan League, known as the Metropolitan Cup; was formed by the NSWRFL. Wentworthville competed successfully from the initial year, winning 1 premiership and making the final series almost every year. WDRLFC was formed to control this Competition.
The Competition has since been known as the Jim Beam Cup, Bundy Red Cup and Ron Massey Cup as it is known today. WDRLFC were successful in the Jim Beam Cup in 2003 and in 2009 the Club was successful in winning the initial Bundy Red Cup and repeated the triumphs in 2010, 2012 & 2013 when known as the Ron Massey Cup.
The Wentworthville United Junior Rugby League Club as it is now known controls the age teams, ie under 6s to C Grade, and A and A res Grade sides and have had tremendous success over a long period of time. The A grade side being undefeated in 10 straight competitions until falling in a Grand Final when participating in the NSWRL Sydney Shield Competition in season 2013.
An Agreement was reached in 2008 between Wentworthville and Parramatta District Rugby League Footballs Clubs that the Parramatta Premier League side be taken over and play as Wentworthville in a new Competition conducted by the NSWRL to be known as the NSW Cup. To keep up the great tradition of our great Club the team was successful in winning the Premiership in its first year and has participated in the Semi Final Series every season since.
Players to have played for our great club include:
Australia – Don Parish, Jack Troy, Arthur Clues, Keith Campbell, Graham Olling, Mark Carroll, Paul Gallen
New Zealand – Nathan Cayless, Dean Halitau
NSW – Charlie Wrench
Terry Hughes (Inaugural Rothmans Medal winner)
Phil Gould (1st grade player – premiership winning coach, State of Origin coach)
Lewis Jones (dual English International Union/Rugby League) and numerous first graders.