Jasper FEENEY Snr
Wests Player number 58 (1910)
Jasper played 13 First Grade games for Wests in 1910 .
Jasper Feeney around the time he was playing for Wests in Sydney
In Jaspers first game he was matched up against the Great Dally Messenger of Easts
The great Dally Messenger
The story below was written by Jasper Feeney’s grandson Terry Feeney
Born in 1889 at Tally Ho Well a staging stop for Cobb & Co and an outstation of Connemara Station (now Tonkoro) south west of Winton Queensland.
Family moved to Townsville in the 1901.
*Jasper middle row far left
* William front row fourth from the right
In 1909 Jasper and his younger brother William played for the North Ward Club in the Townsville Rugby Union competition.
Both Jasper and William represented Townsville and in 1912 were both selected to play for North Queensland as Fullback and 5/8th respectively.
In 1910 Jasper travelled to Sydney, while in Sydney played thirteen 1st grade games of Rugby League for Wests scoring 1 try as a centre.
Rugby League in Sydney was only two years old and was Booming
A Rugby League Program from 1910 shows Jasper playing in jumper number 4
On the 28th May 1910 Wests played Easts at the St Lukes Oval Burwood
St Lukes was the Wests Home ground in 1910
Jasper scored a try in this game
Below game report from the Sydney Morning Herald
Below game report from the Daily Telegraph
Jasper returned to Townsville in 1911 and recommenced his Rugby Union career winning premierships in 1911 and 1913 with local team All Blacks.
The Townsville “All Blacks” had a very successful cricket team in which Jasper played in
They won the Senior Premiership in 1912-1913
Photo of Jasper taken 1911
The beginning of 1914 season saw the demise of Rugby Union in Townsville and the formation of the Townsville Rugby League. Jasper and his brother continued playing for All Blacks Rugby League Club and were members of the team that played in the very first fixture game held in Townsville in May 1914, the club going on to win premierships in 1915 and 1916.
In 1915 Jasper was selected to represent North Queensland to tour South Queensland the team being selected from Townsville and Charters Towers the only two rugby league centres playing the game at the time. The formation of the North Queensland Rugby League did not occur until 1918.
Both Jasper and William continued to play rep football in the new code representing Townsville against other northern centres.
1920 saw Jasper and William selected to tour Southern Queensland with the North Queensland side. Jasper sustained a rib injury during the game against Mt Morgan but was selected and played the following game against Ipswich but the injury saw him admitted to Ipswich Hospital with a broken rib.
It has been said by family members that on Jasper’s return from the tour his wife threw his boots into the incinerator, drawing his playing career to an end at 31years of age.
With the increased popularity of league many new teams were established in Townsville’s expanding suburbs. One such team was Estates Rugby League Football Club established in 1918
In 1921 Jasper coached Estates U18 for the club’s 1st premiership
The 1922 Premiers
He continued to coach lower grade sides but in 1926 was appointed coach of the 1st Grade side which won the premiership and then was elected President of the Estates Club during the club’s record winning run of 3 premierships in 1927- 1929.
In recognition of Jasper’s work with the club he was awarded Life Membership and continued to support Estates until the mid-1930’s when his eldest son Jasper Jnr returned from boarding school to play for Past Brothers Football Club.
He coached Past Brothers U20 grade in 1936 to a premiership the team included his 2 sons Jasper Jnr and Darcy Feeney (my father).
The Three Feeney’s in the one team
Back row Jasper Snr four from left Darcy second from the right and Jasper Jnr sitting third from the right
Jasper Jnr went on to represent Townsville from 1938 -1947 and North Queensland from 1939 – 1947 Central Queensland 1946 and Toured NSW with the QLD side in 1940.
Central Queensland 1946 and Toured NSW with the QLD side in 1940
Jasper Feeney Jnr in his Queensland jumper 1940
1936 saw Jasper join the Past Brothers Committee and in 1953 was awarded Life Membership of the Past Brothers Rugby League.
From 1929 – 1946 Jasper was a member of the Management Committee of the North Queensland Rugby League and during that period served as a delegate for towns across the region.
During this period the President of the NQRL was Arch Foley whom the Arch Foley Memorial Shield was named in 1948. Jasper had played with Arch in Townsville and North Queensland teams and both men shared a great passion for our game.
* Jasper Feeney Snr
During WW2 he was involved in encouraging service personnel to continue to play the game with the formation of Army Teams and he coached a local Army team in 1942
In the 1960’s Jasper grandsons Brian and Terry Feeney played 1st grade for Past Brothers, with Terry also playing 1st Grade for Estates, and Martin Burns playing 1st Grade for Brisbane Easts Rugby Union.
The football dynasty has continued to this day with a great grandson Edward Burns playing on the wing for Wynnum Manly Seagulls in the State wide ISC Cup.
In 1958 Jasper passed away as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
In recognition of his contribution to the game the Townsville Rugby League community took the hat around raising funds to pay for a shield in his honour.
Between 1959 and 1989 the Jasper Feeney Memorial Shield was the main trophy presented to the winner of the U20 premiership in the Townsville competition.
The shield ceased to be awarded in 1999 following the QRL partnership with Winfield as the major sponsor of Rugby League throughout QLD. In 2014 (the centenary of Rugby League in Townsville) the Townsville District Rugby League kindly handed the trophy back to the family.
Terry Feeney with his Grandfather’s Wests Players Medal number 58