[Article 3092]The Dave BARSLEY Story.

Dave Barsley footie card 1968

Dave Barsley wearing the famous Black and White jumper in 1968.

Being a big fan of Dave Barsley  I had wanted to interview him for many years but had not had the chance to do so.

I rang Dave and arranged to meet with him at his Port Macquarie home.

He was very generous with his time.

I hope everyone enjoys this fascinating story of  David John Barsley.

Below is the Fort Street Boys 4th grade Rugby Union side of 1954.

1953 FSB 4th grade age 14

 Thats Dave sitting with ball front row left of the coach.

Dave Barsley was born in Burwood and spent all of his early life at Enfield.

Dave went to Enfield Primary school followed by Fort Street Boys High School.

As a young boy he played Soccer on the weekends but after the game loved to watch Rugby League which was played on the adjoining fields.

Dave played Rugby League at primary school during the week and only started to play weekend Rugby League with South Strathfield in 1953 at the age of  14.

1955 FSB 3rd xv age 15

The Fort St Boys 3rd XV Rugby Union Team. 1955.(Dave is far left middle row)

While at Fort St Dave played Rugby Union, Cricket and was a very good runner with the school Athletic Team.

1955 FSB first xi underfeated premiers .

Fort St First XI undefeated premiers 1955. (Dave far right seated.)

1955 Fort Sr boys h School athletics Team age 15.

Fort St Boys 1955 Athletic Team. ( Dave is next to the old guy with the moustache front row)

1954 CHS athletics Championships @ SCG

Dave running at the SSG for Fort St in the CHS Championships. 1954.

Dave ran well in the CHS Championships but was beaten in the final by a future Commonwealth and Olympic runner Denis Tipping.


Denis Tipping running behind Michael Cleary and Bob Lay.

1957 Aust Jnr record. 1 mile relay

One of the many awards Dave received during his running life.

When not attending school sports Dave played Rugby League for the South Strathfield club.

Dave played with South Strathfield between 1953 and 1956 winning a few comps along the way.

henley Park Enfield.

Henley Park @ Enfield the home ground of South Strathfield.

In 1957 and 58 Dave played A grade with Concord United it was from this club that Dave was chosen to play for the 1958 Wests President Cup team.

1958 Presidents Cup team photo

The winning 1958 Presidents Cup Team.(Dave is seated on the right of ball boy)

The same year 1958 Dave was graded and played in Wests 3rd grade team.

1958 3rd grade @SCG

A very young looking Dave @ the SCG.

1958 SCG. Dave, Ces Partland, Balmain and Les Wyatt, Wests.

Dave and Ces Partland (Balmain) going for the ball. Les Wyatt (Wests) looks on.

1958 photo of Dave.SCG

Dave @ SCG 1958.

1958 3rd grade Semi Final story about Dave.

Good story about Dave and Wests winning the Semi Final v Norths.

Note. Dave was using his alias Doug Barsley for this match.

1958 3rd grade final photo

Dave on the run Wests v Newtown.

1958 3rd grade GF

Wests beat St George in Grand Final.  Dave kicked 2 goals.

1958 Wests 3rd grade Premiers. photo.

Team photo of Wests 1958 Third Grade winning side.

(Dave is seated far left.)

1958 Dave holding 3rd Grade cup @ Concord Oval.

Dave holding winning Cup.

Note: not sure but looks like the old Concord Oval?

Thanks to the records kept at the Wests Archives I know Dave played 10 games in 3rd grade.

(Dave scored 9 tries and kicked 4 goals.)

During the 1958 season one player that Dave remembers as a player of the future was

Frank Stanton who played for the Manly club.

frank stanton footie card.

Frank Stanton 10 years later.

Wests team photo 1958 Grand Final team.


 1959 was the year that Dave played his first First Grade game. It was against Newtown he scored a try and had his collarbone broken by Newtown half back Bobby Whitton.

Welcome to First Grade Dave.

1959 Dave at PP photo          Dave at First Grade training @ Pratten Park 1959.

1959 Reserve Grade Semi Final Wests v Norths @SCG

Dave playing in the 3rd grade semi final v North Sydney @ SCG.

1959 photo @ SCG Wests v Newtown third grade final.

Program of Wests v Newtown in the Final of 3rd grade 1959.

1959 Photo @ SCG final Wests v Newtown .

Dave about to receive ball from ??? in the Final v Newtown.

1959 end of season trip West v Southern Riverina (at Albury)

Dave on the end of season trip to play Southern Riverina.

In 1959 Dave played one 1st grade game, 12 reserve and 7 third grade games.

Wests team photo 1959 PP dressing room

The Wests Team 1959.


1960 Wests v Easts @ SCG Terry Fernley.

Dave about to tackle the late Terry Fernley @ the SCG.

1960 Wests v Manly team program

A very good Wests side. Dudley Beger coached Wests for one year.

1960 Game report V Manly @ SSG

Match report after a good win V Manly.

Dave scored 2 tries.

1960 Dave in gift photo. Warren gift.

Dave was also running in Gifts as a professional runner in 1960.

1960 Dave broken collarbone.

Dave had a lot of trouble with his collarbone all through his football career.

1960 Wests v Easts @ SCG Straw Andrews with ball.

Straw Andrews (Easts) and Dave Barsley @ SCG.

1960 Wests v Easts @ SCG photo Bill Tonkin flying, Roger Buttenshaw, Keith Holman.

Bill Tonkin, Roger Buttenshaw, Dave and Yappy Holman.

Dave’s stats for 1960:

First Grade 11 games 9 tries.

Reserve grade 6 games 4 tries and 2 goals.


1961  Wests team photo Harry Wells

1961 The first year of the famous 3 years where Wests tried everything to beat the

Mighty St George Teams.

1961 Contract 1

1961 Contract 2

Dave signs a contract to play for Wests for the next 3 years.

(I hope Dave read the small print!!)

1961 Dave scores 3 tries story and pic.

Once again Dave injures his collarbone.

Dick Poole passing to a flying Dave Barsley.

1961 Wests v Easts photo Dick Poole passing ball.

Dick was one of players that Dave said helped him with his football career along with Harry Wells.

SB 1962 1

Harry looked after Dave like a son.

1961 Wests team photo @ SCG

Team photo taken inside Pratten Park dressing room.

Dave sitting in front of Harry Wells.

Wests team photo 1961 PP dressing room 2

1961 Wests v Manly at SCG photo. Nick Yackich and Bill Martin.

Nick Yackich being tackled by Dave, Bill Martin looks on.

1961 Wests v Balmain @ SCG Bobby Mara with ball, Roger Buttenshaw and Kel OShea .

Dave has Bobby Mara with Roger Buttenshaw and Kel O’Shea about to help.

Wests team photo 1961 PP dressing room

1961 Wests v Saints @ SCG Dave Brown StG

 Dave tackling Dave Brown.

1961 Wests v  StG semi final. program

Wests v Saints Semi Final.

St George won 9 – 4.

1961 Wests V StG program.

1961 Grand Final program.

1961 Wests GF team photo

Wests team photo of 1961 Grand Final Team.

Dave is front row far right.

Dave remembers the sea of faces as he ran out onto the SCG.

A moment that he will never forget.

Dave told me he thought to himself as he ran onto the ground  “if this is what 60,000 people look like what chance do you have winning a lottery when there is only one winning  ticket in a 100,000″

1961 Telegram from Mum and dad before GF

One of the many telegrams Dave received at the SCG before the Grand Final.

Dave’s comment about the 1961 Grand final “Saints were far to good on the day”

Oh almost forgot the final score St George 22 Wests 0.

Dave played 17 games in First grade scoring 4 tries and kicking 12 goals.


1962 Dave joins Wests

Dave ready to play for the season opener.

1962 Wests team photo before Saints game B. Henderson in team

 Wests team photo taken at Pratten Park dressing room.

1962 Photo of dave tackling Kevin Ryan Dave and Kevin Ryan meet at the SCG.

1962 Team photo @ PP after traning

A fine body of men ready for training at Pratten Park.

1962 ist semi @ SCG Wests  Parr 0 Noel Dolton.

Noel Dolton tackles Dave Barsley @ SCG 1st Semi.

1962 PD same game pic

 Peter Dimond playing on the other wing.

1962 Dave and Johnny Graves pic

Dave and Johnny Greaves @ the SCG.

1962 David Dhu only 1st grade game

I think this was the only First grade game that Norm Dhu played for Wests.

1962 Dave scorng a try v NewtownDave scoring a try v Newtown at the SCG.

1962 Auther and Bob Menzie pic.

Arthur Summons, Bob Menzies and English captain Eric Ashton.

1962 Aust v GB program

Two Wests players playing for Australia.

Arthur Summons and Peter Dimond.

Australia 18 beat GB 17.

1962 Wests team photo before Newtown game. Final.

Wests 25 beat Newtown 13.

Dave scored a try and kicked 2 goals.

1962 Wests pic v Newtown

Team photo from Newtown game.

1962 GF reserve grade program

Wests played in both Reserve and First grade Grand Finals.

Reserve grade lost to St George 19 Wests 0

1962 Wests v Saints @ SCG John Riley, Bill Carson, Dave Brown.

Dave lining up John Riley in the 1962 G.F.

1962 GF program

St George 9 beat Wests 6.

1962 Wests GF team photo

The Wests 1962 G.F. team.

1962 players record.


1963 Dave and Jim Lisle pic.

Dave playing centre and about to tackle Jim Lisle.

1963 Dave at traning on back pic.

Dave getting ready to take on Eddie Lumsden.

Eddie Lumsden

Ed Vs Brian Moore.

1963 Dave flying back to play from Port story.

Due to work commitments Dave had to move to Port Macquarie. 

1963 Dave pic @ SCG

Dave playing against St George @ the SCG.

1963 Dave in sprint race

As well as Rugby League Dave ran in many Gifts.

Dave was part of a group of pro runners who were trained by Husky Moore at Bankstown Oval.

Johnny king

Some of the other runners included John King, Dudley Towers , Peter Thomas, John Mowbray and Ken Irvine.

1963 Dave and Noel Dolton pic

1963 Wests v Souths program

Wests V a very young Souths side.

Note: Flying winger Warren Thompson playing out of position for Souths.

Dave told me that because he could not get time off work leading up to the 1963 Grand Final he was not picked in the ’63 Wests side.

Wests v Parr @SCG Ampol Cup Final 1963 teams

1963 Wests win Ampol Cup story J Cody photo.

We may have  lost the 1963 Premiership to Saints (again) BUT we beat Parramatta.

Dave played 12 First grade games and 5 Reserve grade games.


1964 agreement with Port sharksDue to a work promotion with Arnotts David John Barsley needed to go full time to beautiful Port Macquarie.

Dave signed a one year agreement to be the Port Macquarie Sharks Capt/Coach.

1964 dave playing wing for Noth coast div v Newcastle

While playing for Port Dave played many rep games in 1964.

1964 Country First team photo

Dave is back row far left.

1964 Dave in country side program

Two very good sides.

Sydney I  27 beat Country I 4  Dave kicked 2 goals for Country.

1964 Team photo North Coast side to play France

Dave is middle row far right.

1964 story about win over france.

1964 story about dave scoring 13 points v France

1964 Dave Best & Fairest v France.

Dave scored 3 tries against the touring French side.

1964 pic Dave scoring try v France

Showing lots of class.

1964 Franch visit Waucope for dinner1964 Menu for dinner

What a feast for our French friends.

1964 Frank Stanmore and Yappy pic up at Port.

A visit from two old Magpies Yappy Holman and Frank Stanmore.

Frank was such a great player they named a suburb after him.

During his time at Port Dave played a game against Smithtown @ Smithtown.

I will let Dave tell the story….” after I had tackled a few players high eg Owen Elford I was playing full back on this day and I saw a very young winger set sail for the try line so running across in cover I tried to take him ball and all…the ref saw it differently and was giving me a harsh talking to when I felt someone hitting me over the head with her umbrella…it was Mrs Elford and the young winger was John Elford.


Grand stand at Smithtown.

This is about were Mrs Elford met Dave Barsley.

Due to Dave playing so many rep games he was often away when Port played.This made it very hard for any great success during the 1964 season.

Time to go home to Wests.

After getting a transfer back to Arnotts at Homebush it was time for Dave to find a Sydney team to play with one would think simple go back to Wests…..not as easy as it looks……

1964 story Dave going to Parra

The plot thickens.

1964 Agreement to play with Parra.

Did Dave sign a contract with Parra ??

1964 signed agreement with Parra

It appears so !!

1964 story part 3 Dave going to parra

1964 story part 2 Dave going to parra

1964 Story about Wests selling Dave to Parra.

1964 Story about Dave coming to Wests

Good news for West supporters.


1964 Ken Kearney signs with Wests as coach.

A new coach Ken “Killer” Kearney

1965 Jack Fitzgerald RIP

A very sad loss.

 1965 stoiry about Wests v Souths

1965 Wests v Souths program

Wests still playing at Pratten Park.

Wests 15 beat  Souths 8

1965 story about PD kicking 50 yard goal.

Peter Dimond taking the long range kicks.

1965 State Cup Team photo.

1965 State Cup v Wenty program

The famous game were Wests worn a all RED jumper. Have you got one ??

1965 Wests v State Cup story.

Maybe Barry Bryant’s first First grade  game.

Wests team photo 1965 PP dressing room

Dave is back row 2nd from the left.

1965 Wests v Balmain game reprt Dave scores a wining try.

1965 Trip to PNG

End of season trip.

1965 PNG tour Touring Party.

1965 PNG tour paper story.

Good win too Wests.

Dave had a busy year with playing both State Cup and Premiership games.

Dave played 25 First grade games and scored a total of 124 points.


1966 photo Wests team photo

Photo taken inside Pratten Park dressing room.

Dave is back row 2nd from right.

1966 Big Wests v Newtown. story

Famous win over Newtown.

1966 Wests v Newtown @ SSG 1966 Dave Barsley

1966 Photo Dave V Newtown.

1966 Dave and Noel Dolton SCG pic.

Dave being chased by Noel Dolton.

1966 Dave and PD pic at PP

Dave and PD at training.

1966 Dave kicks @ Pratten Park pic

Busy time at training.

1966 The Sun awards story.

Dave playing to win the Falcon 170 De Luxe.

1966 City team pic 2

1966 City team pic

Two photos of 1966 Sydney Seconds.

1966 Syd 2 V Country 2 program.

1966 Syd line up

Not sure how correct the Age column is.

1966 playing for City 2nds invite.

Huge money for playing for Sydney.

1966 Wests v StG upset win.

1966 Wests v StG upset win story.

1966 Wests V StG story.

This game was on TV has anyone got a copy of the game.

1966 Wests v Newtown playoff story.

1966 Kellys story about missing playoff.

I guess the headline says it all.

1966 Wests v newtown playoff pic. John Mowbray.

Sad end to the season.

1966 Wests v Berries program Kempsey.

End of season game played one week after Grand Final.

1966 front cover of Magpies Journal

 The Old Club .

Below who can remember the Warren Carr Show Band ??

Only signer I know is Judy Stone.

1966 whats on at wests club

Those were the days……

Dave’s stats for the year were 1st grade 13 games and 1 game in Reserve grade.



1967 Team photo 11967 Team photo 2

The 1967 Wests Team.

(poor old Roy Ferguson….bad photo shopping)

1967 Dave on the run photo

Preseason game V Berries.

1967 PD and Dave pic

Dave trailing Peter Dimond @ the SCG.

1967 Penrith team photo Laurie Fagan Capt

The 1967 Penrith Team.

wests team photo 1967 2

At last a Wests Team in color.

Dave is middle row 2nd from right.

1967 photo Kelly and paul sait

Noel Kelly meets Gary Stevens.

1967 players record all grades.

Its  1967 and Dave has a total of 155 games for Wests.

Just for the record Dave played 22 games in First grade.



1967 Wests to Win poster.

We all lived in hope……..

1968 color photo of West team 7

Dave sitting next to Noel Kelly in the front row.

1968 Head line Barslet rejoins Wests

Good news for Dave and Wests.

1968 Dave wins award

1968 was the year that Wests beat arch rivals twice.

1968 Game report Wests vStG

1968 photo inside liddy Oval after beating StG

“We are the boys from Western Suburbs….

1968 Wests v StG Liddy Oval ANZAC eve report.

Love these headlines.

1968 Team photo after beating St George at Liddy Oval.

What a night that was……

1968 story about Dave

Unfortunately neither Dave or Nebo made the squad.

1968 Dave Capt of Wests v France program.

Dave as Captain against France.

Wests beaten by a point.

France 11 Wests 10.

1968 Doug Walkenden and Barry Bryant photo

Rolled up sleeves were very popular.

1968 City v Country team list 3 Wests players in team

Three young Magpies made the Sydney II team.

1968 Noel and Dave photo in Liddy Oval dressing room.

Noel Kelly wishing Dave Barsley all the best at Newtown.

1968 letter from Wests about leaving club

This was Dave’s last year at Wests. Dave only wanted the same money as 1968 but the conditions of the contract stated that he had to play 12 First grade games to get his money.

1969 story about Daves on transfer 2

1969 story about Daves on transfer 3

1969 story about Daves on transfer 5

Dave received a phone call from Newtown coach Harry Bath and it was off to the Blue Bags for 3 years.

1969 signed contract with newtown 3

Dave signs with Newtown for 2 years.

The sign on amount was $4,500 which was very good money in those days.

Win payment $150, Draw $100 and Lose $50.

Dave remembers his wage at Arnotts was about $35-$40 a week.


The Newtown Years Begin.

1969 front cover of RL programThe Year begins.

1969 story about dave at newtown

1969 good story about Dave

1969 dave award write up

1969 story about playing against Wests

1969 running sprint heats @ wenty park

Dave still very fast.

1969 Newtown v Penrith program

Newtown 19 beat Penrith 12. Dave kicked 5 goals.

1969 top point scores table

After 11 years playing football Dave still in the top 10 point scores.


1970 Newtown Endeavour Cup winners. beat 5-0

Newtown the 1970 winners of the Endeavour Cup

1970 newtown win endvores cup

Match report. They beat Balmain 12 to 8.

1970 photo dave being tackle

Dave still hard to tackle.

1970 photo dave running

1970 story about dave v wests

Always good to beat your old club.

1970 photo of players training

Thats Dave with the big side burns.

1970 story about daves age.

A good way to finish 1970.


1971 photo of team at pre season

The Newtown team gets together before the 1971 season.

This will be Dave’s last season in the Big Time.

Dave  played almost no first grade games and only scored 4 points for the 1971 season.

1971 dave saying good bye story

Please read the story its a good read.



1972 2nd div Dave passing ball in GF v Wenty.

Dave decided to play with Ryde Eastwood in the 2nd Division comp.

1972 2nd Div.

Dave declares himself unavailable for the 1972 World Cup squad.

1972 Coach of Ryde Laurie Fagan pic

Ex Balmain & Penrith player was the Captain/Coach of the Hawks.

1962 Laurie Fagan winning car.

Laurie Fagan had won a Falcon 10 years earlier.

1972 dave scores 23 points story and photo

Not bad for an old bloke 23 points in one game.

(Dave is wearing a Wests jumper for old times sake)

1972 dave scoires 17 goals in one game

What a year Dave is having.

1972 dave scores 17 goals v bankstown

1972 story of ryde beating wenty in gf

The Hawks Win .

1972 Ryde Eastwood Team photo

The winning Team

1972 GF program

The two Grand Final teams.

Note: Bruce Beer playing for Wenty.

1972 buckley medal award night.

1972 photo of dave meeting w.g. buckley

1972 letter to dave about buckley award

A nice way to finish off the year.

1972 Ryde Eastwood Badge.

In total Dave played three years at Ryde Eastwood.

1978 cover of daves new carrer

This is the heading to the file in Dave’s collection of footie memorabilia.

Dave was bored just sitting around watching Rugby League on TV when a old mate Bill Peerson who was a referee rang and said “why not become a ref?”. Dave joined the Western Suburbs Referee Association and was taught by one of the best referees Laurie Bruyeres. After passing his test he started to ref under 8’s and slowly worked his way up to refereeing Reserve Grade.

1978 story about dave becoming a referee

 In 1978 Dave was refereeing Under 23’s

1978 story about rl referees and ex players

Story by the late Alan Clarkson.

1978 dave story about begnell oval

Dave (left) at Begnell Oval.

Dave as Superman Golf story.

After 10 years as a ref and at the age of 47 Dave and his wife June moved up to Port Macquarie.

super league story photo od dave.

Dave making correct predictions.

As the day came to an end I asked Dave the usual questions.

Best player by far John Raper.

Johnny Raper

Best winger he faced Ken Irvine, also the fastest.

Hardest player to tackle Ed Lumsden and a close second was Bobby Fulton.

Favourite ground was Lidcombe Oval. Dave played a lot of junior football there before Wests moved in 1968. Also the Sydney Sports Ground was good to play at.

Worst ground ever….North Sydney Oval. Mainly because of the shape of the ground and the famous hardness in the centre.

north Syd Oval

Not the North Sydney Oval Dave remembers.

(I still can see the cricket pitches)

Best Coach… well Dave had a few over the years Vic Hey 1958-59, Dudley Beger 1960.

Vic Hey

Vic Hey in his playing days.

Jack Fitzgerald 1961-63, Ken Kearney 1965,

Noel Kelly 1966-68, Harry Bath 1969-71, Laurie Fagan 1972-74.

The winner is Noel Kelly. Great coach great bloke. Also the hardest man he ever met.

Noel Kelly nice head shot

Noel Kelly.


Dave Barsley at his Magpie Bar 2015.


Thanks Dave for allowing me to share your long and interesting career with the world.

Also a very big thank you to Dave’s dad for saving all of his sons memories via newspapers, Rugby League Magazines  and photos.

Comments are closed.