[Article 9736]Tom Briggs Wests Players Medal 442.

A phone call from my old friend Bede Ryan who lives in Young started the search for the next of kin to

Thomas Henry Briggs.

Bedes daughter Dione who lives in Cairns and presently teaching in Townsville told her dad this story .

Dione in the January School Holidays went touring the Sth Island of NZ and as Dione is very fit Athlete went Kayaking and the manager of this resort got in conversation with Dione and when Dione told this guy that Young is her home Town his reply was, ” Young is the Town where my Heritage began one of whom TOM BRIGGS my Grandfather was born and grew up and attended School in Young and I still have relatives living there” 

Dione said , he also said Tom Briggs played Rugby League for Western Suburbs after the War.

Hence Dione knew her dad had the connection to Wests and  I had a Library of Books on Rugby League which I consulted and found Tom Briggs name  and I  immediately email you ( Tony) and as they say the rest is history……

Bede we at the Wests Archives and the PPM website are very happy that Dione met Toms grandson in New Zealand.

* Before we get to the Medal presentation a little of Toms Rugby League History.


1938, 1939 and 1940.


Tom played for Young in 1938, 39 and 1940 in a very good Maher Cup team winning the Cup 14 times in 1938, 11 times in 1939 and 4 times in 1940.

1938 june maher cup

1938 july maher cup

1938 aug maher cup

1939 may maher cup

Tom joined the Army in November of 1940 and reached the rank of Sergeant.

war service

Toms Army service continued until March of 1946.

After Tom left the Army he played at Wests for 2 years 1946 and 1947.

1946 more training for wests

1946 first first grade game

Tom scored a try on debut for Wests.

1946 april 26 good story Briggs

Tom had a bad run of injuries during his Rugby League career . This restricted his First Grade appearances. 

In 1946 Tom played 6 First Grade games and in 1947 Toms tally for all grade was 4 First Grade, 1 Reserve Grade and 12 in 3rd Grade.

1946 tom try 1

Tom scored a try in this game.

Easts 10 beat Wests 7.


1947 tom try

Wests 15 beat Manly 13.

Tom scores a try.

1947 game report wests v manly


1947 wests weight

Just an idea of what First Grade players weight in 1947 compared to todays GIANTS.

1948 and 1949.

After 2 years at Wests Tom played the next 2 years at St George.


1948 semi scores 2 tries St George 20 V Newtown 8

Tom scores 2 tries in the 1948 Semi.

Unfortunately for Tom his injury woes continue at Saints.

1948 newspaper story about injury for Final

1948 newspaper story about Tom injury for Final

Tom misses the 1948 Final against Balmain.

1948 final StG 12 Balmain 13 tom replaced

Saints may of won if Tom had played.


1949 photo of Tom in game

1949 photo of Tom St G

St George won the 1949 comp but due to injury Tom was unable to play in the last few rounds and Finals.

* Tom was now 30 years of age.

1949 briggs to miss game v Wests @ SCG

1949 Tom picked but did not play V Wests

At the end of the 1949 season Tom was awarded the player/ coaching job at Goulburn in Group 8.


1950 Feb new coach

And Wests…..

1950 21 march tom fit to play

Tom starts his new job at Goulburn.

1950 teams for monaro v england

Tom was picked to play for Monaro against the touring English team at Manuka Oval.

1950 monaro v england game report

1950 7 aug good win by goulburn

Not sure how Goulburn went in the Semis but 1950 was Toms only year at Goulburn.


1953 6 april coach of Bargo

1953 game report.

Tom was not only the coach but was still playing at 34 years of age.

Forward to 2019………

2019 Walter and Tony.

Walter Briggs receiving Toms Medal from Tony Lewis .

2019 Walter

A very delighted and proud Walter Briggs.

2019 the Medal 442

Tom Briggs Medal number 442.

2019 bede and walter

Bede Ryan and Walter Briggs.

Walter is the first cousin of Tom and at 95 years of age still has very strong memories of Tom playing Rugby League back in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

NOTE: Walter is happy to pass on Toms Medal if there are any closer relatives than he is.


2019 bede and his Wests track suit top 1962 style.

While we were visiting with Walter at Bede and Jan Ryans house Bede showed me his old Wests track suit top from 1962.

Bede went to the old Mick Simmons store and was fitted out with a track suit.

Guess who Wests sponsor was in 1962??

Unfortunately Bede suffered a career ending leg injury in a trial game against Manly.

* NOTE: A few people I would like to thank for making this presentation possible.

They are Dione, Bede Ryan, Neil Bennett from Wests Archives and Neil Pollack from the excellent website about all things Maher Cup http://mahercup.com.au/

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