Harry Wells Inducted into NSW Hall of Champions
15th November 2016
Telegraph Point’s Harry Wells has been officially inducted into the NSW Hall of Champions. The rugby league great was among five of the nation’s outstanding athletes honoured on Monday, joining 362 other sporting champions who have been similarly recognised. A strong, weaving centre, Wells played a vital role in Australia’s success in rugby league throughout the 1950s. ‘Dealer’ Wells, as he was known, came to Sydney from Wollongong, NSW to join South Sydney in 1951. He won a premiership with the club in his debut year playing on the wing in the 1951 Grand final victory over Manly.
His first international appearance was in 1952 when he was selected for the Kangaroo tour of Britain and France. He went on to represent Australia in 29 rugby league Tests between 1952 and 1960, scoring 13 tries. Wells represented Australia in two Kangaroo tours of Great Britain in 1952-53 and 1959-60, and three Rugby League World Cups in 1954, 1957 and 1960. He played against New Zealand in 1953 and 1959, Great Britain in 1954 and 1958 and France in 1955 and 1960. From the 1959 Test series, Wells was one half of the famous centre pairing with St George legend Reg Gasnier. They played 12 Tests together. Wells played 85 games for Wests between 1956 and 1961 scoring 33 tries for the Magpies. He was captain of Wests in the 1958 Grand Final, won by St George 20-9. Wells represented New South Wales in 35 games between 1952 and 1961 scoring six tries. The remainder of his career was spent in the country and he made one last appearance against Great Britain while playing for Monaro in 1966. In 2004 he was named at centre in the Western Suburbs Magpies team of the century. In 2007 he was inducted into the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame and selected at centre in an Australian 'Team of the 50s'. In 2008, Wells was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia. The NSW Hall of Champions was established in 1979 and currently honours 362 sports men and women dating back to 1876, beginning with 1876 sculler Edward Trickett; and representing 55 different sports. New athletes are inducted annually at a ceremony held at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, home to the NSW Hall of Champions. The honourees are selected from an exhaustive selection process which seeks to identify those sports men and women who stand above their peers, exemplifying the finest qualities of athletic prowess, competitiveness and sportsmanship and who provide an example for others to follow. “As Sports Minister I am fortunate to meet athletes from almost every sporting discipline, I am both pleased and humbled to be able to welcome these five outstanding athletes into the NSW Hall of Champions” said NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres.
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