Vale – Frank Farrington

Vale – Frank Farrington  

Born, 18 November 1926 – Passed Away, 9 December 2014.

Frank Farrington gave more than 50 years service to Rugby League.

Born in St. Peters, he played junior league, before enlisting in the Australian Army (Service Number NX206339) soon after he turned 18. Frank served with the occupying Forces in Japan, after the Second World War ended in early September 1945. Not long after he returned home, he had the first of his 15 professional fights as a light heavyweight from 1946 to 1954, including two in New Zealand.

In the Boxing-Rec website, Frank is rated 75th Australian light heavyweight of all time from 870 boxers.  He also resumed in junior football in 1946 and moved into grade with Newtown in 1951. In 1952 Frank was the captain/coach at Cowra but returned to Newtown for the 1953 season when he made his first grade debut.

In 1954, Frank was captain/coach at Narrandra, and in 1955 did the same job at Mackay in Central Queensland. Back at Newtown in 1956, he played the next four seasons with the Bluebags, mainly as a front rower and retired after the 1959 season with 39 first grade games and one try. Frank’s lone first grade try came at Redfern Oval on 8 June 1958 in the 29-11 win over Souths.

Team-mates during Frank’s first grade career included Test men John Raper (39 Tests), Tony Brown (10 Tests), Gordon Clifford (8 Tests) and Dick Poole (13 Tests). On Sunday 24 September 1951, at the old Sydney Sports Ground, Frank was a member of the Newtown Premiership winning reserve grade side, who defeated minor premiers, St. George, 10-6, in a tryless Grand Final. Dick Poole, who captained Australia to the 1957 World Cup win, was a team-mate in this team at inside centre.

Soon after retiring, Frank became a committee member of the Newtown club and became club secretary in 1968. He worked as the club secretary from 1968 to 1970, 1972, 1974 and from 1977 to 1991, giving him 20 years in the position. Frank also worked with the NSWRL from 1975 to 1977 and in 1982 was joint manager of the Kangaroos to England and France, along with Queenslander, Tom Drysdale. Captained by Manly hooker, Max Krilich, the 1982 Kangaroos were known as the Invincibles because they did not lose one of their 22 matches, including five Tests and scored a total of 1,005 points to just 120 against them.

During his time as Newtown secretary, Frank along with coach Jack Gibson, who he signed in 1973, changed the club’s name from the Bluebags to the Jets. He also worked with Gibson and John Singleton to bring Gridiron player, Manfred Moore to Sydney in 1977. Moore, who had played in a winning Super Bowl team with the Oakland Raiders and a winning Rose Bowl team (1 January 1973)  for USC, created plenty of interest and media coverage for the Jets, but he only played five games with Newtown before returning to America and joining the Minnesota Vikings. Moore was a member of the Raiders team who defeated the Vikings 32-14 in Super Bowl XI at Pasadena on 9 January 1977, only a month or so before he landed in Sydney. Frank was the club secretary when Newtown were omitted from the first grade competition in 1983.

He was a Life Member of the NSWRL and the Newtown RLFC and was awarded an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.  

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