Vale Wally Webster OAM
11 October 1928 – 14 March 2013
Wally Webster gave more than 50 years service to Rugby League and in particular, the Wentworthville club. He was involved in the initial concept in the late 1940s, when discussions were held about building the Leagues club. The first positive step along these lines occurred in 1956 when the Wentworthville RLFC resolved that their office bearers of that time would comprise a committee to form a Leagues Club.
As football club secretary, Wally became the secretary of the Leagues club committee. As an immediate way of raising funds, it was decided that Foundation Life Membership for a subscription of 10 pounds ($20), would be offered. Wally was one of the original 46 Foundation Life Members. Wally was the honorary club secretary from September 1958 until June 1962 and on 28 June 1962 he became the club’s first full-time secretary, a position he held for more than 25 years. After finishing his fulltime work with the club, he served as a Director in 1988 and again from 1993 to 2004. In 2000, Wally was awarded the Australian Sports Medal (ASM) and in 2010, for service to the Wentworthville community through a range of sporting organisations, he received the Order of Australia Medal (OAM). In May 2005, Wentworthville Leagues club held a Testimonial dinner for Wally to celebrate his more than 50 years of service. The Wentworthville United Junior RLFC provide the Wally Webster Scholarship to students from their area, who are entering year 7.
His first year as a serious Rugby League player was in 1948 when he was selected for the Wentworthville under 21 team. That year he won the Best and Fairest award and later in the year took out the sprint title at Fairfield Showground, which was open to all Parramatta junior league players. Along with the three Griffiths brothers, he also won the relay at this event. As well as under 21s, Wally played some A-grade matches in 1948. There were 24 teams in the big Parramatta A-grade competition in those days. In 1949, Wally cemented a place in the Wentworthville A-Grade team, which was one of the competition’s top sides and that season, he was a member of the Grand Final winning Premiership team. The next year, 1950, he was again in the Wentworthville Grand Final team, who that year were narrowly beaten by Toongabbie. In 1949, he was selected in Parramatta’s President Cup team and also played some minor grade games with the Eels that season.
Wally was a loving husband to Gillian, cherished father and father-in-law to Neil and Darlene, David (deceased), Lionel (deceased) and Leonie, Sharon and Carl, Alisa (deceased). He was also a loving grandfather and great grandfather.
By Barry Ross