Dally Messenger has been recognised as an Immortal.
Dally Messenger has been recognised as an Immortal.

Shock as three pre-war Immortals named

THE NRL has dropped a bombshell adding three pre-war Immortals to rugby league's famed list.

In a historic move Dally Messenger, Dave Brown and Frank Burge became the first players from the pre-war period to be given Immortal status.

Previously, only post-war players were considered.

It had been anticipated that just two players - one from either side of the war era - would join Clive Churchill, Bob Fulton, Reg Gasnier, Johnny Raper, Graeme Langlands, Wally Lewis, Arthur Beetson and Andrew Johns as Immortals.

Messenger was considered the first superstar of rugby league and was largely responsible for the formation of the code in Australia

Dally Messenger has been recognised as an Immortal.
Dally Messenger has been recognised as an Immortal.

He changed the trajectory of rugby league in titanic fashion when he made the decision to switch from rugby union. This was a mere 12 years after rugby league began life by breaking away from rugby union in the great split of 1895.

Burge played his first top grade game for Glebe aged 16 in 1911, scoring 146 tries from 154 games.

Switching between prop and lock for most of his career, Burge still holds the premiership record for most tries in a match (eight against University in 1920) and when he retired he was second only to Harold Horder as the most prolific tryscorer in the game.

 

Frank Burge was a try-scoring freak and now an Immortal.
Frank Burge was a try-scoring freak and now an Immortal.

 

All these years later, just 12 more players have passed him and every one of them played at least 50 more matches.

Steve Menzies eventually overtook Burge's record, but it took him an extra 111 games to do so.

Brown was dubbed the "Bradman of League" scoring 93 tries from 94 games with Eastern Suburbs.

 

Dave Brown was dubbed the ‘Bradman of  League’.
Dave Brown was dubbed the ‘Bradman of League’.

 

The premier player of the 1930s, Brown was a pointscoring colossus, setting records that remain unbeaten to this day and could stand the test of time.

Take your pick from his glittering resume.

There was the time he scored 45 points in a single match, for example, which remains the highest single-game total of any player ever. Or the time he put up 38 in a game, which is equal second

In 1935, he scored 38 tries for the season, which is still the record, and his 238 points for the season stood for 30 years.

He captained Australia at 22 and from 1935 to 1937 his Eastern Suburbs side won three consecutive premierships, losing just one of the 41 matches they played during that period.

 

 

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