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Hey, John Victor (Vic) (1912–1995)

from Sydney Morning Herald

Vic [John Victor] Hey, rated Australia's greatest rugby league five-eighth, died yesterday at the age of 82. 

Hey, who played for Australia during his first season with Western Suburbs in 1933, died in a Castle Hill nursing home after a long illness.           

He played with Wests from 1933-35 before signing with English club Leeds, whom he took to consecutive Challenge Cup wins in 1941 and 1942. 

Hey played just six Tests for Australia and won a place in the 1933-34 Kangaroo tour of England and France only because of an injury to Ernie Norman. 

During his 11 years in England, Hey also played with Dewsbury and Hunslet before returning to Australia in 1946 to coach and captain Parramatta. He later coached Canterbury and Wests. 

With Hey as coach, Australia won their first Ashes series victory over Great Britain in 30 years in the 1950 Test series, Ron Roberts churning through the Sydney Cricket Ground mud for the famous clinching try in a memorable 5-2 win. 

Four years later, Hey coached Australia to another Ashes series triumph. 

Keith Holman, Test halfback of the 1950s, described Hey as one of the game's outstanding coaches. 

"He was a fantastic bloke and he knew all about the poms when they came out in 1950 because he had just played over there," Holman said. 

Former radio commentator Frank Hyde said Hey was a great player and a bit of a comedian. 

"He was a great trickster with cards and an ideal coach," Hyde said. "He will go down as great a five-eighth as Australia has produced. 

"He weighed about 14 stone, was all bone and muscle, and could have been a lock or front row forward." 

Hey's funeral will be held at St Paul's Anglican Church, Castle Hill, at 2 pm tomorrow.

Original publication

  • Sydney Morning Herald, 12 April 1995, p 59

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Citation details

'Hey, John Victor (Vic) (1912–1995)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 11 August 2020.

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