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George Frederick (Freddy) Henlen (1870–1919)

Passed away on Friday last, George Frederick Henlen, known throughout the Rugby Union football world of New South Wales, Queensland and New Zealand as Freddy Henlen. Coming to Sydney from Bathurst when a youth of about 18 years, he played for a season (about 1890) with a team at Waverley, then joined the Randwick, with whom he was associated as a wing forward until the disbandment of the club with the introduction of district football in 1900, when he played with Newtown, captaining the team in the second year of its existence. Tall and lathy in build, in his early days he was a very active and fiery wing forward, and when the New Zealand team of 1893 visited Australia he steadied the dashing Wellington winger, W. (Offside) McKenzie, in bouts that footballers love to talk of to the present day. He went to New Zealand in 1894, and was again in the sides that met the silver fern in 1897. Against Queensland he figured throughout the same period, and Victoria and Central Queensland also had him as an opponent. As a club player he was particularly good. A contemporary of W. T. Macpherson, Jas. McMahon, C. Winn, R. Whiteside, W. Barrie, W. Galloway, J. Fraser, T. Duggan, O. Riley, A. Fraser, T. Pauling, Allan Scott, H. Slee and W. (Dooee) Tanner in the Randwick team in the days when the club was playing a big part in the game in New South Wales his share in that prominence was a great one. He returned to Bathurst for one season (1897), and led the country players to victory against the metropolis — the first time the city had been beaten. The feat has but once been repeated. He was unable to play regularly with the Newtown Club, but in many games he was to the fore, and his captaincy considerably helped the Blues and enabled them to surprise many of the leading teams. At the inauguration of the League he supported it, and refereed some big contests. He was an old boy of Sydney Grammar School.

The funeral took place at Waverley Cemetery on Monday, amongst those who attended being Messrs. James McManon, J. S. Lord, W. Galloway, J. A. Burke, A. Goldsmith, Edward Finn, Hubert Finn (Randwick), J. R. Henderson, F. G. Underwood, P. V. J. Macnamara, C. Hill (Pirate), I. C. O'Donnell, J. O'Donnell, T. Alcock, W. Ireland (Wallaroo), P. Flynn (University), W. W. Hill (Newtown), and J. Simm. The wreaths included one bearing the amber and indigo of the Randwick Club from Mr. Jas. McMahon and his old clubmates.

At the age of 47 Freddy Henlen has joined the band of his old football friends: Paddy Lane, Nulla Roberts, J. F. McManamey, Allan Scott, Sid Miller, W. A. Shortland, H. A. Jones, Archie Boyd, Carson and Warbrick. Of fine physique, his passing was most unexpected. He had been ailing a fortnight.

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Citation details

'Henlen, George Frederick (Freddy) (1870–1919)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia


21 November, 1919 (aged ~ 49)
Stanmore, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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