RATHER than end his career, leaving South Sydney after winning a premiership was just the beginning for Wollongong’s Harry Wells.
After being part of the Rabbitohs’ successful 1951 team, “Dealer” returned to Wollongong.
“I’d played a handful of first grade games and played in the grand final but over the summer period I thought if I go back to Souths again,” Wells said. “I’m only going to go back to reserve grade and I didn’t feel I was getting anywhere so I went back to Wollongong.”
However, his career sky-rocketed the next year, with starring roles in a NSW Country selection trial, which led to state and then national honours.
“That night (after playing for NSW), I got picked for the Kangaroos. If I hadn’t done what I did, I probably would have still been playing reserve grade for South Sydney,” Wells said.
“I was just a boy playing in Wollongong and I only dreamt of playing first grade for Wollongong because I didn’t think I’d be any good for anything else.”
Wells, now 84, was this week inducted into the Sport Australia hall of fame.
The robust centre played 29 tests for Australia, as well as South Sydney and Western Suburbs. He played at three World Cups.
As part of the 1951 premiership team, beating Manly 42-14, Wells played alongside fellow hall of fame member Clive Churchill.