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Joe Wade pictured here in Newtown's 1940 First Grade team next to Frank Farrell.
Joe Wade pictured here in Newtown's 1940 First Grade team next to Frank Farrell.

Vale Joe Wade

Newtown’s oldest living former player Joe Wade has passed away at the age of 99. The Rugby League historian David Middleton is certain that Joe was also the oldest living former NSW Rugby League first grader.

Joe Wade’s passing severs one of the last remaining links with an era in the Newtown club’s history that now seems almost impossibly far away.

Joe grew up on a farm outside of Oberon on the NSW central-western tablelands. He moved to Sydney in the late 1930’s and became a wharfie at Darling Harbour. He was graded with Newtown in 1939 and played seven first grade games in 1940. Joe’s first grade team-mates included some of Newtown’s most illustrious names of the 1940’s – Frank “Bumper” Farrell, George Debnam, Jim Brailey, Athol “The Monaro Express” Stewart, Tommy Nevin, Tom Kirk, George Stonestreet, Lin McLean, Keith Phillips and Percy Williams.

Joe later moved to Lithgow where he worked as a coal miner. He played and then coached with different Rugby League clubs in Lithgow well into the 1950’s. The Wade family later moved to Toronto on the western shores of Lake Macquarie.

His family brought him to the Newtown RLFC centenary function at the Newtown Town Hall on the 8th January 2008, where he made a huge impression on those who had the honour of meeting him on that august occasion. Joe’s presence topped off what was a truly memorable day in the club’s history and he was hailed as a living treasure of the Newtown club.

He retained a keen interest in the club’s activities and he was very proud of his special association with the Bluebags. His family members told us that he took great pleasure in the Jets’ 2012 NSW Cup premiership victory.

Newtown RLFC extends sincere condolences to all the members of the Wade family on Joe’s passing, and we are very proud of Joe’s contribution to the Newtown club and to Rugby League football.

Newtown winger Ray Preston (with the ball) breaks clear in a match against South Sydney at the SCG in 1955. Newtown’s captain-coach Dick Poole is in the background. Photo: Supplied by Terry Williams.

Vale Ray Preston

Newtown’s captains Jack A. Williams (left) and Scott Sorensen (right) proudly hold aloft the two major trophies won in the club’s truly remarkable 2019 season – the Canterbury Cup NSW premiership trophy (left) and the NRL State Championship Trophy (right). This photo was taken at the Mayoral Civic Reception held at the Petersham RSL Club on the evening of Wednesday, 9th October 2019. Photo: Michael Magee Photography.

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Newtown Jets dynamic second-rower Scott Sorensen scores (off a perfectly-placed kick by Billy Magoulias) in the first half in last Sunday’s Canterbury Cup NSW Grand Final against Wentworthville, played at Bankwest Stadium. Photo:  Mario Facchini, mafphotography

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Jack A. Williams holds the Canterbury Cup NSW premiership trophy aloft in a moment of supreme triumph for the entire Newtown RLFC. Photo: Mike Magee Photography

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Image: mafphotography

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