Joe White will be the second Gloucester player to be inducted into the Group Three Rugby League Hall of Fame at a function held at the Wingham Services Club on Saturday, November 25.
White will follow centre/five-eighth Kevin Everitt, inducted last year. The hall of fame was instigated by Group Three in 2013; while Gloucester no long plays in Group Three, players from earlier eras are still eligible.
A halfback, White was a member of the great Gloucester sides that dominated the Group 18/Group Three competitions in the 1950s and 60s. He won first grade premierships in 1958, 59 and 60 under the coaching of Max Bailey and Toby Wilson while he was in the powerful teams captain-coached by Bandy Adams when the Magpies were premiers from 1963 to 1966. He retired in 1967.
He was named in the North Coast side to play in the inaugural Country Divisional Championships in 1960 but was forced to withdraw because of injury. In those days the North Coast division covered the area from Gloucester to Tweed Heads.
His finest moment in the representative arena came in 1962 when he played for North Coast against the Great Britain side. The Great Britain side was rated as among the greatest to tour Australia. Great Britain proved too strong for Australia in the Ashes series, winning 2-1. White scored two tries for North Coast and was rated by Englishman Alex Murphy –one of the finest halfbacks to play the game– as the best halfback he’d opposed in Australia. He’ll be one of four players honoured on November 25.
Others will be front rower Lloyd Hudson from Kempsey, five-eighth Robert Laurie from Wauchope and prop Jake Kennett from Wingham. They’ll join Kevin Hardy (Taree), Warren Kimberley (Wauchope), Tony Paskins (Forster-Tuncurry) and Wally Sneddon (Taree/Wauchope) who were inducted in 2013; Gary McQuillan (Forster-Tuncurry) and Errol Ruprecht (Taree), inducted 2014; Bruce Slater, Harry Smith (both Wingham) inducted 2015 and Tony Hinton (Taree), Kevin Everitt (Gloucester) and Pat Cudmore (Port Macquarie) inducted in 2016.