The Australian Rugby community is mourning the loss of Wallaby #509 Ian Proctor, who passed away in early July aged 75.
Ian Procter was a hard tackling, smooth running three quarter who leapt into the national selection frame in 1967.
Born in Tamworth, Procter was educated at Gunnedah High School and from there attended the University of New England in Armidale.
In 1966, Procter was a reserve for New South Wales Country against the might of the British Lions however his first major representative appearance was at centre for Country against Ireland in 1967. Six weeks later, Procter made his debut for New South Wales at outside centre against Victoria. He missed the first interstate game at Ballymore but returned to play on the right wing in the second match and scored two tries in the 11-17 loss. Procter then bagged another double in New South Wales’ commanding 29-3 victory over the Maroons. It was written that Procter “had a great game. He was in practically every movement and twice crossed for good tries.”
Those two performances, in what were essentially Wallaby trials, earned Procter a Test debut in Wellington to celebrate the 75th Jubilee of the New Zealand Union. Australia lost the match 9-29 but played the best part of 60 minutes with 14 fit men as outside centre Phil Smith had dislocated his shoulder in the first half.
Procter’s studies dominated his life for much of the next two years however by 1970 he had graduated and resumed his representative career. He played three games for New South Wales on their tour of New Zealand, scored a try for Country against Scotland and was then included in the Wallaby match day squad as a reserve for the one-off Test in Sydney.
Ian Procter played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #509.