Alexander Robert Henry

  • 1Caps
  • 20Wallaby Number
PositionCentre
Date Of Birth5 February 1879
Place Of BirthBrisbane
SchoolBrisbane Grammar School
Debut ClubCity (Brisbane)
Other ClubsPast Grammars' (Brisbane), Souths (Brisbane)
ProvinceQLD
Died10 June 1954
Debut Test Match1899 Wallabies v Great Britain, 2nd Test Brisbane

Biography

Alec Henry was a fair haired, slightly built five-eighth who was regarded by Brother Henry, the famous St Joseph’s College coach, as the best five-eighth he had seen. Henry was a fine distributor of the ball and had an eye for the outside gap. Henry was born on 6 February 1879 and enrolled in the Brisbane Grammar School in 1893. He figured in the BGS Firsts in 1895 and joined the City club in his first taste of senior football.

In 1899, Henry was selected in the Queensland team for Sydney and made his debut against New South Wales in the opening game. Henry suffered a knee injury in the match that ruled him out of the return game. Because of the injury, the 20-years-old youngster missed Queensland’s 11-3 triumph over Mullineux’s British team but he was back in the side for the matches against New South Wales in Brisbane. After Queensland’s wins over the British and New South Wales, the Australian selectors chose nine local men in the Australian team for the second Test match at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground. Henry was named, not at five-eighth, but at centre and his half back partner against New South Wales – Austin Gralton – was omitted for Ernie Currie. This ill-balanced team was easily defeated and Henry was not chosen for the remaining Tests.

However, Henry’s best years lay before him and he was a permanent fixture in the Queensland team over the next two years until he was badly injured and ruled out of Queensland’s home games in late 1901. In that season, Lew Evans, a talented five-eighth and younger brother of `Poley’ Evans, emerged on the scene and Henry moved to second five-eighth to form a successful combination with the youngster. On the club scene, Henry enjoyed a premiership win with the powerful City team in 1900 that boasted five internationals as well as the young Lew Evans. The following season, the QRU introduced electorate football to the Brisbane competition and the old clubs disappeared. Henry was in the South Brisbane electorate and linked up with Souths who included outstanding backs in Phil Carmichael, Doug McLean and Ernie Currie. After yet another injury in 1901 Henry, who was employed in the public service, found it was time to give up football and take his career seriously. However, when the 1930 British Lions arrived in Brisbane, Henry was on hand to greet them and relive those heady days of 1899. In all, Henry played nine times for Queensland, scoring one try, and he had the added satisfaction of playing Test football against his one Test cap.

Alexander Robert Henry