David John Horadam
- 134Wallaby Number
‘Sandy’ Horadam was a hefty Toowoomba forward of almost 15 stone who came to rugby rather later in life, having spent his formative years playing cricket and soccer. In fact, it was not until 1911 that he dropped soccer and began playing junior football with the junior Grammars side in the Toowoomba club competition. The following year, he was promoted to the Past Grammars senior team where he soon impressed beside Dave Williams in the Grammars’ front row and was selected to represent Toowoomba. Unfortunately, at the end of the 1912 season, he was mixed up in a fracas at the Grammars club and was put out for one-and-a-half months by the Toowoomba Rugby Union.
To his credit, Sandy stood loyal to the union game instead of returning to soccer or crossing to rugby league and the Toowoomba Rugby Union lifted the suspension after he had served a few weeks of the 1913 season. After the suspension was lifted, Horadam did not rejoin the Past Grammars club but switched to the Boomerangs club for the 1913 season. When Horadam took up rugby, he gave promise of developing into one of Toowoomba’s best forwards. He was always eager to learn the rugby code and by sticking diligently to the task, he built himself up to the pitch of one of the game’s most dangerous forwards, such that Toowoomba supporters were talking up his chances of making the Wallaby tour to New Zealand later that year.
Because of his slow start to the season, Horadam was not considered for Queensland’s matches against the touring Maori team in June 1913. For the opening interstate match against New South Wales in Brisbane, the State selectors had given way to pressure from the country to include their players and had chosen six players from North Queensland for the match. A burly prop forward, Horadam was selected in the front row along with Toowoomba team-mate, Dan Williams, and Townsville’s Jack Hanley. However there was an outbreak of smallpox in Sydney and both sides were badly depleted by the after-effects of smallpox vaccinations necessitated by the outbreak, with Queensland losing six players due to the after-effects of the vaccinations. Tom Ryan from Brothers replaced Jack Hanley in the front row and he was a part of Queensland’s 13-3 victory.
For the return match, the selectors largely kept faith with the original selections, although Horadam lost his place to Ryan when Hanley was re-selected. Chosen for the southern tour, Horadam made every post a winner and played strongly in both State games as well as the mid-week clash with the New South Wales second XV. New South Wales won the first match 26-6 but Queensland turned the tables the following week when a late Jimmy Flynn goal clinched a win for Queensland by 22-21 and sealed the series for Queensland. Along with Lou Meibusch and Dave Williams, Horadam was one of three Toowoomba players chosen for the New Zealand tour. Unfortunately, the tour proved something of a let-down for Horadam. His only match turned out to be the second Test match, and he dropped out of first class football after achieving all of his goals in just that one eventful season.