John Raymond Fogarty
- 365Wallaby Number
John Fogarty was a winger of rare pace, supplemented by a disguised change of pace; and a sidestep off either foot, who defied his diminutive stature to earn renown as a top quality, low-tackling defender.
A champion schoolboy sprinter during his years at Nudgee College, Fogarty also starred in field events where he jumped his own height and as a boxer where he won a Darling Downs Schoolboy boxing championship. Fogarty played three seasons in the 1st XV, and in the second of these (1945) represented All Schools 1st XV against University. Critics who saw him play that day considered him ‘the logical choice for the Queensland right wing position’ and a player who had ‘everything that takes to make a champion footballer.’ It was said that the young Nudgee player ‘reminded’ of Harold Horder, the great 13 Test Kangaroo.
In 1947, and a year out of school, Fogarty made his first grade debut for Brothers in the opening round of the season against New Farm. After just his second senior match Fogarty won selection for Brisbane in the intercity game with Toowoomba and scored two tries. Unfortunately Fogarty’s fairytale run ended on debut for Queensland when Wallaby winger Charlie Eastes, fresh off an eight try individual romp against Toowoomba, scored four tries on him in New South Wales’ commanding 32-6 victory. Despite that tough start to senior representative rugby Fogarty was requested to make himself available for the Third Wallabies tour to the U.K. at the end of the year. The young winger considered his status as a first year Pharmacy student in a tough post-World War 2 economy and as a result made the tough decision to withdraw from selection.
In 1949 Fogarty scored 18 tries in just seven games heading into the first interstate match to put his name firmly in the national selection frame. As a consequence it was no surprise when he was called in to debut against the Maori in Brisbane, a match in which he came through ‘with flying colours’. Fogarty went on to be part of the very successful tour to New Zealand however Clarrie Davis, John Solomon and Ralph Garner played in the Tests. The following year Fogarty dislocated his shoulder in the intercity match with Toowoomba and was advised not to play again that season.
In 1951 Fogarty walked away from rugby when he accepted an offer to play rugby league in the Ingham region of North Queensland with the Brothers-Long Pocket side.
John Fogarty played two Tests for Australian in a one-year international career.
The Australian selectors opted for Clarrie Davis and Charlie Eastes on the wings for the 1st Test against the Maori at the S.C.G. however when Davis withdrew late on the Thursday prior to the match Newcastle’s Jack Marshall was called in for a debut. Although Marshall saw few opportunities due to the woeful conditions he wasn’t selected for the next match and Fogarty won his first Test cap at the Exhibition Ground. In that match Fogarty ‘ran hard and tackled with any amount of venom.’ He also became the 32nd Wallaby to score a try on debut. Fogarty held his spot for the 3rd Test, 18-3 win in Sydney.