Patrick James Carew
- 1Wallaby Number
Paddy Carew shared the title of greatest all-round Australian sportsman of all time with Reg (Snowy) Baker, as declared by the doyen of Australian sports writers, J.C. Davis of The Referee in the early 1900s. The title was bestowed because of his outstanding successes in rugby, cricket and athletics and for his active involvement in boxing, tennis, golf and bowls. He was born on 8 September 1875 at Pine Mountain, Queensland, son of James and Catherine (nee Ryan) Carew. Paddy represented Queensland in rugby from 1898 to 1901, and was named to the “Gallery of Great Players” on the occasion of Queensland Rugby Union’s Jubilee in 1932 for representing the State on more than 10 occasions. Paddy’s total was 17 matches: 16 against NSW as a forward and one against Great Britain. He captained Queensland in two of the games against NSW in 1901. “Tall, immensely powerful with pace”, Paddy also played in all four international Test matches against Great Britain in 1899, as a forward. He was one of only four players to appear in all matches: the others were Charlie Ellis, Stephen ‘Lonnie’ Spragg and Peter ‘Ginger’ Ward. It was Australia’s first-ever series.
In 1903 Paddy joined Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Rugby Club (Easts) and contributed to the club’s first premiership that same year playing variously as a centre and forward. He was elected Easts’ captain in 1904. He represented NSW against Queensland, and in 1903 against New Zealand. Paddy had moved to Sydney in 1903 to gain Sheffield Shield experience playing with the famous Victor Trumper and M.A Noble for the Paddington Cricket Club. In 1904 he captained the team, but did not enjoy the same level of success in the sport as he had in rugby. His brother, James Carew (1872-1950), played cricket for Queensland.
As an athlete, Paddy enjoyed success at the 1905-06 Australasian Athletics Championships held in Sydney, placing second in the hammer throw and third in the shot put. He was shot-put champion of the East Sydney Amateur Athletic Club, and was also a heavyweight boxer of some repute. Described as “a quiet, unassuming man”, Paddy made a career in local government administration, serving as Shire Clerk for the Warringah Shire Council in Sydney from 1907 to 1913. On his resignation, he turned down a Council offer which would have made him the highest-paid Shire Clerk in NSW to become manager of Manly Brick and Tile Company. From 1932-1942 he served as the Town Clerk of Queanbeyan, NSW, where he was instrumental in establishing the Queanbeyan Bowling Club in 1934. He became singles champion of both the Queanbeyan Club and the Canberra Bowling Club, reflecting his all-round sporting ability. Paddy married Nettie Little in Sydney in 1911. He died in Queanbeyan on 31 March 1942, aged 66, leaving his widow and five daughters. The Queanbeyan City Council honours his memory on its Sporting Gallery web page.
A superb physical specimen, ‘Paddy’ Carew was a fine sporting all-rounder, adept at rugby, cricket, field athletics and weight lifting. Born on 10 March 1875 at Pine Mountain on the beautiful mid-upper reaches of the Brisbane River near Ipswich, Paddy Carew was three years younger than his elder brother, Jimmy Carew, himself a useful rugby player and fine cricketer who captained Queensland. The young Paddy followed Jimmy into sport, taking up rugby and cricket with gusto. He was a bodybuilder who became a weight lifter and built his body up to over 90 kgs of rippling muscle. As he stood 184 cms, he was finely proportioned for the athletic pursuits that he was to follow. With his size and physique, Carew excelled in field athletics as well as cricket but it was at rugby that he first made his name. In 1898, he was selected for the Queensland team as a forward in the second row of the 2-3-2 diamond shaped scrum with a two-man front row. There were three forwards in the second row and Carew played on the side of that row and wore the number three jersey. That year, for the first time, Queensland and New South Wales agreed to play two home - and –away games. Carew visited Sydney with the State side and made his debut in a match which New South Wales won 13-5. A week later, Queensland reversed the result, winning 18-16. When the sides met in Brisbane, Queensland won the first encounter 14-5. The return fixture was played in atrocious conditions at the Brisbane Cricket Ground. The match featured an electrifying run by Poley Evans, chased all the way by the gallant Lonnie Spragg. When Evans eventually scored in Spragg’s tackle, the crowd rose to applaud both players. This try by Evans led to the match being drawn 3-all to give Queensland a series win. Carew played a big part in Queensland’s success and from then on, he was a first choice for Queensland, appearing in 16 consecutive matches against New South Wales.
In 1899, there was great excitement in Australian rugby circles because a British team under the Reverend Mullineaux visited Australia. Queensland’s trip to Sydney coincided with the arrival of the British team and the inter-colonial clashes were to serve as Test trials for the first Australian team ever selected. With Queensland ravaged by injury, Carew moved to centre for the opening fixture and, although Queensland lost both matches, Carew was one of six Queenslanders included in the Australian team for the first Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In wet, heavy conditions, Australia won the Test 13-3 and Carew was one of the few Australians who matched the size of the British forwards. Back in Brisbane, Carew was a member of the famous Queensland team that defeated Mullineaux’s men 11-3. However, a few matches in the warm Queensland sub-tropics worked wonders for the British team that went on to win the next three Test matches. Personally, Carew had an outstanding series and was one of only four players to play in all three Tests. Shortly after the rugby season finished, Carew donned his flannels and was chosen to make his debut for Queensland against New South Wales on 17thNovember 1899 in Sydney just as he had done 18 months earlier in rugby.
As a cricketer, Carew was an all-rounder, a right-handed batsman and right arm medium pace bowler. As befitted one of his build, he was a tremendous striker of the ball and played many big innings in club matches. In the 1900-01 season, he scored 233 for Toowong in a club match. When bowling, he ran in furiously, arms pumping vigorously, only to release the ball at medium pace. In his debut first class match, he was joined by Ernie Currie, who was scrum-half in the second rugby Test against the British side. Currie was the team’s wicket-keeper. When Carew played in the return fixture against New South Wales a week later in Brisbane, Charles Adamson was a late replacement in the side for Jimmy Clark. A halfback in Mullineaux’s team, Adamson had stayed on in Brisbane after the tour and had this sole match for Queensland before leaving to take part in the Boer War.
In the 1900 season, the Australian rugby teams adopted the 3-2-3 scrum formation favoured by the British side and Carew generally figured at lock in the second row or sometimes at number eight. By now, the brilliant Lonnie Spragg had moved north and gave the Queensland backs the class that enabled the northern State to enjoy a period of domination. In the Brisbane games that year, Carew was in commanding form and he scored two of Queensland’s four tries in the 20-0 rout of New South Wales in the final game of the series. Earlier, Queensland won the third match 8-0 to keep the visitors scoreless in Brisbane. Playing for the City Club who boasted the services of a string of internationals in Spragg, Alec Henry, Doey Tanner, Tom Ward and Ginger Colton, as well as future internationals in Jack Hindmarsh and Lew Evans, Carew enjoyed a successful club season with City winning the Dewar Shield and the Hospital Cup. After that season, the QRU followed the Sydney Metropolitan lead and adopted an electorate system of club football. Under the new system, Carew found himself playing for the newly formed Toowong team which, while nowhere near as star studded as the City side, did have the services of State players Bluey Dixon, Jack Walsh and Archie Dennis. That year, Carew had the honour of captaining the Queensland team in Sydney. Carew continued playing cricket and the game became more important to him than rugby.
After playing 17 consecutive rugby matches for Queensland between 1898 and 1901, Carew played no representative rugby for Queensland in 1902. He played his last first class cricket match for Queensland in February 1903 and then moved to Sydney to further his cricket career, linking up with the Paddington Cricket Club in Sydney. But, firstly, there was the 1903 rugby season when the New Zealand rugby team was making a visit to play several matches, including a Test match in Sydney. Carew joined the Eastern Suburbs Rugby Club, although he played centre in club football, he was chosen at number eight in the New South Wales team for both interstate fixtures in Sydney when his fellow loose forwards were the fiery Harold Judd and Dinny Lutge. The home side defeated Queensland in both matches by 11-6 and 11-8. When the New Zealanders arrived, Carew was named in the centre for New South Wales in the opening game of the tour. However, the home side lost 12-0 and Sid Riley replaced Carew for the return match in which New South Wales was unlucky to lose 3-0. Four days later, Carew played as a lock forward with Walter Davis (another survivor from the 1899 Australian teams) for the Sydney Metropolitan Union against the New Zealanders, who won convincingly by 33-3. Carew was unavailable for the return interstate matches in Brisbane.
When the cricket season arrived, Carew found the competition for first class positions was much harder in New South Wales where the State was blessed with so many outstanding players that he could make no headway. He did take up field games and for some years he was shot put champion of the East Sydney Amateur Athletic Club. In 1904, Carew turned out again in club rugby for Easts in the season when another British team toured Australia under the great Scottish forward, David ‘Darky’ Bedell-Sivright. Carew played well enough to be selected at number eight for the Metropolitan Union in the fourth match of the tour at the Sydney Cricket Ground. On that occasion, his partners in the back row were Tom Coomber, a big Irish born forward who had played in New Zealand, and Norm Row, a fellow club mate from Easts. The brilliant British combination had overrun the State side 27-0 but their midweek players found the Sydney team more of a handful. After a try by Coomber, the locals led 6-3 and hopes of a shock win soared, but the Sydney men eventually lost by 19 points to six. After the game Blair Swannell, who had played in three of the Tests for Mullineaux’s team against Carew, remarked that Carew was still good enough to play for Australia. However, the Australian selectors decided to play Harold Judd at number eight and Carew’s representative career was over.
In all, Carew figured in all four internationals in 1899 against the Reverend Mullineaux’s team, while playing 17 matches for Queensland between 1898 and 1901, including 16 against New South Wales and scored three tries. He played three matches for New South Wales in 1903 and scored one try. He died on 31 March 1942 at Queanbeyan. A remarkable all-round sportsman, Paddy Carew should be remembered as one of the early great Australian for wards with the size and speed to match it with the best from Britain and New Zealand.