Bernie Purcell

Career Stats & Summary

Vital Statistics

Full Name
Bernard Martin Purcell
Born
Thursday, 19th January, 1928
Died
Monday, 31st December, 2001 (Aged 73 years and 347 days)

Known Family Links

Son
Greg Purcell

Biography

Souths’ stalwart during the heady 1950s when the club won five premierships, Purcell was a product of St Peters, Surry Hills. The ice-cool, goal-kicking forward started his career with Wests in 1948 after falsifying his residential qualifications (a common occurrence at the time). The following year Purcell returned to Souths and commenced a long and successful association with the club. The robust second row forward was called into the Australian Test team at an historic time in the code. Purcell was chosen to make what was to be his only Test appearance in the Third Test against Great Britain in 1950. This was the famous 5-2 victory that gave Australia the Ashes for the first time in 30 years. Purcell played for NSW in 1951 and 1956 but had to wait until the 1956-57 Kangaroo Tour to represent Australia again (7 matches, no Tests). Captaining Souths on occasion, as his cousins Paddy Maher and Jack Walsh had done, Purcell played in the 1950-51 & 1954-55 premiership deciders as well as losses in 1949 and 1952 (he missed out on Souths' success in 1953 when coaching Cootamundra). In the 1955 grand final, it was Purcell's calm conversion of a late try that gave the club a 12-11 win over Newtown. Retiring as the first forward in the game to top 1000 career points, he was coach of a young Rabbitohs team that took on nine-times champions St George in front of a record SCG crowd in the 1965 grand final. The 1966 season was a disappointment though, and Purcell was made a scapegoat for the team's poor performances. Regardless of this, he remained a staunch Souths man and was one of those who worked tirelessly to save the Rabbitohs when the club faced a financial crisis in the early 1970s and again when the club was excluded from the NRL competition. Sadly, Purcell passed away on News Year’s Eve, 2001, aged 73 and did not get the chance to see Souths take the field in their return season.

- ALAN WHITICKER

Career Statistics

All statistics shown in this section are based only on data available in the RLP database, and are not necessarily a complete and/or 100% accurate representation of a player's career. This information should be used as a guide only. If you see a question mark (?), it denotes that the figure is not available.

To view a list of corresponding matches, click on the List button.

Competitions

Competition   App T G   FG Pts W L D Win %  
NRL 138 38 519   - 1152 102 33 3 73.91% List
NRL Finals 16 2 54   - 114 11 5 0 68.75% List
Tour Matches Australia 1 - -   - - 1 0 0 100.00% List
Test Series 1 - -   - - 1 0 0 100.00% List
The Ashes 1 - -   - - 1 0 0 100.00% List
Interstate Matches 4 1 3   - 9 2 2 0 50.00% List
Tour Matches Sydney Firsts 1 - 1   - 2 0 0 1 0.00% List
City vs Country Firsts 1 - -   - - 1 0 0 100.00% List
City Cup 1 - 2   - 4 0 1 0 0.00% List


International

Test Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1950 1 - -   - - 1 0 0 100.00% List
Overall 1950 1 0 0   0 - 1 0 0 100.00% List


Representative

Australia - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
NSW City Seconds 1949-50, 1952 3 - 1   - 2 3 0 0 100.00% List
Probables (AU) 1950 1 - 7   - 14 1 0 0 100.00% List
Sydney Firsts 1951-52 2 1 2   - 7 1 0 1 50.00% List
Possibles (AU) 1951-52 2 - 6   - 12 2 0 0 100.00% List
NSW Firsts 1951, 1956 4 1 3   - 9 2 2 0 50.00% List
NSW Country Seconds 1953 1 - 4   - 8 0 1 0 0.00% List
North West NSW 1953 1 - 7   - 14 0 1 0 0.00% List
NSW City Firsts 1956 1 - -   - - 1 0 0 100.00% List
Overall 1949-1956 15 2 30   0 66 10 4 1 66.67% List


Club Career

Australian League Matches - By Year

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Western Suburbs NSWRFL 1948 13 2 10   - 26 11 2 0 84.62% List
South Sydney NSWRFL 1949 17 8 27   - 78 11 5 1 64.71% List
South Sydney NSWRFL 1950 16 8 52   - 128 14 2 0 87.50% List
South Sydney NSWRFL 1951 17 2 50   - 106 15 2 0 88.24% List
South Sydney NSWRFL 1952 17 2 16   - 38 13 4 0 76.47% List
South Sydney NSWRFL 1954 18 10 71   - 172 14 3 1 77.78% List
South Sydney NSWRFL 1955 17 2 66   - 138 11 6 0 64.71% List
South Sydney NSWRFL 1956 15 2 62   - 130 10 4 1 66.67% List
South Sydney NSWRFL 1957 8 - 29   - 58 3 5 0 37.50% List
South Sydney NSWRFL 1958 ? - 46   - 92  
South Sydney NSWRFL 1959 ? 1 46   - 95  
South Sydney NSWRFL 1960 ? 1 44   - 91  
Overall 1948-1960 ? 38 519   0 1,152 ? ? ? ?  

Australian League Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Western Suburbs 1948 13 2 10   - 26 11 2 0 84.62% List
South Sydney 1949-52, 1954-57 125 36 509   - 1126 91 31 3 72.80% List
Overall 1948-1960 ? 38 519   0 1,152 ? ? ? ?  

Australian Finals Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Western Suburbs 1948 1 - -   - - 0 1 0 0.00% List
South Sydney 1949-52, 1954-56 15 2 54   - 114 11 4 0 73.33% List
Overall 1948-1956 16 2 54   0 114 11 5 0 68.75% List

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