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Roy Bull

Prop 1947-1959
Captain/Coach 1953
Manly's first International

A powerful tight head prop who was Manly's first international, Roy Bull was a member of Manly's winning 1946 President's Cup team. The success of that team lead directly to Manly gaining first grade status in 1947.

After making his first grade debut for Manly as a 17 year old in 1947 Bull was a key member of the great Manly sides of the fifties and played in all three Manly Grandfinals in that decade ('51, '57 and '59). He played 182 games for Manly, then a record, and scored 25 tries.

Bull was there through all of it under coaches Harold Johnson, Ray Stehr, Wally O'Connell, Ray Norman's panel, Pat Devery and Ken Arthurson. He was even captain-coach in 1953. He formed a dominant front row with Fred Brown and Test hooker Kevin Schubert. He was made a life member in 1962.

Bull played in more than 100 representative games, the centrepiece being his 22 Tests. He made two Kangaroo tours in 1952-53 and 1956-57, two tours of New Zealand and played in the 1954 World Cup. He was chosen as the Player of the Year by Rugby League Yearbook editor E.E. Christensen for the 1955 season. In all, he played 13 seasons with the Sea Eagles.

Bull was also a champion surf boat crew member. A junior with Freshwater Lifesavers, Bull was a member of the club crew that won the Australian surfboat title at Manly Beach in 1947.

After retiring in 1959, Roy Bull continued his close association with the Sea Eagles and served as Club President from 1978 to 1987.

Sources: Smith 1991, p 63; W&H, p. 69.


Making a tackle against Newtown at Henson Park in 1947.

A member of the 1957 grand final team