A 1952 Australian Test jersey, worn in England by one of Manly’s greatest names, was proudly presented to the Sea Eagles at Lottoland on Sunday.
The woollen jersey, still in great condition, belonged to Roy Bull – the Sea Eagles’ first international player who went on to play 22 Tests for Australia.
A member of the inaugural Manly first grade team in 1947, Roy was a powerful, hard working prop who made his debut that season as a 17-year-old.
He first represented Australia in a tour of New Zealand in 1949 before becoming a dual Kangaroo (1952-53 and 1956-57).
Roy also played against New Zealand in 1953 and was a member of Australia’s 1954 World Cup team.
From 1947 to 1959, Roy played 177 games for Manly but was denied premiership success, playing in three losing grand finals in 1951, 1957, and 1959.
In 1953, Roy was appointed Captain-Coach of Manly, and two years later was named the NSW Player of the Year.
Upon retiring from playing, Roy later became the Manly club president from 1978-87.
His widow, Barbara still attends Sea Eagles home games with her son Martin, who also played for Manly.
Ian Schofield, from Rochdale, England, arranged with the Sea Eagles to bring the jersey over to Sydney as part of a holiday. He presented the jersey to Manly Chairman Scott Penn and CEO Tim Cleary after the game against Parramatta.
Derrick Schofield, Ian’s uncle, played for Halifax and Great Britain in the 1950s.
“At the end of one of the Test matches of the Australian 1952/53 tour to England, my uncle swapped jerseys with Roy Bull, who after a bit of research I’ve discovered is a Manly legend,’’ Ian said.
“My uncle passed this shirt on to my Dad, who a number of years ago passed it on to me. The jersey has Roy’s squad number on it (24) and his name written on the inside of the collar.
“I know to the right person this jersey could be worth a considerable amount of money, but after some careful thought, we decided to donate the jersey to the club.”
The Sea Eagles will now frame the jersey and proudly display it inside the Lyons Den at Manly Leagues Club for supporters to enjoy.