Reg Date
Personal information
Full name Reginald Date
Date of birth (1921-07-26)26 July 1921
Place of birth Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia
Date of death 11 August 1995(1995-08-11) (aged 74)
Position(s) Striker
Youth career
1930–1938 Plattsburg Public School
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1938–1944 Wallsend (166)
1945–1947 Canterbury Bankstown (94)
1948–1950 Wallsend (154)
National team
1947 Australia 5 (8)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Reg Date (26 July 1921 – 11 August 1995) was an Australian soccer player who plied his trade after the Second World War. Date played for Wallsend Football Club and Canterbury-Bankstown. He represented Australia in five full international matches, captaining three times.[1][2][3]

Biography

Date was born in Wallsend to Nancy and John "Mick" Date. His father was a fisherman at Lemon Tree Passage, where Date lived until the age of eight, when he moved to live in Wallsend with his mother's parents.[4]

Date went to Plattsburg Public School in Wallsend. He made his debut for Wallsend Football Club in 1938 as a 16-year-old. He joined Canterbury-Bankstown in the state league in 1945. Date continued to live in Wallsend, commuting by train every weekend. In 1948, Date returned to Wallsend.[5] In time he was coached by the great Alf Quill, Wallsend Football Club's legendary goalscorer of the inter-war years.[6][7]

At his peak Date was a prolific goal scorer for Canterbury-Bankstown in the New South Wales Division 1, earning state and international recognition and captaining Australia in three matches against South Africa in a five-game home series against that nation; Date scoring 8 goals.[8] (He scored another 3 in two warm-up matches for the 'B' side prior to the official tour. There was consternation when Date, for whatever reason, was not selected on international tours of New Zealand in 1948 and, most surprisingly, South Africa in 1950 but he did score in a representative match on the national side's return from the Cape for New South Wales against Australia on Saturday 2 September 1950 and did appear for the 'B' side in the famous 0–17 defeat to an English XI on 30 June 1951.

In a 2012 interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, his Australia teammate Joe Marston rated Date as the best Australian player that he had played with or against, adding, "Great player. Great bloke. But boy he could drink. The selectors, they never liked Reggie. He was too much of a larrikin. They couldn't handle him."[9]

Date worked for years running hotels in the Newcastle area. He became the publican of the Queens Arms Hotel in Maitland in 1947, moving to the Ocean View Hotel in Dudley the next year. In 1954, Date took over the Albion Hotel in Wickham, where he worked until his retirement in 1980.[3][10]

In 2000, he was selected as a member of the Australian team of the century by respondents to an RSSSF vote, beating Frank Farina into second place for the number 10 shirt.[11]

References

  1. ^ Cockerill, Michael (27 December 1999). "A Date with destiny". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 39. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Goal-scorer with heart of pure gold". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 October 1995. p. 49. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b Mosely, Philip (2019). "Date, Reginald Thomas (1921–1995)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 5 May 2021 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  4. ^ Allen, Peter (2011). "1921–1928 – Fate plays a hand". Reg Date – The Don Bradman of Football. Mosman, New South Wales: Allen Media Services. p. 41. ISBN 9781875171095.
  5. ^ "DATE GETS CLEARANCE". The Daily Telegraph. IX (22). New South Wales, Australia. 11 April 1948. p. 23. Retrieved 5 May 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Soccer record claimed". The Sun (13288). New South Wales, Australia. 10 September 1952. p. 35 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved 5 May 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ Davidson, John (2 April 2015). "The forgotten story of ... Reg Date, the Don Bradman of football in Australia". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  8. ^ Howe, Andrew (12 October 2006). "The Australian National Men's Football Team: Caps and Captains" (PDF). Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 5 May 2021 – via OzFootball.
  9. ^ Cockerill, Michael (5 April 2012). "Tough as old boots and now he's a living legend". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  10. ^ Cronshaw, Damon (26 July 2017). "How Reg Date played peacemaker at Wickham, when Malcolm Fraser met the Queen". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  11. ^ Krüger, André. "Australia - Team of the Century". RSSSF.com. Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 5 May 2021.