All at Randwick Rugby mourn the passing of Classic Wallaby Ken Catchpole and offer sincere condolences to his family and friends.
The former Wallabies captain and halfback, who was inducted in the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2013, had been ill for a long time.
Ken Catchpole was widely acclaimed as one of Rugby Union's greatest ever scrumhalves. Born in Paddington in 1939, he rose through the ranks of club rugby, playing for Randwick's Under 21s before moving to the senior team. In 1959, at the age of 19, he played the first of 26 matches for NSW against the visiting British Lions.
Two years later he established himself as Australia's starting scrumhalf. In 1961 he became one of only nine players to make their Test debut as captain when, at the age of 21, he led the Wallabies in the three-Test series against Fiji.
The same year he captained the team to South Africa and toured there again in 1963. His partnership with Phil Hawthorne at flyhalf became legendary, as the pair laid the foundation for many historic victories including a two-Test series win against South Africa in 1965 and wins against Wales and England on the 1966/67 UK tour, with Ken has captain.
After the win against England the President of the English Rugby Union described him as "the greatest halfback the world has known".
Ken played 27 Test for Australia, 13 as captain. His career ended prematurely when a severe injury suffered during the second Test against New Zealand in 1968, forced him from the field and into retirement.
He was a renowned Randwick man, captaining the '65-'66-'67 Premiership teams.
In keeping with the excellence Ken displayed on the field, the Ken Catchpole medal is awarded each year to the Shute Shield’s most valuable player, as voted each week by first grade referees and opposing coaches on a 3-2-1 basis.