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Vale Dale Puren

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are mourning the passing of former first grade player, Dale Puren, who passed away peacefully last night at the age of 89.

Mr Puren was born on 12 February, 1933, at Berala in Sydney. His family lived there until he was 18, and then moved to Belfield until he turned 21. He was educated at St. Patrick's College Strathfield, where he also played Rugby League and paid tribute to the late Rev. Brother English who had a lot to do in moulding his future sports career. He also played junior footy with Regents Park and Auburn United, and while studying at St. Patrick’s he played cricket for them and took part in the college athletics. He was a NSW schoolboy athletics champion in 1946 and 1947, and won the sprint races each year – first the 100 yards race and later the 100 and 220 yards races.

He commenced working for the woolbroker’s office in 1950, and in 1952 he joined the NSW Public Service with the Department of Labour and Industry, spending 12 years with the Master Builders’ Association of NSW (MBA) as their industrial officer.

The Western Suburbs Magpies graded him in 1952 where he played in 47 grade games for them until 1944, scoring 191 points from 69 tries and 122 goals. He managed only one first grade game in his three seasons with the Magpies (Round 15 fixture against Parramatta in 1953), but was keen to try his luck with another club after a Wests selector always taunted him, saying: “You’ll never make a first grader”.

Mr Puren married Dorothy Donnelly in January 1955, and the couple moved in to live with her parents in Telopea Street, Redfern. He also tried out with Souths in 1955, and they graded him that year where the speedy winger found instant success. He made 11 first grade appearances in his first season and scored 11 tries and three goals. In his five years at the Rabbitohs he played in 66 grade games, scoring 36 tries and 50 goals. He is one of the last surviving members of the historic 1955 premiership-winning team. His first grade player number at the Rabbitohs is No. 427.

Due to business reasons he decided not to play in 1960 and part of 1961, when he signed to play with the North Sydney Bears. His career ended after playing in only eight games for the Bears following a fractured kneecap.

He loved his time at the Rabbitohs and stayed a passionate, loyal fan right to the end.

On behalf of everyone connected with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, we offer our deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Dale Puren.

Acknowledgement of Country

South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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