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Herbert Henry 'Dally' Messenger


Player Bio

Date of Birth:
11 April 1883
Balmain, NSW
The Master, Dally
Debut Team:
Eastern Suburbs
20 June 1908
North Sydney
Royal Agricultural Society Showground
26 games for NSW Firsts, 1 game for QLD Firsts, 8 games for Metropolis, 5 games for Kangaroos, 7 Tests for Australia, 1 International for Australia, 30 Tour Matches for Australia, 4 Tests for New Zealand, 28 Tour Matches for New Zealand, 2 games for Australasia, 1 game for Australian XIII
Eastern Suburbs (1908-1913)



  • Australian Captain
  • Most Points in an Interstate Match (32)
  • Dally M Medal (1980-present)
  • No.4 Ranked Rugby League Week's Top 100 Players (1992)
  • Member of The Centurions (2007)
  • Australian Rugby League Team of the Century (2008)
  • New South Wales Team of the Century (2008)
  • Rugby League Immortal (2018)


Dally Messenger, Sydney Rooster #18, was Rugby League’s first ‘superstar player’ and seen by many as the catalyst for the establishment of the code in Australia, after converting from rugby union.

Between 1908 and 1913 he played 48 games for Easts and seven tests for Australia. He was a powerful runner of the ball, a solid defender and could kick goals from anywhere on the field.

Messenger was the catalyst for the Club's first three Premierships, won in 1911, 1912 and 1913. Such was his contribution, the Club presented him with the Agricultural Shield at the conclusion of the 1913 triumph.

Hall Of Fame | Dally Messenger

Appropriately, one of the best to lace on a boot was honoured in 1980 bearing the name of the Player of the Year - the Dally M Medal - and was made one of Rugby League's 'Immortals' in 2018.

Messenger was named in the Roosters All-Time Team from 1908-2007 - and was named in both the Australian Rugby League Team of the Century and the New South Wales Rugby League Team of the Century in 2008. 

“Nobody but Dally ever knew what was going to happen when he got the ball. His teammates were often as mystified as the opposition.”

Dan Frawley Teammate

Hall of Fame Members

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters 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.