Fred de Belin
|Full name||Fred Leslie de Belin|
|Born||15 October 1920|
|Died||11 February 2006(aged 85)|
|1948||New South Wales|
Fred de Belin (1920–2006) was an Australian professional rugby league footballer of the 1940s. An Australian international and New South Wales interstate representative forward, he played club football in Sydney for Balmain, winning the 1946 NSWRFL Premiership with them and later being appointed their captain.
Born 15 October 1920 to World War I veteran, Ernest de Belin, Fred and his brothers Bill and Jack all became sportsmen from the Balmain area of Sydney. Fred de Belin started playing junior rugby league for the Balmain Police boys club, reaching first grade with the Balmain DRLFC of the NSWRFL premiership in the 1942 season. He was also a New South Wales amateur wrestling champion. De Belin joined the Royal Australian Air Force and served during World War II. During that time he won representative selection in the British Empire force's rugby union side before resuming his professional career with Balmain in 1946. That season he played in the Tigers' victory over St. George in the final. The following year Balmain again won the premiership but de Belin did not play in the final.
In 1948 de Belin made his début for New South Wales and then won his first Australian jersey, becoming Kangaroo No. 238 in the second Test against New Zealand, helping Australia to a narrow victory that levelled the series.
In the 1948 post season, De Belin was selected as a member of the first Kangaroo side to tour Great Britain and France after World War II. After breaking his leg in the first match of the tour, he recovered to make three Test appearances. He then won selection for the 1949 tour of New Zealand. The eithth and last of de Belin's Test appearances came against Great Britain in 1950, when Australia reclaimed the The Ashes on home soil for the first time in thirty years.
The 1950 NSWRFL season would be de Belin's last with Balmain. During the 1951 Premiership's pre-season, after playing trial matches for Balmain, de Belin announced that he was taking up a two-year contract worth £ 450 as captain-coach with the Cootamundra club in the Maher Cup competition. However injury and poor form led to his drop to reserve grade and eventual dismissal in 1951.
Following his death in 2006, De Belin was awarded life membership of the Balmain District Football Club. He was also inducted into the Balmain Tigers' Hall of Fame. In 2011 de Belin's grandson Jack started his NRL career with the St George Illawarra Dragons' under-20s team.
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