Kevin Humphreys (rugby league)

Kevin Emery Humphreys (14 April 1930 – 29 April 2010) was an Australian rugby league footballer and administrator. He was chairman of the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL), from about 1973 to 1983. In 1980, he was instrumental in the establishment of the State of Origin series between teams representing New South Wales and Queensland.[3]

Kevin Humphreys
Personal information
Full nameKevin Emery Humphreys
Born(1930-04-14)14 April 1930
Leichhardt, New South Wales, Australia
Died29 April 2010(2010-04-29) (aged 80)
Drummoyne, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1953–56 Balmain Tigers 43 9 27
As of 5 May 2010
Source: [1][2]

Playing careerEdit

Born in Leichhardt, Humphreys began playing rugby league with the Leichhardt Wanderers and Balmain CYO in the junior league.[4]

He was recruited to the Balmain Tigers in 1953, playing 43 games for the team over four years until 1956.[4][5]

Administration careerEdit

In 1956, Humphreys became secretary of the Balmain Tigers, holding the position until 1973, when he was appointed President of New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL), Chairman of Australian Rugby League (ARL), and in 1976 NSWRL Executive Chairman.[4] In 1973 he negotiated rugby league's first television deal with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.[6]


In 1983, the Australian ABC-TV current affairs programme Four Corners, aired an episode entitled "The Big League". Reporter Chris Masters described allegations of corruption within the NSWRL, including suggestions that officials were siphoning funds from particular clubs and international matches, while players and spectators endured sub-standard facilities.[7] Following the broadcast of the Four Corners program Humphreys resigned as Chairman of the NSWRL and ARL. He was replaced by Tom Bellew in the former position and by Ken Arthurson in the latter.

As a result of the program, a Royal Commission (the Street Royal Commission) was formed whose findings resulted in New South Wales chief magistrate Murray Farquhar being sent to prison, Humphreys' career ending abruptly and ABC being sued for libel by the then NSW State Premier, Neville Wran (who eventually settled out of court). Humphreys also received a $4000 fine and was placed on a "two year good behaviour bond". Humphreys later made a public apology.[8]


Humphreys is survived by his wife Joan and two sons David and Stephen. Stephen was CEO of the Wests Tigers between 2009 and 2012.[9]


Humphreys suffered from strokes for many months and had both legs amputated because of complications. He had suffered strokes which resulted in some paralysis[10] prior to his death on 29 April 2010 at the age of 80 in a hospital in Sydney.[11]


  1. ^ Rugby League Project
  2. ^ The Daily Telegraph
  3. ^ Gallaway, Jack (2003). Origin: Rugby League's greatest contest 1980–2002. Australia: University of Queensland Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7022-3383-8.
  4. ^ a b c Massoud, Josh: Kevin Humphreys dies, The Daily Telegraph, 5 May 2010.
  5. ^ Alan Whiticker/Glen Hudson: Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players, 1995. ISBN 1875169571
  6. ^ Rothfield, Phil (21 August 2012). "NRL now generates more money per minute than AFL". News Ltd. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  7. ^ Whitton, Evan. "The Kevin Humphreys Affair". Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  8. ^ The Kevin Humphreys Affair, ibid.
  9. ^ Jackson, Glenn (12 June 2009). "Humphreys' son to become new chief of Tigers". Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  10. ^ Chesterton, Ray (23 May 2008). "Origin mastermind Kevin Humphreys looks on proudly". Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  11. ^ Kogoy, Peter (29 April 2010). "Former rugby league boss Kevin Humphreys dead at 80". Retrieved 29 April 2010.