Wednesday, 7 March 2018
Fred & Colin Laws Part 2
Notes prepared by Patrick Flynn for a presentation for the induction of Fred Laws and Colin Laws in to the Allora Regional Sports Museum Hall of Fame at Allora on 25 February 2017
The notes now continue.
Fred and Colin’s Football playing days
Victor, Frank, Fred, Colin and Jack all played football at Allora. Fred played rugby league in Warwick in 1925. Colin continued playing football in Allora and rose to captain the local team in 1926, in his 20th year. He was deposed as captain by the selectors to the surprise of at least one correspondent.
In 1926 Fred played for the Valleys Club in Toowoomba. The 1927 year saw Colin join his brother with Valleys. In that year Fred was first picked to play for Queensland against New South Wales. He would represent Queensland every year thereafter until 1935.
In 1928 both brothers Laws transferred to the Newtown club in Toowoomba where they would play for the rest of their representative careers. Their brother Jack also played for Newtown in 1930.
In June 1928 Colin was selected to play for Queensland against England. A gathering of 60 people in Allora in the following week met to honour his selection and make a presentation to him.
On 23 June in that year Fred made his debut for Australia at the exhibition ground in Brisbane at five-eighth with, it was later revealed a broken toe. When asked about it Fred said he didn’t want to tell anyone because he didn’t want to miss the game, in case he didn’t get another chance.
In 1929 both Fred and Colin would play in all five matches against New South Wales. Fred was selected in a Kangaroo team to tour Great Britain and Colin was on the verge of selection. It appears he was first reserve if any selected tourists pulled out but no one did.
Fred’s selection in the touring party was honoured by the Allora Rangers and also by the Warwick Harriers Swimming and Lifesaving Club. Fred played in one test on Tour as well as tour games. Fred was a regular correspondent with his family while overseas as was Colin with his travelling brother. During the tour the Toowoomba team which included Colin toured North Queensland. Fred retained letters he received when he was overseas including one from Colin on Tour.
Colin played for Queensland again in 1930 and 1931 but also assumed family responsibilities. In October 1930 Colin and Catherine “Kit” O’Neill were married in Allora. Their first child Margaret was born in October 1931. Another daughter Mary was born two years later.
In 1932 Colin announced his retirement from representative football for several reasons. The announcement in the Daily Standard described him as ‘a very safe and at times brilliant centre in the Toowoomba rugby league team. He was nicknamed “Slip” because of his elusive qualities and his ability to get through the narrowest gaps on the football field.
That announcement was far from the end of Colin’s involvement in rugby league let alone sport. He played as Captain Coach of the Wallaroos a third team in the Warwick competition in 1932.
During those years Fred continued playing for Newtown, Toowoomba, Queensland as well as three tests in Australia in 1932 including the famous battle of Brisbane. At the end of the 1933 representative season Fred was captain of the Queensland team and was Vice Captain of the 1933-34 touring Kangaroos. That wasn’t enough to secure a test berth until the series was lost as no Queenslanders were picked in the first two tests. Fred played his sixth test in December 1933 at Station Road Manchester, England.
On return from the Tour, Fred worked for his father and his brother Lionel
Fred continued in representative football until 1935. At the Annual Meeting of the Newtown Rugby League Club he was made a life member of the club and announced his retirement from representative football.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/200432797 Evening News (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1924 - 1941), Tuesday 10 March 1936, page 12
He was reported as saying he had achieved what he had set out to achieve. “Tiger” Laws had been described by Downs Rugby League legend Duncan Thompson as the best defensive five-eighth he had ever seen. Fred was named in numerous teams of the century in 2008. Fred had also the proud distinction of having captained his club, Toowoomba, Queensland and Australia
Like Colin, Fred’s involvement in rugby league continued long after he had hung up his representative boots.