Don Schofield

Rugby League player
Inducted 30 November 2010

Donald Frederick Schofield was born in Cessnock in 1930. His life-long involvement with rugby league began early, playing for St Joseph’s primary school, before graduating to play junior league for the West End Slashers, Cessnock Baths and South Cessnock.

Known affectionately as “Schoey”, Don quickly made his mark in grade football as a second row forward, and in a career spanning 18 years from 1949 to 1967 he played 265 games, most of them for Cessnock. He was a member of Cessnock’s winning premiership teams in 1950, 1954, 1955 and 1960 (in which year he was captain). The team was also grand finalist in a further five grand finals.

In 1952, a season when he spent a year playing with Sydney’s Western Suburbs team, he helped the team win the premiership by scoring two tries in the grand final. He had a year away from the Cessnock Club when he coached Muswellbrook in 1957.

Don played in many representative teams beyond Cessnock. He played in Newcastle representative sides in 34 games (four as captain), including several matches against Great Britain, France and New Zealand. He played for Combined Country on numerous occasions and for NSW five times. In 1957 he played for Australia in the World Cup against Great Britain and France.

Don was awarded the trophy for Newcastle’s Best and Fairest player three times.

His involvement in the game continued after his retirement supporting young players and raising funds for the Cessnock club. He was regularly the recipient of the Cessnock Best Clubman award, and was a Life Member of Cessnock Junior League, Maitland Junior League and Cessnock Senior League.

For his commitment to the sport and the wider Cessnock community, with his philosophy of playing for himself, his team and his town, Don Schofield is held in the highest regard.

Don passed away at Cessnock Sports Ground in 1999 whilst attending a football game, and his funeral, attended by 1,200 people, testified to his standing in Cessnock.

Plaque location
34 Vincent Street, Cessnock (garden bed)