Australia (1 Test Match)
Queensland (3 Matches)
Edmund (Eddie, Edgie) Dore was a member of the prodigious Dore sporting family of Brisbane. An Irish immigrant who came to Australia as an infant Eddie had a successful career in club Rugby Union with North Brisbane and limited success as a representative player. Considerably bigger than his brother Mickey, Eddie played in the forwards often as a front rower or hooker, but was still viewed as a comparative lightweight forward by the standards of the day. Eddie’s career as a policeman saw him take up a number of postings around the state and he spent most of his adult life in far north Queensland where he became an important community figure. Throughout his post rugby career Dore maintained a fond affinity for the game in later years, but was disdainful of the breakaway professional code of Rugby League; an antipathy fostered despite his brother Michael’s seminal involvement in the spread of the game in Queensland.
Born in Shanangolden, County Limerick on 9 November 1879 Eddie or Edgie Dore arrived in Rockhampton along with his family and a host of other migrants aboard the Sir William Wallace in March 1880. Dore’s father Robert joined the Queensland Police Force after the family finally settled at Spring Hill in Brisbane. The Dore family eventually came to number 10 children and among them was fellow Rugby players Michael (Mick) and Vince. Like his brother’s Eddie attended St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace were he was introduced to the game of Rugby Union football.
Eddie began his club Rugby career with North Brisbane in 1901 in the first year of the QRU’s Brisbane’s electorate competition. In the following year his brother Mick joined him in the side. His rugged and tough play in the front row for North Brisbane earned him a number of representative honors early in his career. The first of these came in 1903 when Eddie was selected in the Town B side to play the Country B side in one of the concluding matches to the Queensland Rugby Union’s annual country week. Eddie was joined in this victorious team by his brother Mick and fellow Terrace Old Boys Phil Carmicahel and Anslem ‘Voy’ Oxenham; all of whom would also go on to play test Rugby. Although Dore played well in this match and his performances aided North Brisbane to the Brisbane Club Rugby Premiership in its inaugural season, he was leapfrogged by his younger brother Michael who was included in the Queensland team for 1903 at halfback while Eddie was overlooked in favor of Allen ‘Butcher’ Oxlade and J.J. Walsir. Dore’s continued play in club rugby saw him selected in the Metropolitan side to play the visiting New South Welshmen on 16 September 1903 in the lead up to their return interstate match with Queensland; however Dore was not selected in the Queensland side.
It was the 1904 season that would prove to be Eddie’s highlight as a representative Rugby Union player. Again Dore found himself playing alongside his brother with the North Brisbane Club and it was his play here that saw Dore made his state debut in 1904. From here it was a meteoric rise for the older of the Dore brothers to Test status against D.R. Bedell-Sivright’s touring British side. In two lead up games to the first test again Australia, the 1904 English touring side defeated NSW 27- 0 and 29-6 in Sydney. The size of the margins worried the Australian selectors greatly and after the failure of the New South Wales forwards in particular, seven Queenslanders were selected for the first Test. Among them was Eddie Dore in the front row. It was Dore’s reputation as a strong and rugged front row forward that was seen as advantageous after the Englishmen’s brutal display against New South Wales. Although the Australian’s were defeated 24-0 the play of the forwards in the first half was especially commended. Nonetheless this was to be Eddie’s first and only test appearance.
After this Dore seemingly fell from favor with both state and national selectors. Initially his test status was rewarded with selection in the front row for the Queensland team to meet the visiting Englishmen following the first test at the Exhibition grounds on 9 July 1904. The side also contained his brother Michael and fellow Gregory Terrace old boy Phil Carmichael who had been named as a reserve for the first test match in Sydeny but did not get an opportunity to play. Queensland was also defeated by the visiting Englishmen and Dore’s representative career ended swiftly. He was not selected for Brisbane or Queensland sides in the following matches against the tourists, and subsequently he could not force his way back into either the second test in Brisbane or the third in Sydney against the touring Englishmen. Dore’s place in the Queensland and Australian sides was taken by legendary front tower Allen ‘Butcher’ Oxblade.
1904 were to be Dore’s last appearances for Queensland. Professionally Dore worked as a cooper during the initial part of his playing career; however, work shortages and back injuries sustained during his playing career led him to follow his father’s example and join the Queensland Police force. Sometime before the commencement of the 1905 Rugby season Dore, who had up until that point been “one of the popular Rugby personalities” in Brisbane was transferred to Charters Towers with his police duties. While this career took him to a number of postings around the state, he found time to continue to play rugby. However, in 1908 a number of leading Brisbane Rugby players, with Michael Dore, choose to join the newly formed professional Rugby League and some sources list Eddie as being among the converts.
Despite his initial embrace of the new code, Eddie was later to feel a great deal of animosity towards the game; so much so that he would not allow his son Joseph to play the game when he was at school in Brisbane. Much of this bitterness was traced to his brother Michael’s premature death at the age of 27. Michael passed away in 1910 as a result of a “lingering illness” caused by exhaustion contracted while playing League in inclement weather to help maintain the new code’s momentum in the face of substantial opposition from the union code. Dore’s animosity towards League was so complete that he even refused to attend Rugby League matches.
As mentioned Dore’s police career began in 1905 in Charters Towers and Mount Perry before stints at Brandon, Townsville, Cardwell, Mirani, Cordalba, Tully, Innisfail, and Mount Isa. On 13 April 1910 in the St Joseph’s Church, Strand Townsville Dore married Annie Guerin, a hotel manager from Ayr and the pair went on to have 5 children. Eddie’s final placement was in Brisbane attached to the Petrie Terrace Police Barrack until his resignation from the police force in 1935. The Dore family returned to Tully in 1935 where he had purchased a farm close to the Euramo Station and he became a sugar cane farmer. Dore became a well known and respected figure in and around Tully. The Edmund Dore Bridge on the Murray River at Tully was named in his honor. Eddie passed away in 1964.
Dore and his wife had five surviving children: Therese, Robert, Basil, Joseph, and Patricia. Basil went on to become a director of the Tully sugar mill and heavily involved in local politics. Dore’s youngest son Joe went on to become an outstanding rugby league player who represented Brisbane during the closing years of World War II. In a telephone conversation with sport historian Dr Gary Osmond of the University of Queensland Dore’s son Joe, he confirmed that none of Eddie’s boys attended Gregory Terrace.