(born 15 January
, died 9 January
) was an Australian rugby league national
and Queensland state
representative player. He played his career at Hooker and is considered one of the nation's finest footballers of the 20th century.
He played with the Toowoomba Clydesdales
in 1924-25. Alongside Herb Steinohrt
, Tom Gorman
and Duncan Thompson
Dempsey was in the Toowoomba sides which beat all comers including Sydney premiers Souths, Brisbane, Ipswich and visiting representative sides including New South Wales, Victoria, Great Britain and New Zealand.
In the 1930s he played with Ipswich and was a major influence in the years 1933-1935 when Ipswich dominated the Bulimba Cup, the triangular series played between the city representative sides from Brisbane, Toowoomba and Ipswich.
Dempsey played in all three Tests of the 1928 domestic Ashes
series and in the first two Tests of the 1932 domestic series. In the famous “Battle of Brisbane” Test of 1932, Dempsey was forced off the field with a broken arm early in the second half. Dempsey, his arm placed in splints, began weeping on the touchline because both the ambulanceman and the team's manager, Harry Sunderland
wouldn't let him back into the game.
He made two Kangaroo tours 1929-30 where he played in one Test and nine tour matches and 1933-34 playing one Test and eleven minor games. All up Dempsey played in four Ashes series against Great Britain.
In February 2008, Dempsey was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players
(1908-2007) which was commissioned by the NRL
to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.