Australian Rugby mourns the passing of Max Howell AO

by staff

Australian Rugby today announced the passing of former Australian Centre, Max Howell, aged 86, following a long battle with Cancer. Born in 1927, Max Howell grew up during the Great Depression and first played Rugby at primary school in bare feet because boots were a luxury the Howell family simply could not afford.

After completing his schooling at Sydney Technical High, Max studied Physical Education and joined the Randwick Rugby Club where he played six games before being promoted to First Grade.

Max Howell, Wallaby 339, played five Tests and 27 non-Test caps for Australia between 1946 and 1948, making his debut against New Zealand at the age of 19. His Rugby took him as far as the United Kingdom and Ireland where he featured in matches against Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

After his playing days, he became a highly qualified and respected Physical Education teacher and Professor where his teaching and academic studies took him to the USA and Canada. He even found time to coach the Canadian Rugby side during their 1959 tour of Wales.

In 1981 he was invited back to Australia as Foundation Professor in the Department of Human Movement Studies at The University of Queensland. He retired from the role in 1992 and was made an Emeritus Professor in 1993.

Max wrote more than 50 books and had more than 300 other articles published throughout his life.

In 2003, Howell was awarded an Order of Australia for service to Education as a pioneer in the development of sports studies and sport science, as academic disciplines both in Australia and overseas and to the study of sports history.

Australian Rugby Union CEO, Bill Pulver, said: “The Australian Rugby Union is today mourning the passing of Max Howell, a great player and great man.

“While Max’s contribution on the Rugby field was impressive, we are immensely proud of his contribution to broader society through his teaching, studies and family achievements. Australian Rugby’s thoughts are with his family at this difficult time”.

Max Howell was named a statesman of Australian Rugby in 2012.

Full Name: Max Howell AO

Date of birth: 23/07/1927

Place of birth: Sydney

Date of death: 03/02/2014

School attended: Sydney Technical High

Position: Centre

State: NSW

Clubs: Randwick

Wallaby Number: 339

Test caps: 5

Non-Test caps: 27