Favorite Moments - 001-025 Your fun memories from EOTB

fm14 - Tribute to James Lowes, Bradford Hardman - Last game for Bradford from Greg Milner, Bradford.

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Monday, May 14, 2012
Greg Milner
Bradford .. is the club I follow

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In this day and age there's not many hard men of the game like they once was! I'd like to put forward a nomination, a player who for the last 8 years as been hated by opposition fans and no doubt players of the british game.

That man is James Lowes, he came to Bradford in 1995 from Leeds, who thought he was finished as a player, Brian Smith (think he went to St George after he left us) didn't think so and promptly brought him the 7 miles over to Odsal. Promising the number 9 spot to Jimmy, he couldn't say no!

In that time at Odsal he become a legend to the Bulls fans and fast become my favourite player, he had one problem though, he couldn't stop cracking people! that's if he didn't think the referee was doing his job right. But the Bulls management stuck by him and in 1997 he became the first Bradford player to win the man of steel award in years!

He became without doubt in my mind one of the main reasons why Bradford are the most dominant team in club "rugby". he capped off his last year as a player at the top! helping Bradford win the Challenge Cup, League winners shield and the Grand Final where he lived up to his reputation and cracked Wigan's biggest threat early on, Brian Carney didn't know what day it was and subsequently we saw nothing really of him for the rest of the game, as well as finishing off with one of his trade mark tries from dummy half!

Jimmy scoring one of his trademark tries during the 2003 Grand Final
Pic supplied by Greg

However, the memories i will take with me from the 2003 season was when we played Leeds at odsal, He got sin binned for protesting to the referee a little too vigeraslee, in front of the thousands of leeds faithful, they starting having ago but Jimmy gave them an up yours, before he went off, an absolute classic which brought huge cheers from all the bradford fans!

But to realise what effection the Bradford fans had for Jimmy was shown the second time we played leeds at odsal last season, it was his final game against the old enemy which we had won again (whispers 5 games won against leeds last season) so Bradford decided to give him a send off he wouldn't forget they was 20 odd thousand at that match, and apart from the leeds fans who left (with we all hate leeds taken from their song we all love leeds ringing in their ear) everybody stayed behind to offer their thanks to one of the greatest and hardest players of his generation!

Thanks for the memories Jimmy!

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pfm15 - Tigers Legend Kevin Yow Yeh Cleans up Big Bill Hamilton (1966) by Steve Turner aka Codocks

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Monday, May 14, 2012
Steve Turner aka Codocks
Balmain .. is the club I follow

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Although a little tacker at the time, my memory of this is very clear.

Balmain were playing Manly at Leichhardt during the 1966 season. Big Bill Hamilton, by virtue of his size & pace, was creating quite a bit of havoc in close, the Balmain forwards unable to work out how to handle the big bloke.

During the second half Big Billy went the blind side, pushed a couple of Tigers out of the way and seemed destined to score in the corner.

All I remember is a black and gold blur, as Billy was hit so hard, his legs ended up parallel with the ground and his shoulder smashed the turf violently.

After some time the Zambucks got Billy up and toted him off the field, supporting from memory, a badly smashed collarbone. Kevin Yow Yeh had just performed the most unbelievable hit I had ever seen.

This bloke was amazing for his size and had no fear whatsoever.

(From Quigs, I to have very distant memories of Kevin Yow Yeh playing for the tigers -See my story- A lot of Kevins relations are good friends of mine and live in and around Emu Park. I only got to know them in 1986 when I moved here)

From an article 22/04/2004 in the QRL website. from www.qrl.com.au

ONE of rugby league's most enigmatic surnames returned to prominence on the weekend, as the Yow Yeh brothers combined for 22 points in the Sunshine Coast-Gympie competition.

Playing on three separate teams, Zane, Dallas and Quinton posted three tries and five goals between them, each making it onto the scorer's card.

Devoted football fans will recognize the distinctive Yow Yeh name from the 1960s, when Kevin Yow Yeh was a sensation with both Balmain and Redcliffe.

Of Vanuatuan descent, the Wide Bay product helped capture Redcliffe's first Brisbane Rugby League premiership in 1965, won 15-2 over Valleys.

Teammates from the era recall ``Rabbi'' celebrating the win alongside his father, who with only one tooth remaining, tucked into a complementary feast of mudcrabs.

Aside from his blinding speed and penchant for crunching tackles, Yow Yeh also had great importance to Redcliffe off the field.

When he and good friend Arthur Beetson were signed to Balmain in 1966, their transfer fees helped finance the Dolphins' clubhouse, which today stands as a virtual empire.

Unfortunately for the pensinsula club, the timing of his departure also signified the start of a 29-year premiership drought.

At Balmain Yow Yeh became a centre of even greater renown, marking up against Immortal Reg Gasnier and continuing to impress with his all-round play.

Yow Yeh stayed with the Tigers for three seasons before later returning to Redcliffe.

Tragically his life was cut short at 34, when he died at the Mackay watch-house.

A heart attack was listed as the cause of death and, as the incident occurred before 1980, was not subject to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

Of the Yow Yeh's still playing in Queensland, both Zane and Dallas are Kevin's sons, with Quinton their half-brother.

Dallas has earned greatest acclaim of the three, trialing with southern NRL clubs and winning the Les McIntyre Medal as player of the year in the Canberra competition.

Now a first-grader with Maryborough-Hervey Bay, he still maintains electric speed but has been hampered by eyesight problems. Dallas was born in 1975 - the same year Kevin died - and never had the opportunity to meet his father.

Eldest brother Zane has also proved a more-than-handy footballer, reaching Queensland Cup level with the ill-fated Bundaberg Grizzlies.

Last weekend, Zane's Bribie Island reserve grade side matched up against a second-string Maryborough-Hervey Bay outfit which featured Quinton.

Bribie Island prevailed 42-24, with Zane bagging two tries and three goals and Quinton kicking two goals.

The history of the Yow Yeh clan is an intriguing one. Legend has it the family was brought to Queensland as slaves for sugar farming, but went into hiding at Joskeleigh, near picturesque Keppel Sands.

Descendants have spread throughout the Wide Bay and Capricornia regions, while Joskeleigh is now home to the South Sea Island Museum.

Former New South Wales State of Origin player Ken Nagas is a distant relative of the Yow Yeh brothers.


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FM17 - My Trip to the 1954 Cup Replay, played at Odsal before 103,000 people, Warrigton v Halifax - Prof John Shepherd, Trinidad.

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Monday, May 14, 2012
Prof John Shepherd
St Augustine, Trinidad,
West Indies
Warrington .. is the club I follow

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I am JBS from the P and B website. In 1954 I was fifteen years old and lived in Warrington but I am a long way from there now. Bradford is about 40 miles from Warrington and there is now a 6-lane motorway called the M-62 that passes both towns so you can drive it in not much more than half an hour. The kid on the P and B website probably thought the Romans built it but it didn't open until 1970. In 1954 the main road from south Lancashire to Yorkshire was a narrow winding road over the Pennines. The railway was a much better way of doing the trip because you could catch the train directly from Warrington to Odsal. That was the way me and my mates went. That day there was a stream of special trains leaving at 15-minute intervals. There were also hundreds of coaches from Warrington and the nearby RL towns – Wigan, Widnes, St. Helens, Leigh etc.- doing the trip by road and they all converged on that single road.

We didn’t think the crowd would be all that big. We had drawn 4-4 with Halifax at Wembley the previous Saturday and the crowd there was only around 60-70,000. There were only four days between match and replay so there was no time to print tickets. At one point the railway ran alongside the road. That was when we realized that something big was on. There were coaches nose-to-tail all the way up to the top and down the other side with no movement at all. We got to Bradford about half an hour before the kick off and walked to the ground. Odsal then was not really a stadium. It was just a big natural hole in the ground with a football pitch at the bottom and one grandstand close to the touchline and another opposite at the top of the slope.

(see http://www.thisisbradford.co.uk/bradford__district/bradford/news/jim56.html for a picture).

The standing area was bare hillside with crush barriers scattered about. It rose up in two or three huge steps and the flat bits were dead ground where you couldn’t see the pitch. You can see one of these down the left hand side of the picture. Nobody really knew what the capacity of the ground was. The turnstiles were behind the stand at the top where it says ODSAL STADIUM and at the bottom right where it says BRADFORD NORTHERN RLFC. There were so many people outside the ground that we couldn’t get to the turnstiles but the crowd pushed a long section of the fence down flat and we simply walked in. I would guess that at least 10,000 people came in that way but were not counted in the official attendance. There were other holes in the fence too.

I don’t remember much of the actual match I’m afraid. Jim Challinor used the great Brian Bevan as a foil to score the first try early on. Scrum half Gerry Helme scored the second late on and Harry Bath converted one of them but I can’t remember which one. The trains on the way back were even more tightly packed than the ones going because most of the people who had managed to reach the ground by coach hopped the train to come back. As we ran along the roadside again it was a complete mess. Many of the coaches were still facing towards Bradford and were tangled up with the ones coming back. We got home on time and the whole town was rocking. Great days!!!



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fm18 - First trip to the SCG - Bowden sorts out Broadhurst

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Monday, May 14, 2012
Damien Daley
Newtown .. is the club I follow

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Approx date and year of story=81.

The first time i ever went to the SCG was for a semi final between Manly and Newtown.

I can remember Steve Bowden from Newtown and Manly's Mark Broadhurst (a former Kiwi Test player)go toe to toe with Bowden getting the better of him with a vicious display of biffo .

I was in the Bradman stand (many years before a big screen)so my brother and i ran down to the kiosk area underneath where they had televisions set up to watch the replay of the stoush ,sensational!

I was about 12 at the time and was the happiest kid in sydney that day coz Manly got beat in the stink and the game..

12/05/04...... FROM DAVE DOWELL, NORTH CANTERBURY N.Z. Enquiry about the above mentioned game and other incidents......... CAN ANYONE HELP DAVE ???? Quigs @ Team Era

David Dowall
State=Nth Canterbury, New Zealand

Some 20 years or so ago a mate of mine returned from a trip to OZ with a video that he had copied from a cobber in Brisbane.

It was originally taped from a TV programme I think, showing highlights of Biffo from the 70's and 80,s. Les Boyd featured alot in it as did Terry Lamb and Ray price ( usually on the receiving end )however it also featured what I consider to be the most furocious encounter of all time that being the one between Mark Broadhurst and Steve Bowden during the Winfield Cup preliminary final of 1981, Manly V Newtown.

Sadly my mates missus taped over his copy ( the most cardinal of sins ) and his cobber in OZ lost his.

My request is wether or not you are aware of such a tape/DVD or anything like it,or even how I could get my hands on a copy of the 1981 Winfield prliminary final,Manly V Newtown.Failing that could you reccomend or refer me to someone who might know? It would be much appreciated.

Kind regards.


Time of incident September 13 1981


Without doubt my favourite moment was when Steve "Head butt" Bowden landed 2 of the most ferocious head butts on Mark "2 black eyes" Broadhurst in the Jets/Sea Eagles final of 81. I remember watching it on the late night replay with my dad who was totally distressed about Broadhursts facial injuries. I however as a 10 year old kid thought it was great to see and the camera man at that match deserved 10 out of 10 for following the 2 front row forwards as they paired off and went toe to toe in there own space. It looked even while the fists were flowing which wasnt surprising seeing Broadhurst was a amatuer boxing champ in NZ and Bowdens first love was boxing and trained alot with a punching bag in hes spare time. But Bowden was notorious for using hes head in battle situations, being sent off in the previous 2 seasons and also sluggin one on Bob Cooper in a clash against Wests. The precision timing of Bowdens head butt was perfect. He held nothing back giving Broadhurst the brunt of all the power in hes neck and back. The result was shattering. The impact could almost be felt in the living room as Broadhursts head whipped back and every bit of sweat flew off the big Kiwis melon. This precise moment would have been an awesome photograph for anyones sports bar or rumpus room. Unfortunatly what followed even as a 10 year old didnt please me. When a mans down thats it and although impressed with Bowdens thuggery tactics of putting Broadhurst down, when Bowden continued to lay upper cuts on hes defeated target I became a little disenchanted with Bowden. Fortunately Broadhursts team mates eventually came to hes rescue but not before Bowden had made a mess of hes other eye with the punching. At this stage Broadhurst was badly bruised under one eye and battered swollen under the other. If hes face wasnt already a mess, when the dust had cleared the sheer aggression that had possessed Bowden encouraged him to waltz through the huddle of players who had all settled down by this stage and blatenly put Broadhurst down a second time with another head butt in which he delivered and a awesome right hook that collected him also as he was falling to the ground. Its funny how things work as Bowden was struck in the back of the head by a Terry Randall boot that ended up putting the Manly hardman on crutches for 6 weeks. Broadhurst amazed me and showed either he was just a complete lunatic or a man of amazing guts as he continued to play on with what must have been reasonable concusion and a face that was almost similar to the elephant man. Bowden was naturally sent from the field and in the long run suffered the most as he had to sit on the sideline and watch hes team mates run around in the grand final. He was suspended for 7 weeks which I thought was getting off lightly. However the entertainment was absolutely slendid.


From David Benham, email from Jing'An/Shanghai, China, posted 22/07/2004

Club I support: Newtown

Year of my story: 1981

A glaring omission from your "Memorable Matches section is the 1981 Semi-Final between Newtown and Manly.

The longest and most vicious brawl in Sydney RL Finals history, it involved virtually every player on the field from both sides.

The main fight, though, was between Newtown's Steve Bowden and Mark Broadhurst.

It followed a week of taunting of Bowden by the media, mostly employing invented quotes from Broadhurst that, as a former NZ South Island Light Heavyweight champ, he was going to give it to Bowden in the first scrum.

Sure enough, the first scrum erupted as Bowden got in first. He broke both of Broadhurst's cheekbones and completely closed one of the Kiwi's eyes with a terrifying flurry of punches and headbutts.

I had the honour of reintroducing these two gentlemen at a dinner in honour of the 20th anniversary of their fight.

Broadhurst stressed that he had never made any of the inflammatory comments quoted in the pre-match press reports.

The upshot was that Bowden was sent off and a courageous Broadhurst played on with his injuries.

Bowden was subsequently suspended and his loss was sorely felt by Newtown in the Grand Final, which they lost to Parramatta.

David Benham


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fm19 - Mick Harrison, Hull FC and summary justice

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Monday, May 14, 2012
Roy Clark
East Yorkshire
Hull .. is the club I follow

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Players involved: Mick Harrison

I watched Mick (playing for Hull FC at the Boulevard) have a nasty cut on his eyebrow stiched up by the club doctor as he stood panting on the touchline.

He never batted an eyelid as he received about seven stitches.

With a plaster stuck on top he was back on the pitch and being warned not to seek retribution by the referee.

Needless to say the matter was dealt with by Mick, and the referee whom hadn't seen the right cross, could only tell him that he knew it was him and not to do it again.

No need as the guy was stretchered off never to return!

The threepenny stand was euphoric.

Mick was the hardest I've ever seen. .


fm20 - Saints Fijian Legend Apisia Toga snaps leg

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Monday, May 14, 2012
Quigs Webmaster
Emu Park
Sharks .. is the club I follow

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I remember as a young kid watching a game at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah, home shall I say it,(hand over my mouth) the mighty St George Dragons. Cough, shit that was hard to say.

It must of been in the early 70's, perhaps one of the saints fans can correct me on this. I believe the Dragons were playing against my beloved Cronulla Sharks.

At the time Saint George had a man mountain of a forward named Apisia Toga in their player ranks. Big Apisia was a real crowd favorite, whether you followed bloody Saints or not. Everyone loved big apisia, except I guess the poor bastard that he was running at.

pics courtesy of the St George/Illawarra History Website.

Apisai Toga in full flight eyeing off Bob Fulton

(I think it is Ken Maddison in support)

The game sticks in my mind as poor Apisia snapped his leg during the game and was right in the middle of the paddock. His leg snapped and it sounded like a wip cracking. Play was stopped immediately and the zambuck was called into the centre of the field.

In those days the "zambucks" were members of the St Johns Amublance society, all volunteers, wearing their St Johns Uniforms and all usually carrying a bloody big wooden first aid box with a big red cross on it. None of this converted golf buggy crap with flashing revolving lights, it was all straight out of WW11.

As the game stalled and more and more Zambucks attended poor Apisia, some of the crowd were getting a bit restless.

As one of the more senior Zambucks jogged off the the field to get a rigid canvas stretcher, the crowd "gave" him a bit of curry.

He emerged from under the stand with the stretcher and was just about to run out on the field when some of the hecklers started up again.

"Come on will ya, we come to watch the footy" or words to that effect, one of the wags yelled out.

The senior Zambuck never missed a beat, he turned to the crowd and yelled as he headed off towards the centre, "It's alright for you, you bastard, I've gotta carry the big bastard".

It broke all up who heard. Ridicule turned to Sympathy as the Zambucks struggled to carry poor Apisia past us. He was one big forward.


A popular player, Apisai Toga came to Saints from Fiji and also played with Lancashire club Rochdale (UK) in the late 1960s.

In 1973, Toga collapsed during a training session and later tragically died of tetanus poisoning; an injury sustained while diving amongst coral in Fiji in the off season

Apisia's points for Saints - 1968-72, 60 games + 5 repl., 9 tries (27pts)


fm21 Brendon Tuuta showing Nigel Heslop exactly how to play the game

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Monday, May 14, 2012
Lorne Mosley
Featherstone .. is the club I follow

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My favorite Moment is BRENDON TUUTA - Showing Nigel Heslop exactly how to play the game of league, rather than union, after slapping Brendon across the face after a tackle, nigel felt the full force of retaliation and only played a few more league games again, returning to the safety of the game of kick and clap


fm22 - State Of Origin myth debunked, Artie ( Arthur Beetson ) was picked from 1st Grade

Posted by Jeff Quigley - Monday, May 14, 2012
ABC - AM Radio show transcript

NA.. is the club I follow

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Reporter: John Taylor

CAMILLE FUNNELL: No other sporting event captivates the attention of Queenslanders like the State of Origin.

Tomorrow the series decider will be played out in Brisbane in front of a sell-out crowd with the headline attraction of half-back Allan Langer playing for Queensland. That announcement for many parallels the State of Origin myth of Artie Beetson, the man who it said was plucked from Parramatta reserve grade to captain his side to victory in the first ever game of the series.

But as John Taylor reports, the problem with the Beetson myth is, it isn't true.

JOHN TAYLOR: As sporting legends go, it's one cherished by Queensland rugby league State of Origin fans. In 1980 Artie Beetson was in the twilight of his career, at 35, winding down, playing in reserve grade for Parramatta in the New South Wales competition. But he was chosen to captain the Queensland side in the first State of Origin match. He played an inspiring game, leading his team to a 20:10 victory.

COMMENTATOR: Beetson up the centre. Back to Lange. Sends it away to Meninga. Meninga to Close. Close cutting back the other way. Catches the defence on the wrong foot. He's broken through. He's coming up to Eadie. Gets away from Eadie. He's over underneath!

JOHN TAYLOR: Chris 'Choppy' Close was named man of the match. But as he recounted years later, the award could easily have gone to Beetson.

CHRIS CLOSE: I probably just pipped Arthur Beetson, who had one of the most courageous displays in any sporting event in Australia for any time. I mean, to play for your state at 35 years of age, and to play the match that he did, has really inspired me from then, you know, until now. And I think that was the birth of the Queensland tradition and the spirit. And I certainly won man of the match. But I think it could have gone either way really.

JOHN TAYLOR: This week Queensland selectors announced Allan 'Alfie' Langer, had been recalled from the English league to play again for his state. In 1999 he'd retired mid-season from the Australian competition. The Australian newspaper on page 1 drew parallels to the calling up of Artie Beetson all those years ago.

REPORTER: It is the biggest selection surprise since Arthur Beetson, the man regarded as the father of Origin, was plucked from reserve grade to lead Queensland in the very first Origin game in 1980.

JOHN TAYLOR: Former Queensland and Australian captain and now television sports reporter Wally Lewis said much the same thing in his story as well. And he played alongside Beetson in that inaugural game.

COMMENTATOR: From deep down there's plenty of maroon jerseys coming at Anderson. Oliphant up there, and underneath was Lewis. Nice piece of work!

JOHN TAYLOR: But Artie Beetson says there's only one problem.

ARTIE BEETSON: That's not exactly right John. People say that because it suits. But I was actually playing first grade.

JOHN TAYLOR: Come again!

ARTIE BEETSON: So, people always said that. Actually the fact of the matter is that I got dropped after Origin to reserve grade.

JOHN TAYLOR: Oh, serious!

ARTIE BEETSON: No. Well, that's it. A lot of people don't know that. But I was plucked out of - I had been playing first grade in Sydney. And after the Origin match I was dropped.

JOHN TAYLOR: A check with the Parramatta Rugby League Club's records confirms Artie Beetson is telling the truth. He played in first grade the game before the State of Origin. And everyone else has been getting it wrong for more than a decade.

Does it matter?

Only as much as the minutia of history does. Beetson was still 35, and he still played a great game. And, after all, Queensland did what it does best - beat New South Wales.

CAMILLE FUNNELL: John Taylor reporting from Queensland.


fm23 - One for Guiness Book of Records, a side made up completely of Sons of the Seven Ahern Brothers. Emu Park 1989

Posted by Jeff Quigley - Monday, May 14, 2012
Quigs - the webmaster
Emu Park
Sharkies - (yeah I know) .. is the club I follow

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One for the Guiness Book Of Records. 23 Players all related and with the surname Ahearn played rugby League in the same team and all from the same family line.

This monumental game occurred at the Emu Park International Sporting Complex, commonly called the Emu Park Oval in September 1989. It was the highlight of the Family Reunion for one of the early inhabitants of Emu Park, the Ahern Family.

For the record Emu Park is located on the east coast of Central Queensland Australia, some 44 kms east of the City of Rockhampton. It is near where the Tropic of Capricorn crosses the coast.

The game was organized and the brainchild of Gordon Ahearn of Bloomsbury. Gordon arranged for Queenslands most recognized Referee Barry Grasshopper Gomersall to officiate. Gomersall had been the whistle blower in many firery State of Origin Clashes in cauldrons such as the SCG and Lang Park. This was to be his biggest challenge.

The game attracted nation wide attention through all medias.


The Ahern family, originating from Emu Park, reunited at the weekend to establish a new rugby league record for the Guiness Book of Records.

They raised a team of 23 players from the sons of seven Ahern brothers to create what they believe is the first rugby league team of players from one family line.

National rugby league referee Barry Gomersall made his first appearance on the Capricorn Coast to referee the match between the Ahern Family and the Emu Park Reserve grade team in Bicentennial Park.

Assisting were leading Central Queensland referees David Hill and Peter Connell.

Six of the brothers present were Bill (Bowen), Fred (Rockhampton), Gordon (Bloomsdale), Ron (Sarina), Clarry (Tambo) and John (Dysart). Joe (Dysart) was unable to attend.

The reunion and the Guiness Book of Records challenge was organised by Gordon Ahern. John Ahern, 46, was the only brother in the team and the oldest player.

Those at the huge family gathering were easy to identify with their green shirt pockets marked with the family coat of arms.

A crowd of more than 1000 spectators, including about 400 members of the Ahern family, watched the family rugby league team bite the dust in the feature match against the Emu Park Reserve Grade team.

Some had never played the game before.

Emu Park won the match 38 - 8.

Try scorers were Kent Svendsen (2), Shawn Doak (2), Gavin Tydd (1), Jan Slotasch (1), Goals were kicked by Kirk Doak (3) and Simon Guest (1). Man of the match was Kent Svendsen. Steve Ahern scored the only try for his team. Goals were kicked by Steve Ahern and Peter Ahern.

Australian Meat Holdings won the curtain raiser against the Rockhampton Correctional Centre Officers 25 - 24.

Gordon Ahern issued a challenge for the Ahern sons to stage another match in 2009, with sons of the fifth generation. He said his grandfather played football on the same ground in about 1920. He was a bare knuckle fighter who fought against Joe McCallum on Emu Park Beach in one of the last fights of its kind.



Quigs made yet another comeback in this game after a 5 year layoff through injuries and a Car accident. At the time I was assistant coach to the Emu Park Publican Steve Kiwi Anderson. Both of us had long stopped playing and coached in a Non playing capacity. It was Emu Parks first year playing in the Rockhampton Lower grade competition. It was a golden opportunity for Steve and I to display to the younger Park players our "obvious" skills.

We usually told them how good we were in our day, often it was very late into the night and always at the bar of the Piney aka the Pine Beach Hotel. Need I explain anymore.

Kiwi Anderson and Quigs in comeback mode 23-9-1989

Both Kiwi and I had planned to keep off the field for as long as humanly possible and let the youngins soften one another up before we pranced on. I was sitting next to Kiwi on the sideline bench and it was only about two minutes into the game. I turned to talk to Kiwi but he had disappeared onto the paddock...... he could not help himself.

The first sight I saw of Kiwi in that game was John Ahern the oldest player on the field running towards a crouched and cocked Kiwi Anderson. Kiwi let fly with a blatant stiff arm that sent poor John skyward with legs, arms flaying wildly. Grasshopper penalised Kiwi. At the break I said to Kiwi, "what did you stiff arm Old Uncle John for"? He said, "I don't know, I just couldn't help it. It was a reflex thing"

Kiwi was a wild lad, and had played hooker in the Foley Shield, his nose proved testament to that.


fm24 -Some memories from a great Hull Kingston Rovers man - Steve Shackleton, living in NZ

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Monday, May 14, 2012
Steve Shackleton
New Zealand
Club Followed .. Hull Kingston Rovers

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Yes I am living in Nelson at the top of the south island of New Zealand. Not a great league area but there is a team here now that play in the minor divisions. I originally came here to NZ from Hull in 1971. I had 13 years in the Wellington area first but my wife is from Nelson and I took the opportunity to transfer here with my job.

Many players from out of Hull were surprised at the ferocity of the local derby games, Hull Kr v Hull FC. It was akin to civil war sometimes in the sixties when I was a lad there. One famous game I saw was the 1967/8 Yorkshire cup final where Hull KR just edged out Hull 8-7. Hull Kr had 10 local players in the side, Roger Millward scored a try in that game played on Headingly.

My favourite team of that era was Leeds who had talent to burn, their team was full of internationals. Syd Hynes who had a good series in 1970 and my favourite player Mick Shoebottom. He was so talented and could dish out the biff if required. He was kicked in the head in a game against Salford and never played again. He died recently aged only 57. He could play anywhere in the back line and as loose forward if required. I'm sure he would have ended up as loose forward for Leeds. Anothere tough nut of that era and a favourite of mine was Brian Edgar who toured three times 58,62 and was captain in the tests in 66 also died last year. A mighty man from Workington in the days when even the most rugged forwards didn't like going to games against the Workington Town pack who tackled like men pocessed.

I was at the 1970 world cup final game at Headingly as well, one of the games in the famous games on your site. The Australian forwards won that game, they engaged the Brit forwards in fighting throughout the game. It was a bit like that in the round robin game also at Headingly but the Brit forwards played football and won 11-5. I set off to Bradford to see the Australian game against France but the car broke down and I didn't get there. I saw the GB v France game at Castleford and France v NZ at the Boulevard where the frogs scored 3 tries to 2 but were out kicked by Don Ladner the Kiwi full back and the NZers won 18-17. Or GB would have played France in the final as they had beaten Oz in the round robin game. A few years ago I met Don Ladner who lives on the West Coast here. He once coached a kids union side as they couldn't get a coach but the Rugby union found out and banned him. So the kids had no coach but you couldn't have a league player contaminating them.

I would be interested in seeing what the teams were in that 1950 derby game. My father had a good friend called Alec Dockar who played in the Rovers team in that era. He was a GB international against the 47 Kiwi's but never got another cap. He was our insurance man and once brought his caps around to show me. I was just a kid and awestruck, a Yorkshire cap, England and GB ones. Hull had a mighty pack in the fifties and that was a golden era for them. They often were behind at halftime but battered the opposition down in the second. John Whitely who played in the 1958 series in Oz was the loose forward. He was coming to the end of his career when I was a kid, I remember him playing a few games in 62 or there abouts. He coached the GB team on the 1970 tour.

I have to put up with the Kiwi's ranting on about union for 33 years but they were silenced last year when England came out here and won then won the world cup. Since 1991 NZ insist that they have 'lost' the world cup. Every caller on the radio sports talk back goes on how the all blacks lost the world cup last November even though we haven't held it since 1991. They just can't except that any other team is better than them particularly a Northern hemisphere team. They get coverage before league which pisses us leaguies off. What I like to bring up is that an all black, Mark Carter, signed for the Warriors but couldn't make the Warriors first team. Then had a job making the reserves so went back to union and made the all blacks again.

Some other British players you might consider for the webb site are, Mick Sullivan a tough as teak winger who toured in 58 and 62, Billy Boston the human bulldozer of a winger who toured in 54 and 62 and was one of the four wingers sent off in the 62 GB v NSW game along with Sullivan. Alan Prescott who played 76 minutes with a broken arm on the 58 tour, John Mantle the welsh second row who toured in 66 and then with the Welsh teams in the world cup in the seventies.

I'll get my mate in Sydney to give you some stories as well. He's a very keen Rooster's supporter.

Steve in Nz


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