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Yarn Of The Month (some Great Stories)

08. How Karalius became the Wild Bull

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Saturday, May 05, 2012

YARN OF THE MONTH #08 ..... (original entry date) 01/10/2005

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Just a quick note here. This is where Quigs selects the best "Your Story" received for the month or a selection of a favorite older yarn - no correspondence will be entered into and the winner gets bugger all.
All yarns are unsubstantiated and are posted in good faith. Its just meant to be a fun thing, share some of our great memories from the Greatest Era of the Greatest Game of All.

 

Yarn from
The Great Rugby League Publication
Rugby League Journal
Year of Story -
Submitted 01/10/2005


Website for a great UK Rugby League Magazine covering the good old days.. highly recommended

How Vince became the "wild bull"

In the latest issue of "Rugby League Journal" the one and only Vince Karalius reflects on how he got his hardman reputation that led to the "Wild Bull of the Pampas" nickname. This is what Vince had to say:

"PEOPLE have asked me when did I start putting myself about on the field, but I think it all came down to the fact that I have never liked being second best at any time in my life. When I'd signed for St.Helens and started playing professional football my first game was against Warrington. They had a good pack of forwards, including Harry Bath, and Gerry Helme at scrum-half.

The night before I made my debut we were all sitting round the table at home talking. My father, who was delighted at me getting into the first team, was telling me what to do about Gerry Helme … if I could catch him.

"Whatever you do," he said, "if Gerry is going blind, make sure you give him Goodo." At that particular time my mother (by the way she never watched a game and knew nothing about it) came walking past and said: "If I find that lad is going blind and you have touched him there will be big trouble in this house."

To put it in plain words, I got a good pasting in that match and the Warrington pack knocked hell out of me. I came off the field and thought: 'it's like war, so if it's going to be like this I'd better get myself 110 per cent fit.' There was a sudden realisation that if I wanted to get my own back on the fellows who had given me good pasting, then I needed to be bigger and stronger the next time we met.

From then on I nursed a grudge. I had to equal matters with the blokes who had given me eighty minutes of sheer murder in my first match. It played on my mind so much that it became an obsession. 'There's always a next time,' I kept telling myself. 'And next time, some of you Warrington forwards are going to meet a different Karalius.'

I live practically like a hermit. I did nothing each night I came home from work but train, train, train. I did body-building and weight-lifting exercises. Gradually I was putting on those extra pounds and hardening my muscles. I looked after myself and I had that dedication to try and be the best. I wasn't going to let anybody trample on me.

Every time I played against Harry Bath after that I used to give him a bit more stick, and in his last game at St.Helens I gave him a real hammering. I think I knocked him out a couple of times. It settled the old scores, so I didn't mind.

But it was always about man to man confrontation, and I would never condone cheap shots or thuggery - it was man to man. The game was all about bodily contact and a thump and things like that were always part and parcel of the business. When you think back to olden times, you had the gladiators and the old Romans, the public always liked to see that body contact, they don't want to see tick and pass. I always enjoyed it more if there was a body or two lying about, it made the job a bit more interesting."

You can read much more from Vince Karalius in the latest issue of "Rugby league Journal."



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