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Title: ... (p26) Noel Kelly on his nemises (p53) Tommy Bishop 1966.

He'd throw haymakers, jump on blokes backs, kick them ... he'd do anything to upset you


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Noel Kelly on his nemises Tommy Bishop 1966.

western Suburbs

1966, 1967


courtesy of Tony Adams great book The Hitmen - A tribute to League's tough guys.

The Englishmen returned to Australia with a new look team in 1966 and, with Kelly out injured, won the first test 17 -13. That match gave Kelly his first look, albeit from the sideline, of a man who was to prove his nemises for several years to come, the cheeky British halfback, Tommy Bishop.

"Bishop used to go on with all sorts of antics. He'd throw haymakers, jump on blokes backs, kick them ... he'd do anything to upset you," Kelly recalls. "I remember seeing him for the first time when I was out injured that game and he was using every trick in the book. I'd never seen anything like it. I hated him immediately and thought if he tries this against me, I'll kill him.

Kelly got his chance in the second test in Brisbane. "Play was only going a minute when he started carrying on so I gave him a back hander. it was on from there. I gave him a boot up the arse a couple of times. He kept giving me cheek but we won the match 6 - 4."

Australia eventually retained the Ashes with a 19 -14 win in the third test, in Sydney. Bishop, however, was to have the last laugh on Kelly a little over a year later.....

Kelly had been selected to make a third tour to the UK and Fance and therefore becoming the first front rower to make three tours..

Kelly was sent off twice during the tour including once in the third test at Swinton, but despite his absence, Australia won the game to retain the Ashes.

Kelly was fuming at the circumstances that led to his dismissal. His old foe, Bishop, had again been baiting him and at one stage, fell to the ground clutching his face and screaming as if he had been hit. Kelly immediately shown the way back to the dressing room by the referee, despite swearing he never laid a hand on the "injured" halfback.

It was a crazy thing," he recalls. "It was right at the end of the game and I didn't touch him. I should never have got sent off but the ref couldn't get rid of me quick enough. It was a sad way to end my career against the Poms."

Appears in the following pages ....P26_Noel KELLY, P53_Tommy BISHOP
Date of posting ... 12-May-2006
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