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Ken Kearney

Hooker

Player Bio

Inducted:
2008
Birthplace:
Penrith, NSW
Date of Birth:
03 May 1924
Nickname:
Killer
Debut Team:
Leeds
Opposition:
Bramley
Date:
21 August 1948
Venue:
Headingley, Leeds
Representative:
City, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Clubs:
Leeds, St George

Career

Milestones
  • Premierships: 1956-60
  • Kangaroo Tours: 1952-53, 1956-57
  • Kangaroo Tour captain: 1956-57
  • Australian captain: 9 Tests
  • NSWRL Player of the Year: 1956
  • Rated No. 75 in Rugby League Week’s Top 100 players: 1992
First Class Games
355
Points
111
Tries
35

Biography

Of all the men who helped build the legend of the St George Dragons, it is doubtful if any imposed a greater influence than Ken ''Killer'' Kearney. Long-time Saints secretary Frank Facer described Kearney as ''a truly great leader'', while team-mate Billy Wilson stated, ''He must get a great deal of credit for setting up the pattern of success''.

Kearney was a giant figure in the St George story, the brains behind the outfit that won an incredible 11 consecutive premierships from 1956 to 1966.

His career began in the ranks of the Parramatta rugby union club in the early 1940s. He played first grade at 17 but no sooner had he announced his arrival than the war intervened and Kearney was headed to Europe with the RAAF.

Returning to Australia, Kearney played for NSW in 1946 and a year later was chosen to tour England, Ireland, France and Canada with the Wallabies.

It was a valuable learning experience, but at 23, Kearney needed to consider his future and at the end of the tour joined Leeds rugby league club on a £2000 sign-up.

For three years he absorbed vast knowledge by playing against and watching legendary scrummagers like Joe Egan and Ken Gee and returned to Australia in 1952 brimful of ideas.

He captained the Dragons to a premiership victory in 1956 and then as captain-coach steered them to another five titles in the following five seasons.

“One of the most forthright, self-confident and knowledgeable men I have known in rugby league.”

George Crawford Journalist, author, and historian

Career Stats

Club Career

Club
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Leeds England First Class Games 1948 1951 95 2 - - 6
St George Dragons Premiership 1952 1961 153 18 2 - 58
St George Dragons City Cup 1959 1959 1 - - - -

Representative Career

City - Country

City - Country
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
City Seconds Country Seconds
1952
1954
1952
1954
2 - - - -
City Firsts Country Firsts
1953
1955
1953
1957
4 - - - -
Sydney Touring Sides
1953
1958
1955
1958
4 2 - - 6

State

State
Team Name Competition Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
New South Wales Interstate Series Queensland 1953 1958 17 2 - - 6
New South Wales Touring Sides
1953
1958
1956
1958
9 2 - - 6

International

International
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Australia Tests and World Cup 1952 1958 31 3 - - 9
Australia Tour Matches
1952
1956
1953
1957
30 2 1 - 8
Australia Internationals
1954
1957
1954
1957
4 2 - - 6

Other Representative

Other Representative
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Other Nationalities 1949 1951 3 - - - -
Possibles Probables 1952 1952 1 - - - -
Australia-New Zealand Rugby League XIII 1954 1954 1 1 - - 3

Hall Of Fame Members