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Noel Kelly

Hooker, Prop

Player Bio

Inducted:
2008
Birthplace:
Ipswich, QLD
Date of Birth:
22 January 1936
Nickname:
Ned
Debut Team:
Ipswich
Opposition:
Toowoomba
Date:
27 April 1957
Venue:
Athletic Oval, Toowoomba
Representative:
City, Sydney, Queensland, New South Wales, Australia
Clubs:
Ipswich Brothers, Ayr, Western Suburbs Magpies, Wollongong

Career

Milestones
  • Grand Final Appearances: 1961-63
  • Kangaroo Tours: 1959-60, 1963-64, 1967-68
  • Australian Rugby League Team of the Century: 2008
  • Queensland Team of the Century: 2008
  • Rated No. 59 in Rugby League Week’s Top 100 players: 1992
  • Named in NRL Team of the 1960s: 2006
First Class Games
244
Points
59
Tries
19

Biography

By touring with the Kangaroos in 1959–60, 1963–64 and 1967–68, Noel Kelly earned the distinction of being the first front-rower to make rugby league's most distinguished journey three times.

In all, Kelly played 25 Tests in the Australian engine room at a time rugby league was at its roughest and toughest.

Statistics from Kelly's career give a clue to how tough the game was ... and how tough he was.

In his career with Wests in Sydney, ''Ned'' was sent off 17 times, though some were for scrum ''wheeling and dealing'' in days when every scrum was a battle.

In the second Australia–New Zealand Test of 1967, he and the big Kiwi Robin Orchard were sent off in the first 90 seconds, Ned having rendered Orchard horizontal with a left hook.

Events such as that one and plenty more (such as his joyful dive for a try during the record-breaking 50–12 second Test win that claimed the Ashes in 1963) made Kelly one of the most robust and popular players to ever pull on a boot.

Originally from the Queensland country, and a hooker, Kelly became a Test prop alongside another hard man from the bush, Ian Walsh, and remained equally effective in both positions.

At Wests, he was a natural leader, taking over as captain-coach in 1966. After leaving the Magpies, he played and coached briefly in Wollongong, and then stepped back into the spotlight in the 1970s, as coach of Norths for three lively years.

“Rugged and determined, he was one of the best combinations of hooker and player Australia has had.”

Tom Goodman Sydney Morning Herald

Career Stats

Club Career

Club
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Railways, Ipswich Ipswich Club Competition 1957 1957 - - - - -
Brothers, Ipswich Ipswich Club Competition 1958 1959 - - - - -
Ayr Ayr Competition 1960 1960 - - - - -
Western Suburbs Magpies Premiership 1961 1969 111 6 - - 18
Western Suburbs Magpies Official Pre-Season 1962 1969 35 1 - - 3
Western Suburbs Magpies State Cup 1964 1964 1 - - - -
Wollongong Illawarra Competition 1970 1970 - - - - -

Representative Career

City - Country

City - Country
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
City Firsts Country Firsts 1963 1964 2 1 - - 3

Intercity

Intercity
Team Name Competition Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Ipswich Bulimba Cup 1957 1959 8 1 - - 3

State

State
Team Name Competition Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Queensland Interstate Series New South Wales 1959 1960 6 1 - - 3
Queensland Touring Sides 1959 1960 2 - - - -
New South Wales Interstate Series Queensland
1963
1966
1964
1967
5 1 - - 3
New South Wales Touring Sides 1966 1966 1 - - - -

International

International
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Australia Tests and World Cup
1959
1963
1967
1960
1964
1968
28 3 - - 9
Australia Tour Matches
1959
1963
1967
1960
1964
1968
44 5 1 - 17

Other Representative

Other Representative
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Sydney Touring Sides 1964 1964 1 - - - -

Hall Of Fame Members