The NRL passes on its condolences to friends and family following the passing of Kel O'Shea.

The NRL has paid tribute to one of Australia’s great second-rowers Kel O’Shea, who passed away in Brisbane on Thursday aged 81.

Mr O’Shea played 111 matches for Western Suburbs between 1956 and 1963, and represented Australia on 32 occasions.

NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg said O’Shea was named as a member of the Top 100 players of the Century in 2008.

"That alone speaks for the high regard the Game had for him," Mr Greenberg said. "He formed a formidable pairing with Norm Provan for Australia. Many would still say that was Australia's best second-row pairing.

"He was deservedly named in both the Western Suburbs and Wests Tigers Teams of the Century.

"He will be remembered as one of Australia's great forwards."

KEL O’SHEA

Born: July 7, 1933, Ayr, QLD

 

CAREER OVERVIEW

                    Games        Trs        Gls        F/G       Pts

CLUB CAREER 1951-65

 

Ayr Colts 1951-55

Western Suburbs 1956-63

1956               19                  4             -             -          12

1957               17                  4             -             -          12

1958               11                  7             -             -          21

1959               16                  6             -             -          18

1960               10                   -             -             -           0

1961               16                  7             -              -          21

1962               14                  2             -              -          6

1963               8                  -             -             -            0

TOTAL               111               30            -             -           90

 

Maitland 1964-65

 

REPRESENTATIVE CAREER 1952-58

 

NORTH QUEENSLAND 1952-53

v. touring international teams 1952-53               2                2             -             -            6

 

QUEENSLAND 1953-55

v. New South Wales 1953-55               8                 -             -             -            0

v. touring international teams 1953-54               2                2             -             -            6

TOTAL               10               2             -             -            6

 

CITY-COUNTRY 1956, 1958-59, 1961

City Firsts 1956, 1958, 1961               3                -             -             -            0

City Seconds 1959               1               1             -             -            3

TOTAL               4                1             -             -            3

 

NEW SOUTH WALES 1956-58

v. Queensland 1956-58               7                -             -             -            0

v. touring international teams 1958               1                -             -             -            0

TOTAL               8                -             -             -            0

 

AUSTRALIA 1954-58

Tests & World Cup 1954-58               20               7             -             -          21

Tour matches 1954, 1956-57               11              3             -             -            9

v. Rest of the World 1957               1                -             -             -            0

TOTAL               32             10             -             -          30

 

GRAND TOTAL

All senior matches               167            45             -             -        135

 

O’Shea played his earliest football at Mt Carmel College, Charters Towers.

 He was already an established Test player when he joined Western Suburbs in 1956.

 He made his premiership debut for the Magpies v Canterbury at Belmore Oval, 2/4/1956 (Rd 1).

 He played in two grand finals for Wests – 1961 and 1963 – both resulted in losses to the great St George team.

 He formed a lethal second-row partnership with Norm Provan in eight Test matches (1954, 1956-57).

 After leaving Wests he helped guide Maitland to a Newcastle premiership win in 1965.

 He was later named in Western Suburbs and Wests Tigers Teams of the Century (2003), the NRL’s Team of the 1950s (2007) and was selected as one of Australia’s Top 100 players of the Century in 2008.

Source: David Middleton League Information Services