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December 8: Walters farewells Broncos; England upset Australia

On this day, the Bears decide to head north, England's schoolboys upset Australia's finest and Kevin Walters says farewell to the Broncos.

1945 

Denis Pittard was born. He enjoyed a lengthy first-grade career, mainly as a five-eighth, at Wests, Souths and Parramatta from 1965-75 and played five Tests for Australia. Pittard won two Rothmans Medals - in 1969 and 1971 - during his stint at Souths, which yielded three premierships.

1963

Ricky Walford was born. A speedy winger, he made his debut with Easts in 1982 before spending a season two years later at Norths, then joining St George for what would become a decorated stint over 12 years. He finished his career with 116 tries in 232 appearances including 104 for the Dragons.

Walford, who played one State of Origin match for NSW in 1990, was on the wing for Saints in their 1992 and 1993 grand final losses to Brisbane.

Ricky Walford representing City Origin.
Ricky Walford representing City Origin. ©NRL Photos

1964

Matthew Elliott was born on Thursday Island in North Queensland. A clever back-rower, he played 62 matches for St George from 1989-92, his last game for the club in the grand final loss to Brisbane.

Elliott forged a career as a coach in England with Bradford before returning to Australia at the helm of Canberra in 2002 for a five-year stint, then Penrith from 2007-11. He took both teams to the finals but his stint at the Warriors in 2013 ended early the following season in acrimonious circumstances.

1994   

Retiring Australian captain Mal Meninga calls for future Kangaroo tours to retain the same format as the ‘94 tour.

1997   

North Sydney football club members vote overwhelmingly to relocate the club to the Central Coast by 1999. The move had 87 percent approval.

1998   

Balmain’s board vote to dump a resolution to pursue a joint venture and announce they will stand alone in 1999. Chief executive Danny Munk said there was a strong belief that there will be 16 teams in 2000.

2000   

Brisbane's 2000 premiership-winning captain Kevin Walters agrees to terms with English club Warrington. He retired after his stint with the Wolves but then made a brief return with the Broncos at the end of the following season before finally hanging up his boots.

2002   

The Australian Schoolboys suffer a shock 28-22 loss to the English Academy at St Helens. It is the first win by an English team over an Australian side since competition between the two nations began at schoolboy level in 1972.

2003   

The ARL asks Kangaroo players to come forward with any information that could lead to the capture of a thief who stole almost $4000 from players. ARL chief executive Geoff Carr says: "We can confirm there was money missing. We can confirm we don’t know where it went and we can confirm one of the options is that is could have been a player, and that’s why we have to do a full investigation."

Vice-captain Robbie Kearns, five-eighth Craig Gower and back-rower Trent Waterhouse come forward as other victims of the theft.

2005   

Grand final referee Tim Mander announces his retirement from active refereeing after 292 premiership games 

2015   

Manly’s Kiwi international Peta Hiku agrees to a three-year deal with Penrith reportedly worth more than $1 million.

2016   

NSW hooker Robbie Farah tears a biceps muscle during pre-season training with South Sydney but refuses surgery in order to take on former club Wests Tigers in the opening round of the 2017 season.

 

This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.