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Title: ... p97 - Ken Thornett From the Leeds Rhinos website

Australian full back Ken Thornett, custodian supreme of the Leeds line in the early sixties


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From the Leeds Rhinos website

Leeds Rhinos



Leeds Career :
Australian full back Ken Thornett, custodian supreme of the Leeds line in the early sixties, had his own personal calling card which thrilled his legion of fans at Headingley far more than it ever did the unwilling recipient. An elegant runner, destructive tackler and superb reader of play, he is still best remembered for his punishing hand off. Catching the ball from a long opposition kick, his outstretched palm would almost disdainfully remove the first of the would-be chasers from his path to set up another thrilling counter attacking charge. Making his own way to England in March 1960, he was given a trial by Leeds on the recommendation of Arthur Clues and immediately galvanized a staid side. His swashbuckling antics from the back endeared him to teammates and fans alike as the Loiners finished the season with a flourish but that was merely a taste of what was to come. Returning in September, he was instrumental in the march to the first ever Championship as the club achieved its long cherished Holy Grail. Scoring four tries and a goal in the run to the Final at Odsal, he again was the rock at the back as Warrington put to the sword. In all he played 131 times for Leeds, including a dozen games in autumn 1965 when the club suffered an horrendous injury crisis and again turned to him in their hour of need.

Rugby Career
Ken returned home in 1963 to join Parramatta and was then selected to tour with the Kangaroos who were based in Leeds for the majority of the stay. Ken was their official guide to the city, he was given the nickname 'The Mayor' by his teammates as wherever he took them he was mobbed by grateful Leeds fans. One of the most welcome visitors whenever he returns to his beloved second home of Headingley. He featured in all the Tests, and started with try in the opening game at Wembley, becoming the first Australian full back to claim a three pointer on British soil. In 165 he was voted New South Wales Player of the Year and became a hero at the Parramatta club where he stayed for the remainder of his career and this was recognised when the main stand at their stadium was named after him.

Appears in the following pages ....P97_Ken Thornett
Date of posting ... 15-May-2006
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