Favorite Moments - 001-025 Your fun memories from EOTB

pfm15 - Tigers Legend Kevin Yow Yeh Cleans up Big Bill Hamilton (1966) by Steve Turner aka Codocks

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Monday, May 14, 2012
Steve Turner aka Codocks
Balmain .. is the club I follow

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Although a little tacker at the time, my memory of this is very clear.

Balmain were playing Manly at Leichhardt during the 1966 season. Big Bill Hamilton, by virtue of his size & pace, was creating quite a bit of havoc in close, the Balmain forwards unable to work out how to handle the big bloke.

During the second half Big Billy went the blind side, pushed a couple of Tigers out of the way and seemed destined to score in the corner.

All I remember is a black and gold blur, as Billy was hit so hard, his legs ended up parallel with the ground and his shoulder smashed the turf violently.

After some time the Zambucks got Billy up and toted him off the field, supporting from memory, a badly smashed collarbone. Kevin Yow Yeh had just performed the most unbelievable hit I had ever seen.

This bloke was amazing for his size and had no fear whatsoever.

(From Quigs, I to have very distant memories of Kevin Yow Yeh playing for the tigers -See my story- A lot of Kevins relations are good friends of mine and live in and around Emu Park. I only got to know them in 1986 when I moved here)

From an article 22/04/2004 in the QRL website. from www.qrl.com.au

ONE of rugby league's most enigmatic surnames returned to prominence on the weekend, as the Yow Yeh brothers combined for 22 points in the Sunshine Coast-Gympie competition.

Playing on three separate teams, Zane, Dallas and Quinton posted three tries and five goals between them, each making it onto the scorer's card.

Devoted football fans will recognize the distinctive Yow Yeh name from the 1960s, when Kevin Yow Yeh was a sensation with both Balmain and Redcliffe.

Of Vanuatuan descent, the Wide Bay product helped capture Redcliffe's first Brisbane Rugby League premiership in 1965, won 15-2 over Valleys.

Teammates from the era recall ``Rabbi'' celebrating the win alongside his father, who with only one tooth remaining, tucked into a complementary feast of mudcrabs.

Aside from his blinding speed and penchant for crunching tackles, Yow Yeh also had great importance to Redcliffe off the field.

When he and good friend Arthur Beetson were signed to Balmain in 1966, their transfer fees helped finance the Dolphins' clubhouse, which today stands as a virtual empire.

Unfortunately for the pensinsula club, the timing of his departure also signified the start of a 29-year premiership drought.

At Balmain Yow Yeh became a centre of even greater renown, marking up against Immortal Reg Gasnier and continuing to impress with his all-round play.

Yow Yeh stayed with the Tigers for three seasons before later returning to Redcliffe.

Tragically his life was cut short at 34, when he died at the Mackay watch-house.

A heart attack was listed as the cause of death and, as the incident occurred before 1980, was not subject to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

Of the Yow Yeh's still playing in Queensland, both Zane and Dallas are Kevin's sons, with Quinton their half-brother.

Dallas has earned greatest acclaim of the three, trialing with southern NRL clubs and winning the Les McIntyre Medal as player of the year in the Canberra competition.

Now a first-grader with Maryborough-Hervey Bay, he still maintains electric speed but has been hampered by eyesight problems. Dallas was born in 1975 - the same year Kevin died - and never had the opportunity to meet his father.

Eldest brother Zane has also proved a more-than-handy footballer, reaching Queensland Cup level with the ill-fated Bundaberg Grizzlies.

Last weekend, Zane's Bribie Island reserve grade side matched up against a second-string Maryborough-Hervey Bay outfit which featured Quinton.

Bribie Island prevailed 42-24, with Zane bagging two tries and three goals and Quinton kicking two goals.

The history of the Yow Yeh clan is an intriguing one. Legend has it the family was brought to Queensland as slaves for sugar farming, but went into hiding at Joskeleigh, near picturesque Keppel Sands.

Descendants have spread throughout the Wide Bay and Capricornia regions, while Joskeleigh is now home to the South Sea Island Museum.

Former New South Wales State of Origin player Ken Nagas is a distant relative of the Yow Yeh brothers.


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