Posted by RLPA
Vale Noel Kelly
The Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) has paid tribute to Noel Kelly OAM, who has passed away today aged 84.
Kelly played 111 games for the Western Suburbs Magpies, which included three straight Grand Final appearances in 1961, 1962 and 1963.
Raised in Goodna Queensland, Kelly was a tough hooker who captain-coached the Magpies from 1966 to 1969.
“Ned” was also a mainstay of the Australian side, earning 25 Test appearances including three separate Kangaroo tours – the first front rower to achieve this feat.
Kelly also made a significant contribution to the game post-career, including his role as a founding Board Member of the Men of League Foundation.
RLPA Chief Executive Officer, Clint Newton, passed on condolences to friends and family of Kelly.
“Noel exemplified toughness on the rugby league field and his legacy is enshrined in the folklore of our game,” Newton said.
“It is a sad day for rugby league losing someone of Noel’s standing, he will be remembered as not only an outstanding competitor on the field, but also for his significant contribution off it.
“Noel was an excellent ambassador for rugby league in the community, highlighted by his long association with the Men of League Foundation.
“On behalf of the RLPA and our members, I would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Noel’s family and friends.”