Cliff Lyons

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Career Stats & Summary

Vital Statistics

Nickname(s)
Napper
Born
Thursday, 19th October, 1961
Current Age
57 years and 55 days
Place Of Birth
Narrandera, New South Wales, Australia

Awards & Accolades

Clive Churchill Medal
1987
Dally M Five-Eighth Of The Year
1990, 1994
Dally M Player Of The Year
1990, 1994
RLW Player of the Year
1994

Biography

Born in Narrandera, teenager Cliff Lyons came to the Cronulla district as a boarder from the Mount Druitt area (Tregear) and was graded as a second rower with the Sharks in 1981. He then played with the Gundagai Tigers for three seasons where he represented Riverina against NZ in 1982 and Great Britain in 1984. Lyons signed with Norths midway through that year, following his Riverina coach Greg Hawick to the Bears in 1985, before signing with Manly. His early career, which included stays with Leeds (1985-86) and Sheffield Eagles (1986-87) in England, saw him targeted by rival forwards but Lyons was tough enough to stand up for himself and there was no denying his talent at five-eighth. ‘Cliffy’ became a favourite with the Brookvale Oval crowds; represented NSW in the State of Origin match in Los Angeles in 1987and won the Clive Churchill Medal for his dynamic, try-scoring display against Canberra in the grand final. Lyons’ ability to set up tries for his support players with his uniquely unpredictable weaving runs saw him consistently win player awards, culminating in his ‘breakthrough’ rep season in 1990, age 29. After winning the coveted 'Dally M' Player of the Year award, he received his call-up to the Australian Test team on the 1990 Kangaroo tour. With Australia losing the First Test, Lyons was thrust into the Second Test team and repaid the faith shown in him by former club coach Bob Fulton by finishing one of the best team tries ever seen in an international match. He then switched play at a crucial stage which resulted in Ricky Stuart’s run that led to the winning try of the match. Lyons produced a solid display in the Third Test 14-0 shutout to win the Ashes before going on to play in both Tests in France (he was ‘man of the match’ in the Second Test). Lyons toured Papua New Guinea in 1991 and remained the focal point of the Manly attack with his deft ball skills and his authoritative bursts around the rucks. Cliff was particularly in his element in the ‘Sevens’ competitions; winning the ‘Player of the Competition’ in 1994 and captaining the Aboriginal ‘Dream Team’ in 1996. Despite winning his second Gold 'Dally M' award in 1994 he missed selection for what would have been a second Kangaroo tour. Lyons resisted a lucrative offer from the W’Reds to stay with the Sea Eagles in 1995 and went on to play in three consecutive grand finals (premiers 1996). At the end of the 1998 season, in which he was mainly used off the interchange bench, Lyons reluctantly retired after not being offered a contract. January 1999 found him playing for Warringah in a RU Sevens competition but following the Sea Eagles’ disastrous start to the 1999 season he made a comeback with the club and passed the 300 first grade mark during his career. At the end of the year he was named Aboriginal Sportsman of the Year (tied with Nicky Winmar) and captained Australian Aborigines in an unofficial ‘test’ against Papua New Guinea in Cairns. Cut from the newly-formed N’Eagles at year’s end he signed with Umina and captain-coached the Central Coast club in 2001, the year he celebrated his 40th birthday. Three years later he was still playing in the Manly ‘A’ Grade competition – a modern marvel. Biography, From the Bush to Brookvale (2000).

- ALAN WHITICKER

Career Statistics

All statistics shown in this section are based only on data available in the RLP database, and are not necessarily a complete and/or 100% accurate representation of a player's career. This information should be used as a guide only. If you see a question mark (?), it denotes that the figure is not available.

To view a list of corresponding matches, click on the Match list icon.

International

Test Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1990-91 6 2 -   - 8 6 0 0 100.00% Match list
Overall 1990-1991 6 2 0   0 8 6 0 0 100.00% Match list

World Cup Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1990-91 3 - -   - - 3 0 0 100.00% Match list
Overall 1990-1991 3 0 0   0 3 0 0 100.00% Match list


Representative

Australia - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
New South Wales 1987-88, 1991 6 1 -   - 4 2 4 0 33.33% Match list
NSW City 1988, 1991-92 3 - -   - - 2 1 0 66.67% Match list
Aborigines 1999 2 - -   - - 2 0 0 100.00% Match list
Overall 1987-1999 11 1 0   0 4 6 5 0 54.55% Match list


Club Career

Australian League Matches - By Year

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
North Sydney NSWRL 1985 23 7 4   1 37 6 16 1 26.09% Match list
Manly Warringah NSWRL 1986 20 5 -   1 21 10 9 1 50.00% Match list
Manly Warringah NSWRL 1987 22 7 -   1 29 16 5 1 72.73% Match list
Manly Warringah NSWRL 1988 22 14 -   - 56 14 8 0 63.64% Match list
Manly Warringah NSWRL 1989 21 9 -   - 36 9 11 1 42.86% Match list
Manly Warringah NSWRL 1990 24 7 3 / 6 50.00% - 34 16 8 0 66.67% Match list
Manly Warringah NSWRL 1991 19 2 2 / 6 33.33% 1 13 11 7 1 57.89% Match list
Manly Warringah NSWRL 1992 22 4 -   - 16 10 10 2 45.45% Match list
Manly Warringah NSWRL 1993 18 2 0 / 1 0.00% - 8 13 5 0 72.22% Match list
Manly Warringah NSWRL 1994 23 7 -   3 31 16 6 1 69.57% Match list
Manly Warringah ARL 1995 25 9 0 / 1 0.00% - 36 22 3 0 88.00% Match list
Manly Warringah ARL 1996 25 4 -   - 16 21 4 0 84.00% Match list
Manly Warringah ARL 1997 23 7 -   - 28 15 6 2 65.22% Match list
Manly Warringah NRL 1998 25 1 -   - 4 13 12 0 52.00% Match list
Manly Warringah NRL 1999 20 2 0 / 1 0.00% - 8 9 10 1 45.00% Match list
Overall 1985-1999 332 87 9   7 373 201 120 11 60.54% Match list

Australian League Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
North Sydney 1985 23 7 4   1 37 6 16 1 26.09% Match list
Manly Warringah 1986-99 309 80 5 / 15 33.33% 6 336 195 104 10 63.11% Match list
Overall 1985-1999 332 87 9   7 373 201 120 11 60.54% Match list

Australian Finals Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Manly Warringah 1986-88, 1990-91, 1993-98 20 5 -   - 20 10 10 0 50.00% Match list
Overall 1986-1998 20 5 0   0 20 10 10 0 50.00% Match list

All Australian Club Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
North Sydney 1985 23 7 4   1 37 6 16 1 26.09% Match list
Manly Warringah 1986-99 310 80 5   6 336 195 105 10 62.90% Match list
Overall 1985-1999 333 87 9   7 373 201 121 11 60.36% Match list

English League Career - By Year

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Leeds Championship 1985/86 ? 9 -   2 38  
Leeds Championship 1988/89 ? 7 -   - 28  
Overall 1985-1989 ? 23 0   4 96 ? ? ? ?  

English League Career - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Leeds 1985-86, 1988-89 ? 23 -   4 96 ? ? ? ?  
Overall 1985-1989 ? 23 0   4 96 ? ? ? ?  

Your Say

andy says: i supported leeds for over 60 years and in all that time cliff lyons is in my opinion is the best stand off leeds we have ever had his ability to read a game was first class leeds has lost 6 cup finals in a row if we had have a player of cliff lyons ability we may won all 6 (31/08/2012)

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Last modified: Tue, 11 Dec 2018 06:44:21 +0000 (Sydney time)