Ken Kearney

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Career Stats & Summary

Served in the RAAF as a Warrant Officer in the Second World War.

Vital Statistics

Full Name
Kenneth Howard Kearney
Nickname(s)
Killer
Born
Saturday, 3rd May, 1924
Died
Friday, 18th August, 2006 (Aged 82 years and 106 days)
Place Of Birth
Penrith, New South Wales, Australia

Awards & Accolades

Australian Hall Of Fame
2006

Biography

Ken 'Killer' Kearney brought a ruthless professionalism to St George that held the club in good stead during their unprecedented 11 grand final victories. The champion hooker captained the great club to win six premierships from 1956-61 and was coach from 1957-62. Born in Penrith, his football career started in RU with P’matta. Kearney represented the Wallabies in 7 Tests before switching to League in England after serving with the RAAF during the war. Playing for Leeds from 1948 until he linked with St George in 1952 he proved to be a cunning, tough hooker. Kearney toured with 1952-53 Kangaroos and played in 20 matches on tour, making the first of 25 Test appearances in the Third Test against England. As St George coach in 1953 he instigated the famous 'brick wall' of defence at the club but Kearney had his critics - especially regarding his poor relationship with referees. When the Dragons lost the 1953 grand final he was replaced by coach Norm Tipping. Kearney had been openly critical of club officials with many feeling his aggressive attitude put the club offside with leading referee Darcy Lawler. Kearney's leadership qualities were recognised with his naming as Australian captain-coach for the 1956 Test series against NZ and on the 1956-57 Kangaroo tour (Clive Churchill was relegated to vice-captain). Upon his return he was reinstated as captain-coach at St George. Under Kearney's guidance St George turned its mastery of unlimited tackle football into an art form. While his last Test series was against Great Britain in 1958 (he was overlooked as Australian captain-coach in the 1957 World Cup and 1958 Ashes series) Kearney continued to lead St George by example until a chronic knee injury ended his career at the beginning of the 1962 season. After fulfilling his obligations as coach (St George won their seventh consecutive grand final) the club's policy of having a player-coach saw Kearney join P’matta in 1963. Under his coaching the Eels experienced their best era since being promoted into the competition. He then coached Wests (1965) and Cronulla (1967-68) during the Sharks’ entry into the ‘Big League’. Ken Kearney is remembered as the man who brought coaching in Sydney up to English club standard - and ultimately beyond. He was inducted into the RL Hall of Fame in 2006 but died in retirement on the G’Coast, aged 82, before the announcement.

- 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 1952-58 31 3 -   - 9 18 13 0 58.06% Match list
Overall 1952-1958 31 3 0   0 9 18 13 0 58.06% Match list

International Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Other 1949-51 4 - -   - - 3 1 0 75.00% Match list
Australasia 1951 1 - -   - - 1 0 0 100.00% Match list
Australia 1952-1957 3 1 -   - 3 3 0 0 100.00% Match list
Overall 1949-1957 8 1 0   0 3 7 1 0 87.50% Match list

World Cup Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1952-1957 6 2 -   - 6 4 2 0 66.67% Match list
Overall 1954-1957 6 2 0   0 6 4 2 0 66.67% Match list


Representative

Australia - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
NSW Firsts 1953-58 18 2 -   - 6 13 5 0 72.22% Match list
NSW City Firsts 1953, 1955-57 4 - -   - - 3 1 0 75.00% Match list
Overall 1953-1958 22 2 0   0 6 16 6 0 72.73% Match list


Club Career

Australian League Matches - By Year

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
St George NSWRFL 1952 ? 2 -   - 6  
St George NSWRFL 1953 ? 2 1   - 8  
St George NSWRFL 1954 ? 1 1   - 5  
St George NSWRFL 1955 ? 3 -   - 9  
St George NSWRFL 1956 ? 3 -   - 9  
St George NSWRFL 1957 ? - -   - -  
St George NSWRFL 1958 ? 2 -   - 6  
St George NSWRFL 1959 ? 1 -   - 3  
St George NSWRFL 1960 ? 4 -   - 12  
St George NSWRFL 1961 ? - -   - -  
Overall 1952-1961 ? 18 2   0 58 ? ? ? ?  

Australian League Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
St George 1952-61 ? 18 2   - 58 ? ? ? ?  
Overall 1952-1961 ? 18 2   0 58 ? ? ? ?  

All Australian Club Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
St George 1952-61 ? 18 2   - 58 ? ? ? ?  
St George 1953-55, 1957-59 7 10 1   - 32 4 3 0 57.14% Match list
Overall 1952-1961 ? 18 2   0 58 ? ? ? ?  

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Last modified: Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:39:55 +0000 (Sydney time)