Michael Cleary

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Career Stats & Summary

Vital Statistics

Full Name
Michael Arthur Cleary
Born
Tuesday, 30th April, 1940
Current Age
79 years and 51 days
Place Of Birth
Randwick, New South Wales, Australia

Biography

Mike Cleary had a remarkable sporting career, representing Australia in three different sports before being elected to the NSW Parliament as the Member for Coogee where fittingly, he was the Minister for Sport. A product of Christian Brothers Waverley, Cleary joined Randwick RU club in 1960 but his season was hampered by a bout of glandular fever. He scored 45 tries during the 1961 season and played in 6 Tests against Fiji, France and on the tour of South Africa. The following year, he joined Souths but as an accomplished sprinter, he retained his amateur status in order to represent Australia at the 1962 Commonwealth Games. Cleary was a broNZe medallist in the 100 yards final in Perth and two years later, he beat legendary league speedster Ken Irvine in a $2000 match race at Wentworth Park. (In 1966 Cleary won the Australian Professional 130m Sprint Race.) Cleary earned his first Test jersey on the wing against Great Britain in 1962 (after earlier being sent off in the NSW v. Great Britain tour match). After playing against NZ the following year, he was selected for the 1963-64 Kangaroo tour. Clearly played in one Test against France on tour but scored 14 tries in 20 other matches. He appeared in three more Test series, against France (1964) and NZ (1965 & 1969) and won two premierships with the great Souths teams of the late 1960s. Cleary's length of the field try in the 1968 grand final against Manly was indicative of the speed he produced when given a little space on the football field. In retirement, Cleary was actively involved in the media as a sports commentator and in 2000, was appointed to the NSWRL Board of Directors and was awarded an AO for his services to sport and the community.

- 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 1962-65 8 5 -   - 15 4 4 0 50.00% Match list
Overall 1962-1965 8 5 0   0 15 4 4 0 50.00% Match list


Representative

Australia - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
NSW Firsts 1962-67, 1969 11 13 -   - 39 10 1 0 90.91% Match list
NSW City Firsts 1964-65, 1969 3 6 -   - 18 3 0 0 100.00% Match list
Overall 1962-1969 14 19 0   0 57 13 1 0 92.86% Match list


Club Career

Australian League Matches - By Year

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
South Sydney NSWRFL 1962 ? 12 1   - 38  
South Sydney NSWRFL 1963 ? 6 -   - 18  
South Sydney NSWRFL 1964 ? 14 -   - 42  
South Sydney NSWRFL 1965 ? 13 -   - 39  
South Sydney NSWRFL 1966 ? 11 -   - 33  
South Sydney NSWRFL 1967 ? 9 -   - 27  
South Sydney NSWRFL 1968 ? 9 -   - 27  
South Sydney NSWRFL 1969 ? 9 -   - 27  
South Sydney NSWRFL 1970 ? 5 -   - 15  
Eastern Suburbs NSWRFL 1971 ? 5 -   - 15  
Overall 1962-1971 ? 93 1   0 281 ? ? ? ?  

Australian League Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
South Sydney 1962-70 ? 88 1   - 266 ? ? ? ?  
Eastern Suburbs 1971 ? - -   - - ? ? ? ?  
Overall 1962-1971 ? 93 1   0 281 ? ? ? ?  

All Australian Club Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
South Sydney 1962-70 ? 90 1   - 272 ? ? ? ?  
South Sydney 1965, 1968-70 6 45 -   - 135 5 1 0 83.33% Match list
Eastern Suburbs 1971 ? - -   - - ? ? ? ?  
Overall 1962-1971 ? 95 1   0 287 ? ? ? ?  

Your Say

roy horrigan says: was at wenty park the night he beat ken irvine in a
match race.ken beat him out but big mike finished
too strong in the last 20 mtrs.disappointing end to
a wonderful career his last season with easts.had
lost a bit of pace and had handling problems.at his
peak was an outstanding athlete .also used to do the wrestling commentary with jack little who was
tommy hanlons sidekick on it could be you,a well
known television show of the sixties. (13/04/2012)

ROSSY François says: Bonjour,
You made a very good job thanks !

I am french (78 years old) living in France.
In years sixties I use to live in Sydney and I have fond memories of our times training (for running) Michael Cleary and I at Ruschutters Bay Oval. Michael was a great champion and a famous rugby League player. I still remenber his try (1968 Grand Final between South Sydney and Manly).
I know his brother, Denis Cleary, a good heavyweight boxer in 1963/1964 and Rugby Union player with Randwick for 10 yrs.

I have a very good souvenir of the time I spent in Australia... a fabulous country. Best Regards

François ROSSY
Résidence Le Grand Large
73 rue des Dunes
14150 OUISTREHAM
FRANCE (15/11/2017)

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Last modified: Tue, 18 Jun 2019 18:24:24 +0000 (Sydney time)