Keith Barnes

Coaching Career


Vital Statistics

Full Name
Keith William Barnes
Golden Boots
Tuesday, 30th October, 1934
Current Age
88 years and 223 days
Place Of Birth
Port Talbot, Neath Port Talbot, Wales

Awards & Accolades

National Rugby League Hall Of Fame

Known Family Links

Gwyl Barnes


One of the finest goal-kickers the code has seen, ‘Golden Boots’ set a point-scoring record in his 14 seasons with Balmain and became an institution with the Tigers club. W. Keith Barnes immigrated to Australia from Port Talbot in Wales in 1948. He commenced his league career in Wollongong where he first played five-eighth before moving to fullback. Barnes' faultless kicking style and his resolute last-line of defence while playing for Southern Division against Great Britain in 1954 came to the notice of Balmain stalwart 'Latchem' Robinson. Signing with the Tigers, Barnes established a club record 180pts in 1956, including three goals in the club’s 18-12 grand final loss to St George. He made his debut for Australia in the 1957 World Cup but suffered a smashed jaw when making a tackle on Kiwi prop Henry Maxwell. After playing against NZ in 1959, he went on to kick goals in each of his 14 Test appearances and was given the honour of captaining Australia on the Kangaroo tour. Australia went within a goal of winning the Ashes, losing the Second Test by a point. Barnes also led Australia in two 'friendlies' against Italy on the trip home. He went on to play against France in 1960 (kicking a record 10 goals in the Second Test in Brisbane), was selected as captain-coach of Australia in the 1960 World Cup, and against Great Britain in the 1962 Ashes series. Despite winning an around-the-world trip as ‘Player of the Year’ in 1963, he was left out of the Kangaroo squad in favour of Ken Thornett, Les Johns and Graeme Langlands. In the 1964 semi-final series Barnes scored all of all Balmain's points in the semi-final, final and grand final matches. He triumphantly returned to the Test arena in 1966 - his three goals in the Second Test in Brisbane in 1966 giving Australia a 6-4 victory to keep the Ashes series alive. Unfortunately, he was again injured and ruled out of the decider. On the club scene, Barnes continued to lead the Tigers by example, winning matches with his deadly accurate boot. Balmain went down to St George in two further grand finals, 1964 and 1966, with Barnes retiring at the beginning of the 1968 season. Injuries in the club saw him return to the playing field for one last season but the sad irony to his career is that the year after he retired Balmain won their last premiership. In retirement, Keith Barnes remained where his heart was as General Manager of the Balmain Leagues Club but stood down as Balmain Chief Executive at the end of 1994 at a period when the club changed its name to the Sydney Tigers for a short time. Balmain’s amalgamation with Wests at the end of 1999 saw the end of Barnes’ long association with the game.


Coaching 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 List button.


Competition   Games W L D Win %  
Tour Matches Australia 3 2 1 0 66.67% List
World Cup 3 2 1 0 66.67% List
Craven Mild Cup 1 1 0 0 100.00% List
NRL 45 27 16 2 60.00% List


Test Matches - By Team

Team Years Games W L D Win %  
Australia 1960 3 2 1 0 66.67% List

World Cup Matches - By Team

Team Years Games W L D Win %  
Australia 1960 3 2 1 0 66.67% List

Club Career


Team Season Games W L D Win %  
Balmain NSWRFL 1967 22 12 8 2 54.55% List
Balmain NSWRFL 1968 22 14 8 0 63.64% List
Balmain NSWRFL 1983 1 1 0 0 100.00% List
Overall 1967-1983 45 27 16 2 60.00% List


Team Years Games W L D Win %  
Balmain 1967-68, 1983 45 27 16 2 60.00% List

Contributions: Shawn Dollin, Andrew Ferguson, Rugby League Tables, Greg Fiveash, Bill Bates

Your Say

Anonymous says: Great player an a gentleman. Enjoyed watching him play. E???? (10/06/2015)

T Gwyn Evans says: Keith was a talented boy at Rugby,Soccer and cricket at a very young age. He grew up in Margam, Port Talbot, south Wales.
We used to play on a patch of land opposite his home.
Playing cricket we could never get him out !
i considered him as a friend. We played together for Aberavon
School Boys against Cardiff Boys at the Arms Park.
Not long after his family emigrated to Australia the rest is history. What a Talent!! (14/08/2015)

David Jones says: I knew Keith when he and I lived in Margam, Port Talbot and played a sort of touch rugby on the field opposite his home at 4 Tollgate Rd. We were about 10 years old at the time. His Mum used to feed us beef dripping on chunks of bread afterwards, He was pretty good even then ! (13/12/2015)

irene o"connor says: He will always remain my favorate player. A perfect gentleman on and off the field. He always made time to talk to young and old and made you feel his equal. I enjoyed watching him play. Because of him I became a tiger fan and to this day I remain one. I am now 66 and still watch all of the tigers games. Thank you Keith (10/03/2018)

Want to have your say about this player? Add a comment.