Ken 'Arko' Arthurson

Playing Career

Vital Statistics

Full Name
Kenneth Richard Arthurson
Tuesday, 1st October, 1929
Current Age
94 years and 256 days
Place Of Birth
Glebe, New South Wales, Australia

Honours & Awards

Based only on data available in the RLP database. This information should be used as a guide only.

RLIF Spirit Of Rugby League Award


The ninth Chairman of the Australian Board of Control and President of the NSWRL had a long and influential career in the code. In 1953, while captain-coaching Parkes, the promising playing career of the 23-year-old former Manly halfback suddenly ended when he suffered a skull fracture. Thankfully Arthurson, who played in Manly's maiden grand final appearance against Souths in 1951, recovered from the shocking injury and his talents were not lost to the game. Taking over as coach, the Sea Eagles played in two unsuccessful grand finals against St George (1957 & 1959) during his five seasons in that role. In 1961 Arthurson was appointed club treasurer, and following the death of Jack Munro two years later, became Manly Club Secretary (St George's Frank Facer and Arthurson were the first full-time secretaries appointed by Sydney clubs). Under his guidance over the next twenty years, Manly shook off its bridesmaid status to win premierships in 1972-73, 1976 & 1978. 'Arko's' single-mindedness in bringing to the club the best players available drew criticism but nobody could argue with his results. In 1970 he was joint-manager of Australia's World Cup squad and following the resignation of Kevin Humphreys in 1983 he assumed the code's highest office as President of the ARL. In his time as leader, Australian rugby league continued to expand and prosper while maintaining its dominance in the international arena. In 1986 the ARL became an incorporated body and he took over the dual role as President of the NSWRL the following year. Awarded an AM in 1988, Ken Arthurson later fought a 'life or death' battle with the breakaway Super League. While he weathered the storm in true statesmanlike manner, the fight undoubtedly took its toll and he resigned his post when the professional code split into two camps for the 1997 season. Arthurson was a staunch critic of the NRL and was a straight shooter whenever criticism was warranted - attacking the ARL after a funding debacle in 1999 and correctly predicting the end of the Manly-Norths merger because of political infighting. He retired as Chairman of the Manly Leagues Club in 2004. Autobiography; ‘Arko’: My Game (1997).

Playing 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   Comp Wins App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Country Carnival - 1 - -   - - 1 0 0 100.00% List
NSWRFL Premiership (NRL) - 41 14 -   - 42 23 18 0 56.10% List
NSWRFL Finals - 3 1 -   - 3 2 1 0 66.67% List

Club Career

NSWRFL Premiership (NRL) - By Year

Team Season   App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Manly NSWRFL 1950   3 1 -   - 3 1 2 0 33.33% List
Manly NSWRFL 1951   20 6 -   - 18 12 8 0 60.00% List
Manly NSWRFL 1952   18 7 -   - 21 10 8 0 55.56% List

NSWRFL Premiership (NRL) - By Team

Team Years   App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Manly 1950-52   41 14 -   - 42 23 18 0 56.10% List

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Contributions: Rugby League Tables, Greg Fiveash, Andrew Ferguson, Paul Carter, Alan Katzmann, Shawn Dollin, Max Turner