Footy great Bob Kellaway. Picture: Seven Sport
Footy great Bob Kellaway. Picture: Seven Sport

A cold beer with . . . front-rower who delivered for clubs

Michael Nunn

IN the 1980's in Brisbane Rugby League, Bob Kellaway's role was to truck it up for Souths, Brothers and the Jets.

The lanky front rower did it for over a decade and played two Origin games for Queensland in a startling career. I braced for impact and poured a beer with Kellaway.

How did you get to Souths?

I was playing A Grade in Maryborough and I played so much rep stuff that last year that I barely played for the my club. So Souths noticed me down in Brisbane playing and I packed up and came down in 1978. Greg Veivers was at Souths so it did not take much convincing to get me there to play with him.

Does the 1979 grand final still burn?

No not really, although plenty of Valleys players will kindly remind me of it when we see each other.

Someone has to lose and it was us that day but 26-0 does not have fond memories. Valleys were just too good.

Why the move to Brothers?

Wayne Bennett left Souths and went to Brothers and I went there with him, Tony Obst and Gary Walker. Then when Bennett went back to Souths I went with him after Bob McCarthy left at the end of 1983.

You did not have much luck in grand finals - 1984 Wynnum 42-8 and 1979 Valleys 26-0?

Yeah thanks for bringing that up. What does that make my two grand finals in Brisbane - 68-8 and two losses. Wynnum did not exactly take the win graciously either which made it hard to take. I was on a plane to England to play for Bradford the next day so that helped.

I played in Souths 1979, 26-0 loss, and left to Brothers so missed the 1981 win against Redcliffe and then played 1984 and was beaten badly by Wynnum and left so missed the 1985 win against Wynnum.

You came back and played for the Jets. How did you find your time at Ipswich?

It was great, terrific bunch in Ipswich. I do not live too far from Ipswich now at Helidon, very enjoyable time at Ipswich. Ipswich seems to just produce good blokes so it was a very happy time.

You played two State of Origins for Queensland. Tell us about that?

I am not sure if it counts as two or one. I sat on the bench for the whole game in 1982. I think Gene Miles might have got on but I sat there but I got on in 1984. My bench mate that game was Tony Currie and we both got on in a series win. Origin was a fantastic experience.

You played a lot of football with Mal Meninga. How was it having him with you every week?

Mal and I were great mates and we got on really well. He was out in the centres and I used to run a bit wide so we had a good combination. I would say to him I will run around you and give me the ball because I am faster than you are. We were both in England at the same time too; Mal was playing for St. Helens while I was at Bradford but we sort of did not tackle each other too hard.

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