FLASHBACK: July 1969

Wests under-18 star, Wayne Stewart kicked a 58 yards field goal in a Brisbane district match, followed by a 56yd penalty goal five minutes later.
Stewart, who would go on to play for Australia in 1972, was featured in Jack Reardon’s ‘Spotlight on Rugby League’ column, which on this occasion concentrated on the game’s big kickers.
Former Aussie rules star, Barry Spring was all the rage in Brisbane senior rugby league in ’69, kicking field goals from all over the place, given they were worth two points in those days.
Peter Lobegeiger and Nev Harman had set the trend in previous seasons, while in Sydney, Test fullback, Eric Simms was the field goal maestro.
Reardon revealed that the longest kick for goal he had ever seen was a 67 yards place kick by Maori star, Jack Hemi in 1938.
“Now, when I describe this kick, you might scoff, but I was on the field at the time and saw it happen, and former cricket ground curator, Jack Farquhar, would back me up, because he showed me the mark from where Hemi took the kick, and it was 12 yards (measured) inside the Kiwi’ half of the field,” Reardon wrote.
“That’s 67 yards to the cross bar, but Farquhar was adamant the ball hit the pickets of the Gabba ground on the full, behind the goal posts at the East Brisbane State School end after passing over the cross bar.
“It was a balmy mid-winter day as I remember it, no wind.
“When I told my Melbourne friends this, they said it ranked with my story about the fish (a seven lb Yellow Belly) which a fishing party caught outside of Goondiwindi, only to see it going up a 50ft tree in the jaws of a goanna.”
In the same column, Jack mentioned a Valleys halfback by the name of George Souvlis, who was widely known as ‘the king’.
And we thought there was only one ‘king’.

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