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Vale Noel Kelly

Wests Tigers are saddened by the passing of rugby league icon Noel Kelly and would like to extend their condolences to his family.

Having excelled at club, state and national level throughout his illustrious career, Noel “Ned” Kelly represented Western Suburbs, Queensland and Australia with aplomb and class and was named at hooker in all three sides’ Team of the 20th Century.

Equally adept at playing hooker or prop, Kelly debuted for Queensland in 1959 and immediately made his way to the national team, where he would remain until 1968. Kelly played an instrumental role in the breakthrough success enjoyed by the Kangaroos in 1963 as well as the 1967 Ashes victory and would go on to play 28 Tests for Australia.

At club level, Kelly joined Western Suburbs in 1961 with whom would play in three consecutive Grand Finals. He captain-coached the Magpies from 1966 to 1969, which would pave the way for further coaching stints at Wollongong and North Sydney.

After football, Kelly continued to have a profound impact on rugby league as a Board Member and Ambassador for the Men of League Foundation.

His legacy and memory will live on at Wests Tigers through the club’s annual end-of-season Presentation Night, with the Player of the Year — the Kelly-Barnes Award — named in honour of Noel Kelly and Balmain fullback Keith Barnes.

Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe paid tribute to Kelly’s role in rugby league.

“On behalf of all at Wests Tigers, I’d like to extend my condolences to Noel’s family and those who knew him well,” Pascoe said. “Noel not only played a key role in the success of Western Suburbs, Queensland and Australia, but was also a significant contributor in helping to establish the strong history of Wests Tigers and the connection to its foundation clubs.

“This is a very sad day for our game as a whole, and I am sure Noel’s legacy will continue to live on in the rich annals of rugby league history forever.”

The thoughts of all at Wests Tigers are with Noel's family at this time.


With COVID-19 restrictions lifted for funerals, all are welcome to attend Noel's funeral with appropriate social distancing measures in place.

When: Friday, June 19, 2020

Time: 1:00pm AEST

Where: St Anthony's in the Field (46 Myoora Road, Terrey Hills)

RSVP: Name and phone number of all guests to

Access: Drop-off is available at until 1:00pm AEST. Parking is available next door at Miramare Gardens with public transport recommended.

There will be a wake to follow from 3:00pm at Miramare Gardens, with name and phone number RSVP required of all guests to