John McLeod’s newest challenge
John McLeod loves a challenge, especially when it’s sporting.
The no-nonsense prop played with West Magpies and the Canberra Raiders for five seasons in the early eighties. His trademark was leading from the front and now, even though he is in a wheelchair, he hasn’t changed.
The 60-year-old played in the Tweed District Committee’s 8th Annual Bowls Day in November, showing his determination on the green.
A car crushed his right foot in 1989 and his lost his leg below the knee in 1992. In 2004, he went into hospital for a left knee replacement but infection set in and his leg was amputated at the knee.
He started his football playing with the NQ under 18 side which beat Great Britain 17-14 in 1977.
In 1978, he played in the Brisbane Valleys side which beat Easts Tigers in the grand final 14-10.
He played in the Queensland side which was beaten by NSW at Lang Park in 1979.
“Their side was packed with Queenslanders including Arthur Beetson,” remembers McLeod.
He then played for Wests and Canberra before starting his player-coach career.
McLeod took NSW south coast team Narooma to their first grand final in 55 years in 1986 where they lost by one try.
In 1987 and 1988 he took Cowra and Armidale from cellar dwellers to finish third on their respective ladders.
He hung up his boots and clipboard in 1989 after Bowen failed to perform.
McLeod represented the Australian disabled team at the Far Eastern and Southern Games in China in 1992.
Now he has found a new challenge and for the past 18 months, has been impressing in lawn bowls.
Representing the powerful Tweed Heads club, he finished 12th in the singles and teamed with Shane Kerr, of Helensvale, to claim 14th spot in the pairs.
“Now I’m anxiously waiting to see if I make the Queensland side to compete at the Australian championships in Perth next May,” John concluded.