Kevin Langdon – A Cheeky Half Back
It was back on the 15th of June 2012 when Northern Sydney Welfare Officers Denis Bendal and Ken Vessey first had the pleasure of meeting Kevin. We have stayed in touch with him since and on 7 September 2016, Norm Pounder and Ken Vessey paid another visit to his Manly residence and, as before, we were amazed by Kevin’s outlook, his attitude to get on with life and the commendable way in which he handles his disability.
Kevin commenced his rugby league career with the Guilford RL Club as a very cheeky halfback, progressing through Parramatta’s SG Ball representative team prior to being graded with the Parramatta District RLF Club in 1973 as an 18 year old. Here, he played every game in reserve grade under Coach Billy Rayner, a noted representative Hooker (you can imagine the scrum tricks Billy taught Kevin).
In 1974, he was “head hunted” to join the Canterbury Bankstown District RLF Club under the control of Peter “Bullfrog” Moore and well respected Coach Malcolm Clift. He had a successful year playing in two Grand Finals and was really enjoying his career. He recalled that the accomplished lock forward John Peek was the first 1st grade player to cut down his jersey at the elbows and to his sorrow he recalled “Bullfrog” would not let him do the same.
Regrettably, at the end of the 1974 season, the NSW Rugby League Hierarchy introduced the “13 Player Import Rule” and he was forced to leave the Canterbury Bankstown District RLF Club.
In 1975, he enjoyed playing 1st grade for the Port Kembla RLF Club, where many other ex Sydney players were in the opposing teams through the “13 Player Import Rule”.
He then had the urge to travel. In 1976, he went to England and played a number of 1st grade games with the Widnes RL Club, joining up with Mick Adams and Doug Laughton, a couple of English mates from their days at Canterbury Bankstown RLF Club before retiring and touring.
In 2008, Kevin accidently fell from a veranda, suffering severe spinal injuries resulting in him becoming a C6/C7 quadriplegic. Since that time, Kevin has undergone many operations and lengthy stays in hospital and today is cared for by dedicated professional carers plus his loving son Blake and daughter Lara. Kevin told us that Lara will be getting married in the near future, much to the delight of he and his wonderful group of friends and neighbours.
Kevin regularly attends our local Men of League functions on his electronic wheelchair and is always happy to see us when we visit.
We wished Kevin all the best and we plan to see him again in the near future.