Vale Ken Thornett

Vale Ken Thornett

The rugby league community today mourn the passing of legendary Australian and Parramatta player Ken Thornett, who has passed away aged 78.

Thornett played 130 matches for Parramatta between 1962 and 1971, and was captain-coach of the club in 1965-66.

He represented Australia in 22 matches in 1963-64, including 12 Tests. In 2008, the fullback was named as one of the 100 Greatest Players of the Century.

 “Ken Thornett is a name which has been revered and will continue to be revered,” NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg said.

“Ken played the game at the highest level – representing Parramatta, NSW and Australia. His time at Leeds was also typically memorable.

“The western grandstand at Pirtek Stadium was named after him, highlighting the regard he is held in by the club and its supporters.

“He will always be part of a very special group – the 100 greatest players in the first 100 years of Rugby League in this country. He will be missed,” Todd Greenberg concluded.

Ken played rugby union for Randwick and represented NSW before signing with Leeds Rugby League in 1959

A superb attacking fullback, he debuted for Parramatta v Balmain at Leichhardt Oval, 20/5/1962 (Rd 7)

He was captain-coach of Parramatta 1965-66

Thornett was inducted as a Legend of the Parramatta club in 2002 and in 2008 he was named as one of the ARL’s 100 Greatest Players of the Century (1908-2007)

The western grandstand at Pirtek (Parramatta) Stadium is named the Ken Thornett Stand and the Parramatta Eels’ annual Players’ Player of the Year receives the Ken Thornett Medal

The Thornett family have advised that it will be a private funeral by invitation only.

Information courtesy of NRL and David Middleton, League Information Services

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