Liam Fulton

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Liam Fulton
Liam Fulton (22 May 2005).jpg
Personal information
Full name Liam Mark Fulton
Nickname Bozo
Born (1984-08-08) 8 August 1984 (age 30)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height 187 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 95 kg (14 st 13 lb)
Playing information
Position Lock, Second-row, Five-eighth, Hooker
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2003–2008 Wests Tigers 77 18 0 0 72
2009 Huddersfield Giants 17 4 0 0 16
2010-–2014 Wests Tigers 85 19 0 0 76
Total 179 41 0 0 164
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2011 NRL All Stars 1 0 0 0 0
2011–2012 City Origin 2 0 0 0 0
As of 27 April 2014
Source: NRL Stats RLP League Central

Liam Mark Fulton (born 8 August 1984 in Westmead, New South Wales) is a retired Australian rugby league footballer. He played for the Wests Tigers in the National Rugby League (NRL) competition. Fulton primarily played at lock.

Fulton is considered to be a jokester, known for making prank phone calls,[1][2][3] but is also a noted clubman.[4] Former team-mate Benji Marshall described him as, "not the biggest, he's not the strongest in the gym, he doesn't look athletic with his shirt off. He weighs only 96 kilograms. But he puts that body on the line every week, he makes his tackles and I have never played with a second-rower who runs a better line. He is so talented."[5]

Playing career[edit]

Fulton started playing junior football for Greystanes Devils under-7s when he was four years old.[6]

While attending Westfields Sports High School, Fulton played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 2002,[7] and captained the S.G. Ball Cup team to victory in the Grand Final in 2002 while playing for the Western Suburbs Magpies.

Having recently turned 19, Fulton made his debut from the bench in the last game of the 2003 season. He played three games in 2004, before becoming a regular fixture in first grade in 2005.

Fulton again tasted success in 2005 when the Wests Tigers defeated the North Queensland Cowboys in the 2005 NRL grand final to win the club's first NRL premiership. As NRL Premiers Wests faced Super League champions Bradford Bulls in the 2006 World Club Challenge. Fulton played from the interchange bench in the Tigers' 30-10 loss. This early success in his career was tempered by a serious shoulder injury in the opening game of the 2006 season, which sidelined him for the whole season.

Due to salary cap issues Wests Tigers were forced to let Fulton go to Huddersfield Giants for the 2009 season, and was a member of the team that played in the Challenge Cup final.[8] In October 2009, Fulton signed a two year contract to return to the Wests Tigers from 2010.[9]

In 2011, Fulton made his representative debut, playing for first NRL All Stars, and later City Origin.

Midway through 2011, Fulton was given permission to negotiate with other clubs as Wests Tigers struggled to fit incoming forward Adam Blair under the salary cap. Fulton said of the opportunity, "There's a lot of talk going around signing players and people having to leave but at the end of the day I've got another two years here."[10] He ended up remaining with the club, with former team-mate Mark O'Neill describing his end-of-season form as, "career best."[11]

An injury disrupted season for the Wests Tigers saw Fulton playing games at hooker[12] and five-eighth in 2012.[13] He still made 778 tackles, placing him in the top 20 for most tackles in the NRL for the regular season.[14] At the end of the year, he received the club's Noel Kelly Medal for the best forward.[15]

Before the beginning of the 2013 season, Fulton signed a new contract to remain with club until the end of the 2016 season, saying, "I'm really pleased with this new contract. To be a one NRL club player means a lot to me."[16] He played in 21 games in 2013, leading the team with 834 tackles.[17] At the end of the season he was awarded the club's Best and Fairest and Player's Player.[18]

Knocked unconscious in the first game of the 2014 season, Fulton was unable to return to the field. Wests Tigers, who were winning at the time, went on to suffer a defeat. Fulton later said, "I've been concussed that many times that I'm probably beyond it now, to be honest. You get paid well and I think everyone knows that there's going to be head knocks involved and if you don't want to cop a head knock you don't play really."[19] Fulton announced his immediate retirement from the game on 10 July 2014.

Highlights[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nick Walshaw (5 December 2009). "Tiger has Kyle in his sights". Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Will Swanton (23 January 2009). "Tigers' Pom fits in with the lunatics". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  3. ^ James Phelps (11 June 2011). "Epic prank catches out Wade McKinnon". Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Chris Barrett (10 September 2010). "Dr Jekyll puts Mr Hyde on the backburner for finals preparation". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Benji Marshall (11 September 2011). "Great victory smells like team spirit". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  6. ^ Daniel Lane (2009). Forever Brothers. Lane Cove, New South Wales: Dolphin Press. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-9803578-5-1. 
  7. ^ "SportingPulse Homepage for Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League". SportingPulse. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  8. ^ Pete Barrow. "FULTON'S BIG FAMILY AFFAIR! Liam's lot fly in from far and wide as Huddersfield gear up for Wembley Challenge Cup action.". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "Liam Fulton and Daniel Fitzhenry return to Wests Tigers". Fox Sports News (Australia). Retrieved 16 October 2009. 
  10. ^ Chris Barrett, Glenn Jackson (2 June 2011). "Blair coup not bloodless as Tigers stalwarts consider futures". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Andrew Bryan & Amie Lindsell (15 September 2011). "Tigers better than '05: O'Neill". nrl.com. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Fulton replaces Farah for Tigers". Sky News. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Liam Fulton says Benji Marshall will be playing a dual play-making role for the Wests Tigers". Courier Mail. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "NRL STATISTICS". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  15. ^ Wayne Cousins (28 September 2012). "Aaron Woods named Player of the Year". weststigers.com.au. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Fulton re-signs with Tigers". ABC News. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "Wests Tigers Player List". nrl.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "Liam Fulton wins 2013 Best & Fairest award". weststigers.com.au. 4 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  19. ^ Daniel Lane (18 March 2014). "Liam Fulton accepts dementia could be part of playing league". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 March 2014.