Full name Mark Kerry Graham
29 September 1955
Height 191 cm
Weight 90 kg
North Sydney Bears 145
Wakefield Trinity 14
New Zealand 28
Rest of the World
Auckland Warriors 50
Mark Kerry Graham (born 29 September 1955 [1 ] ) is a New Zealand retired [2 ] rugby league footballer and coach. A back-rower and former captain of the New Zealand national rugby league team, he has been named as the greatest player the country has produced in the century from 1907 to 2006.
Playing career [ edit ]
Otahahu junior, Graham played in 29 tests, captaining the Kiwis side in 18 of them and scoring 7 tries from 1977 to 1988. In 1980 when playing in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership for the Norths club, he helped his side to victory in the grand final. That year in a Test match at Lang Park, Brisbane, Graham put a hit on Australian captain [3 ] Wally Lewis that crushed his oesophagus. At the end of the season he captained the [4 ] 1980 New Zealand rugby league tour of Great Britain and France.
In a trans-Tasman test at Lang Park on 18 June 1985,
 while serving as Kiwi captain Graham was deliberately taken out of the game by a high shot from Noel "Crusher" Cleal while playing brilliantly and inspirationally.  After winning premierships with his club in New Zealand he played eight seasons in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership with the Norths club under coach Graham Lowe, as well as the [5 ] New South Wales Rugby League premiership for the North Sydney Bears between 1981 and 1988. He also captained the Bears. In what was the last match of the 1988 Great Britain Lions tour, Graham played at second-row forward for the Kiwis in their victory, which saw them qualify for the final of the final of the 1985-1988 World Cup against Australia. In that match Graham also played at second-row forward, but New Zealand were unable to defeat the Kangaroos. At the end of the 1988 Winfield Cup season, Graham travelled to England to captain the newly promoted Wakefield Trinity ( captain) ( Heritage #1002) club in the 1988–89 Rugby Football League season. In 1989 his biography [6 ] Mark my words: The Mark Graham Story was published.
Post playing [ edit ]
In 1995 Graham was one of the initial inductees of the
NZRL Legends of League. The following year he was inducted into the [7 ] New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. He went on to coach the Auckland Warriors in the National Rugby League for two seasons in 1999 and 2000. He later became defensive coach for the Japanese rugby union club, Kintetsu.
In August, 2006 Graham was named at
second-row in the North Sydney Bears' . In 2007, he was named at second row in the New Zealand Kiwis Team of the Century Team of the Century and also further honoured as New Zealand's rugby league Player of the Century. He is an Auckland Rugby League Immortal. In 2008, Graham was also named at second-row in a [8 ] Norths Devils all-time greatest team.
References [ edit ]
Further reading [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]