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Cliff Lyons 1985 to 1999

Discussion in 'Ex-Player Profiles' started by The Wheel, May 14, 2005.

By The Wheel on May 14, 2005 at 5:00 AM
  1. The Wheel

    The Wheel Well-Known Member

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    Cliff Lyons is arguably the most popular player ever to wear the Maroon and White. He certainly stands proudly next to fellow legends like Bob Fulton, Graham Eadie, Geoff Toovey as one of the very bes[​IMG]t players to represent the club.

    Clifford Patrick Lyons was born in Narrandera on 19 October 1961.

    The Lyons family moved to Sydney in 1969. He played both Australian Rules and Rugby League in the Cronulla Sutherland area, but it was at rugby league that he excelled. In 1981 Cliffy was graded by Cronulla to play in the Sharks Under 23 side as a lock and second rower.



    In 1982 Cliff was back in the bush playing for the Gundagai Tigers. In 1983, with Cliffy in the side, Gundagai won the Group 9 Premiership after a 20 year drought. Cliffy&&aposs form attracted interest from a number of Sydney clubs. He was brought to Sydney in 1985 by the new North Sydney coach Greg Hawick who coached Cliff during his days playing for Gundagai.

    Cliff made his first grade debut for Norths in a 15-10 win over Illawarra in Wollongong on 14 March 1985. Norths had a wretched year in 1985 culminating in the sacking of coach Greg Hawick and Club Secretary Ken McCaffrey. Cliff had had enough stating that he was "sick of the bitching and in-fighting at the club".

    Easts and St George were interested in signing Cliff, but he was looking for a club that would allow him to play his style of football and he signed with Manly on 4 September 1985. Before commencing at Manly Cliff played the 85/86 English season with Leeds and did not return to Australia until April 1986. His debut in reserve grade immediately impressed first grade coach Bob Fulton and he made his first grade debut for Manly against Penrith at Brookvale Oval on 27 April 1986.

    With "Fatty" Vautin breaking his arm in Cliff's debut match, Cliffy was to play out of position at lock for much of the 1986 season. Nevertheless, Cliffy had an impressive first year with Manly winning Manly&&aposs "Clubman of the Year Award". But it was 1987 that Cliffy really came to the fore playing State of Origin for NSW and winning a premiership with Manly.

    With Cliffy feeding a brilliant Manly backline, Manly ran in 95 tries for the season and emphatically beat Canberra in the Grand Final. Cliffy opened the scoring with a solo try and went on to win the Clive Churchill Medal for the best player in the Grand Final that Manly won 18-8.

    1990 was another big year for Cliffy winning the Gold Dally M Award for Player of the Year and touring with the Kangaroos to England and France. Australia lost the Frst Test against England and Cliffy was brought into the Second and Third Tests. His role in those two tests is legendary and without him Australia would have undoubtedly lost the Ashes series.

    His try that put Australia in front 10-6 in the second half of the Second test, at the end of a 15 pass movement in which Cliff handled the ball three times is one of the best tries ever seen in a rugby league Test match. Later at 10 all Cliffy threw the pass that sent Ricky Stuart careering downfield to set up the match winning try for Mal Meninga.

    In 1994 Cliffy won a swathe of Awards: including the Dally M Gold Award for the second time. Premiership glory came again in 1996 with the Grand Final win over St George. At 35 it seemed to everyone that it would have been a good time to retire on a winning note. But Cliffy loves playing football and continued playing first grade for another three years until his retirement from first grade in 1999 and even after that played for Umina on the Central Coast and more recently in the Manly Warringah A Grade competition with Asquith and Narraweena.

    In 1999 Cliffy tied with Nicky Winmar as "Aboriginal Sportsman of the Year". Cliffy played 309 first grade games for Manly scoring 80 tries and scoring 336 points.

    Cliff Lyons A real legend of the Sea Eagles

    Sources: http://soaringseaeagles.tripod.com/
     

Comments

Discussion in 'Ex-Player Profiles' started by The Wheel, May 14, 2005.

    1. The Wheel

      The Wheel Well-Known Member

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      Cliff Lyons is arguably the most popular player ever to wear the Maroon and White. He certainly stands proudly next to fellow legends like Bob Fulton, Graham Eadie, Geoff Toovey as one of the very best players to represent the club.

      Clifford Patrick Lyons was born in Narrandera on 19 October 1961.

      The Lyons family moved to Sydney in 1969. He played both Australian Rules and Rugby League in the Cronulla Sutherland area, but it was at rugby league that he excelled. In 1981 Cliffy was graded by Cronulla to play in the Sharks Under 23 side as a lock and second rower.

      Read More
       
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    2. MadMarcus

      MadMarcus Local Lunatic 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      My earliest Manly memory is Cliffy carving them up in 1987. Sometimes the word "legend" is used a bit too lightly, but there is no question that Cliffy is certainly a true Manly legend.
       
    3. HappilyManly

      HappilyManly MWTS Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      Superlatives are not enough for Cliffy :angel:

      Every time he touched the ball, which was often, Manly Fans held their breath for yet another mesmerising pass or kick into the corner.
      Suspended animation is the best description of his passes, that literally hung in the air for a runner to grasp.

      Recall him not being renewed by in 1999:mad:
      Manly were hopeless, Fans demanded Cliffy's return, which was about a month into the season, and by Round 9, God was the leading tryscorer:exclamation:

      The Saviour of the 1990 Kangaroo Tour without a doubt :angel:

      Just love Cliffy to bits :heart:
       
    4. SeaEagleRock8

      SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      The irony is that early in his career, including at Manly, he was frequently derided by fans as his adventurous plays didn't always come off. Credit to his coaches for sticking with him as he blossomed into one of the greatest and most entertaining ball-players of all time.

      Leaving aside our current stars, he's one of my all-time faves, along with Bozo, Wombat, Gibbs, and a couple of choices that may surprise some: Rowdy Shearer and ... Hoppa snr!
       
    5. The Who

      The Who Well-Known Member

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      I doubt in this professional age that there will be another footballer like Cliff. He wasn't buffed, but he was tough. He wouldn't run unless he had to, preferring to set up others. He tried things that most of today's 'programmed' players wouldn't dare for fear of making a mistake.
      He would be one player who would make today's stat sheets lie; they could never show his true genius in raw numbers. I'm trying to think of recent players who had his ability to do the unexpected; perhaps Preston Campbell, Matt Bowen or Jonathan Thurston. But, no. There is no-one really like Cliff.
       
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    6. Kiwi Eagle

      Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      So my favourite ever player signed for Manly on my birthday, learn something new every day !!
       
    7. Chip and Chase

      Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      Cliffy was a freakshow, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.
       
    8. Arko-admirer

      Arko-admirer Active Member

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      Haven't logged on for a while but am loving this reposting of the old player profiles. They are very nicely written.
      Cliffy to Menzies was one of the great double acts of modern league. I heard this said when he played and I think it still true that Cliffy had a hand in more Manly tries than any other player. Probably daylight second.
       
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    9. 1969

      1969 Well-Known Member

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      Cliffy, my all time favourite, whacking in a few gaspers at halftime haha, classic!
       
    10. Hamster Huey

      Hamster Huey Space Invader Premium Member

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      Ah, memories...

      Time to drag From The Bush To Brookvale off the bookshelf for another read.
       
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    11. niccipops

      niccipops un echidna spillo mia bevanda Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      Somebody I know might have a teddy called Cliffy. The man is no doubt close to one of the legendest Manly legends ever.
      Legendest - needed to make up a word to sum up Cliffy.
       
    12. silvertail

      silvertail Well-Known Member

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    13. NYEagle

      NYEagle Well-Known Member

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      Ill never forget the day he came out of retirement against Newcastle. Manly down about 16-0 looking hopeless. He came on and from a scrum delivered the most sublime pass that sliced the Newkie defence like a hot knife on butter.
      If anyone can post this play I will be most grateful.
      NYEagle
       
    14. Cliffy4PM

      Cliffy4PM Active Member

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      Why did the opposition just stop playing when he had the ball? Magic I tell ya, MAGIC![/u]
       
    15. ManlyBacker

      ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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      So spot on there The Who. They wouldn't get a run under coaches like Bennett or Bellamy. But the inbuilt genius is what tore the opposition apart. Seeing Cliffy with a fag hanging out his mouth and a TAB ticket in one hand and a schooner in the other you would never imagine his ability but he had it (and knew it too). Cliffy to Beaver was one of the greatest combinations of all time. What a Manly legend.
       
    16. KOMORI

      KOMORI Born and bred an Eagle

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      So many memories!!

      My fave: being a touch drunk at Hill Street Nightclub in the early '90s, and we were up against a pretty strong Newcastle outfit. Score was either nil-all or 2-2 at half time in a great game of defensive footy from both sides...

      Then Cliffy decided enough was enough.

      He's magicked his way into room down the short side and threw a dummy soooo damn perfect to the TOUCHY!! I swear, to this day, that the touchy dropped his flag and tried to catch the ball it was just sooooooo sweet. Everyone from the Knights fell for it and by the time they realised they'd been bought, Cliffy was lighting a bunger walking up the tunnel, job done!!!
       
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    17. 1969

      1969 Well-Known Member

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      I love it, and well told KOMORI, I'm taking that one as my fav as well if you don't mind!

      Have you got a few more?
       
    18. malroon

      malroon Active Member

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      IMO, the greatest manly player ever...
       

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