Was Cliff Lyons' 300th for Manly actually his 303rd?

Reserve Grader
Here is one for the oldies. @Chip and Chase , you're the record-keeper on Silvertails.

I, along with thousands of fellow Silvertails, was on the hill on Sunday 11 July 1999 to cheer on the great Cliff Lyons as he ran out for his 300th first grade game for Manly. Only, was it Cliffy's 300th game for the club or in actual fact his 303rd? Cliffy's wikipedia, AFL Tables and Rugby League Project all tell me Cliffy ended up playing 309 games for Manly.


If you see the screenshot below, it clearly states Cliffy was playing his 299th game for Manly vs. Canberra in round 15. He played the next week vs. Cronulla (which incidentally, was also Andrew Ettingshausen 300th first grade game for the Sharks). If the Canberra game was his 299th and he ended up playing another 10 games for the Sea Eagles (which he did), that would indicate he did play 309 games for Manly - making his 300th actually in a big loss to Cronulla at Shark Park.

Screen Shot 2022-07-30 at 2.25.58 pm.png


Obviously, 23 years later.. and it really doesn't matter all that much. But at least it gets us off the jersey topic for a second and we can re-live some Cliffy magic vs. Wests.

 
Bencher
I remember when he came back for his first game in 99 making a surprise comeback after retiring in 98.

From my recollection It was against Newcastle up there. Manly down 0-16 - second touch of the ball he and put a player though a wide gap as if the defence was not there. It all came down to his timing which was the best ever.

If any of you scribes could post the try I’d love to see it again.

NYEagle
 
True Supporter
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@simon_eagle the MWRLFC "Footy Club" paid someone to go through all the archives and rugby league records a few years back to clarify player numbers and games played from what I was told. That meant an adjustment of sorts to previously issued player numbers as there were a few first grade players that were missed from the early days of the club. Anyway if you take that list as "gospel" then it says Cliffy played 309 as Player #328 (this list appears in every Footy Club Annual Report)

1659161345181.png

Funnily enough his Rugby League Project pages says he played 310 games for the club in total, but 309 Australian League games. When you go to the actual game list there are 310 games shown but one of them is the World Club Challenge in '87 against Wigan which may not count as an NRL game?

Below is the list of his last 12 games, so assuming that his 301st appearance was actually his 300th NRL game, then that was indeed the game against Cronulla

1659161784642.png



Just like Cliffy on the field his match tally will remain an enigma
 
Reserve Grader
@simon_eagle the MWRLFC "Footy Club" paid someone to go through all the archives and rugby league records a few years back to clarify player numbers and games played from what I was told. That meant an adjustment of sorts to previously issued player numbers as there were a few first grade players that were missed from the early days of the club. Anyway if you take that list as "gospel" then it says Cliffy played 309 as Player #328 (this list appears in every Footy Club Annual Report)

View attachment 21797
Funnily enough his Rugby League Project pages says he played 310 games for the club in total, but 309 Australian League games. When you go to the actual game list there are 310 games shown but one of them is the World Club Challenge in '87 against Wigan which may not count as an NRL game?

Below is the list of his last 12 games, so assuming that his 301st appearance was actually his 300th NRL game, then that was indeed the game against Cronulla

View attachment 21798


Just like Cliffy on the field his match tally will remain an enigma

Thanks mate. Legend! I was wondering whether or not that Wigan counted, but as this table suggests, it was 309 games for Manly in the NSWRL/ARL/NRL.
Screen Shot 2022-07-30 at 4.42.31 pm.png


And even if the statisticians did count that Wigan game, his 300th would still been 2 weeks prior to the Wests game - against Melbourne. The only other thing I can think of was Cliffy being an unused bench player for a few of those 309. Unlikely as that is, Bozo played him on the bench - I think in early 1993 - as he was recovering from injury and Tooves/Hasler were filling his role admirably.

For the younger folks on here, I suggest some afternoon viewing of this 1991 minor semi versus Canberra. Cliffy was skipper and although we lost, I don't think I've seen a better performance from a Manly player. He really was an enigma and a magician.

 
Reserve Grader
While we're on a nostalgia train, I was recently viewing old pages from the legendary supporter's website - One Eyed Eagle - using the Wayback Machine. Old timers would remember it fondly. A poll was asked late in '99 on whether Manly fans supported the merger with North Sydney. A staggering 69% said yes. Hard for younger fans to work this one out but back then, things were so uncertain. No club was safe... well unless your club supported Rupert Murdoch and Super League, of course.

OEE copy.png
 
Bencher
Premium Member
Thanks mate. Legend! I was wondering whether or not that Wigan counted, but as this table suggests, it was 309 games for Manly in the NSWRL/ARL/NRL.
View attachment 21800

And even if the statisticians did count that Wigan game, his 300th would still been 2 weeks prior to the Wests game - against Melbourne. The only other thing I can think of was Cliffy being an unused bench player for a few of those 309. Unlikely as that is, Bozo played him on the bench - I think in early 1993 - as he was recovering from injury and Tooves/Hasler were filling his role admirably.

For the younger folks on here, I suggest some afternoon viewing of this 1991 minor semi versus Canberra. Cliffy was skipper and although we lost, I don't think I've seen a better performance from a Manly player. He really was an enigma and a magician.

I listened to that on the radio and it was quite something to hear the commentators say it was a magical performance.
 

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