Queensland Sport Hall of Fame

Mr John Gleeson

Small in stature at 5ft6in, John Gleeson was a giant in rugby league circles and one of the premier players in the world during the 1960’s. Originally from Chinchilla, he played with All Whites in the Toowoomba competition and Brothers and Wynnum-Manly in Brisbane while representing Queensland 24 times from 1961-67. He played 10 Tests for Australia from 1964-67, losing just once, and made two Kangaroo tours of Great Britain, including the 1963-64 trip on which Australia won the coveted Ashes in England for the first time, and one to New Zealand. Fondly known as ‘swivel hips’, he also captained Queensland in a wonderful career in the No.6 that blazed a trail followed so magnificently in recent years by Wally Lewis and Darren Lockyer. Yet ironically one of his greatest triumphs was in the No.7 in the second Test of the 1967-68 tour of Britain after the home side had won the first Test. Deputising for the injured Billy Smith, he filled in superbly at halfback as fellow Queenslander Peter Gallagher led a depleted Aussie side to one of the great upset wins. Now virtually a one-man operation as president of the Chinchilla Bulldogs at 74, he is a worthy inclusion alongside the greats of Queensland sport.

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