Western Suburbs Squad 1985

Back Row: Gary McFarlane, Charlie Khalifeh, Peter Worth, Alan Fallah, Craig Clarke, Wayne Wigham, Terry Leabeater (Captain), Lee Crooks, Garry Webster, Bruce Clark, Murray Cowan, Russell Brinkworth, David Stafford
Second Row: Geoff Dillon, Mark Lawson, Mick Pinkerton, Gary Pym, Greg Duval, Ray Dib, Tom Nicholls, Darren Stevens, Michael Phillips, Steve Want
Third Row: Rick Wayde (Secretary), David Nowczynski, Chris Stephandellis, Paul Sheahan, Craig Neil, Stuart Mills, Greg Falkner, Kevin Watling, Danny O’Brien, Terry Donnellan, George Fahd, Herb Smailes (Trainer)
Fourth Row: John Jacobs (Under 23 Coach), Craig Young, David Spencer, John Cogger, Robert Browne, Noel Mancuso, Ken Gentle (First Grade Coach), Trevor Cogger, Mark Harrigan, Troy McGregor, Michael Neil, Steve Ghosn (Reserve Grade Coach)
Front Row: Mark Fehon (Ball Boy), Mark Robb, Steve Mullen, Grant Fyvie, Geoff Sutton, Brett Clark, Steve Ewer, Leo Epifania, Greg Brown, Jonathon Smailes (Sand Boy)

After losing an appeal to the High Court, Wests entered an uneasy truce with the NSWRL, with the hope that a new Board would be more sympathetic to Wests’ future. A key feature of the High Court decision was that Western Suburbs had suffered discrimination at the hands of the NSWRL and it seemed to temper the attitude of the League. Two key losses at the start of the season were flying winger Steve Broughton to Parramatta and Wayne Smith to Cronulla. On the plus side, Brett Gale came back from Balmain, Ian Schubert from Manly and Terry Leabeater from Canterbury. Wests finished the season with five wins and two draws, obviously still struggling under the avalanche of player losses.

Ian Schubert was a key re-signing in 1985, after having played in 1981

The key signing, however, was Englishman, Lee Crooks. At 19 he had become the youngest ever forward to play for Great Britain. He made an immediate impact on Wests’ performance. He made a huge impression in an 18-9 win over Penrith where he made 30 tackles by half-time, scored a try, set up another and put up the bomb for a third! Not surprisingly he became an instant crowd favourite.

Englishman Lee Crooks became an instant crowd favourite


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