As part of our recent “Live from Parra Leagues” edition of The Tip Sheet, we were privileged to interview Eels legend, Brett Kenny.
That word “legend” is often overused when reflecting on the careers of past players, but in Bert’s case, it’s probably not applied enough.
Brett Kenny was a winner.
The Eels won four premierships when he wore the Blue and Gold, and Wigan took out one of the most celebrated Challenge Cup Finals when Kenny opposed Sterlo in the 1985 decider.
On the field, Bert stood tall against players adjudged to be Immortals. He took the five-eighth spot from Wally Lewis on the 1982 Kangaroo tour, then replaced Mal Meninga at centre on the 1986 tour. When Kenny opposed Wally Lewis at five-eighth in Origin, NSW won 8 of the 12 clashes.
As far as individual accolades are concerned, Brett won two man of the match (Clive Churchill Medal) awards, The Lance Todd Trophy for best on field in a Challenge Cup Final, and the Golden Boot Award in 1985.
In our interview with Brett, we take a dive into some of the stories behind the stories. He recounts his time working as a cellar man at Parra Leagues, and looks back on his practical joke in the lead up to the 1981 grand final.
As our chat continues, he speaks about how he and Steve Ella would alternate positions, what it was like to be coached by Jack Gibson, and why no Eels players from that great era ever feature in discussions about the next Immortal.
Brett also touches on the hypothetical – what type of player would he be in the modern era.
We thoroughly enjoyed sharing the microphone with the man that we believe should be an Immortal, and it was even more special to record it before a full house in Pablos at Parra Leagues.
Accordingly, we present it to you as a stand-alone podcast episode.
Brett Kenny – Parramatta’s Immortal.