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Product Description

This is a very rare Leeds official Bukta Rugby League shirt from the 1984/85 season

SHIRT CONDITION - Shirt is in very good condition.

CONDITION DETAILS - The colours are bright. The logos on the front have light wear. The print on the back has fading. The number is excellent. 

SIZE -  Adults Medium.

Armpit to armpit 19 inches.Top of shoulder to bottom of shirt 27 inches

MADE BY - Bukta of 100% acrylic

FEATURES - Number 5 stitched on patch on the back. 

DETAIL - Shirt believed to be match worn from the 1984/85 season. The principal number 5 during the season was Neil Hunt however there were a number of other players who donned the shirt including Smith, Hague and Gill. 

See report of the season below taken from the Leeds Rhinos website

This was a ‘might have been’ year for the Loiners, the club reaching three semi finals in the four cup competitions on offer but falling at every penultimate hurdle. It was also the season that antipodean voices overwhelmed around Headingley Carnegie, the trickle of signings that had begun following the lifting of the overseas ban the year before, becoming a flood.

In all the Loiners recruited ten players in their roster of 37 from the southern hemisphere – it should have been eleven – were linked with several more; and finished the campaign with an Aussie at the helm for an ill-feted short stay.

Of the deca-recruits, three were returnees, Mark Laurie was unable to take up his second year option after suffering a broken wrist, and of the seven newcomers, five were from Queensland; a part legacy of their sensational display at Headingley Carnegie the previous October.

Test back rower Wally Fullerton-Smith, injury-blighted Gavin Jones and explosive Trevor Paterson were on that tour and Tony Currie – a replacement for Dean Bell – had already worn the Maroon in State of Origin. Utility Steve Bleakley was from the same Redcliffe club as Fullerton-Smith and Terry Webb.

The New South Wales contingent continued the Parramatta connection forged with Laurie and Jack Gibson; the bulk of their hugely successful squad ultimately playing over here. Neil Hunt was vying for a Test spot but the name that got the city and the game in a state of fervour was green and gold winger Eric Grothe.

Although he did not debut until New Year’s Day, the expectation of his arrival added ten per cent to the overall average home attendance and ‘the guru’ or ‘rolling thunder’ was among a host of top liners who graced the British game; Leeds also being heavily linked with Mal Meninga who went to Saints and Ray Price.

The season started on a desperately sad note for the club with the news that former Chairman Jack Myerscough had passed away aged 73. They were also to lose director and former General Manager Alfred Rutherford. It was hoped that the busiest summer in the club’s recent history and a sizeable squad would mean a genuine tilt for honours. Although early league form was patchy, including a disappointing, try-less capitulation in the first home game against St Helens; the early rounds of the Yorkshire Cup illustrated that promise with victories away at two of their bogey grounds. Teenager Roy Powell made his debut in a terrific win at Castleford and John Holmes was at his mercurial best, sending Gary Moorby in for a crucial early try, as Bradford were downed at Odsal.

Home league form was still a worry, Currie making a storming two-try debut against Oldham but it not being enough to secure the spoils. Widnes became Headingley’s first victims as their ill-discipline was summarily punished; Ian Wilkinson outstanding and Powell registering his first try but again the draw was unkind as Leeds were sent to the Boulevard in the county cup semi.

Despite a dogged hour’s performance, which had them only 6-1 behind, and Fullerton-Smith and Bleakley on debut, Garry Schofield’s second half hat trick saw Hull gain a third successive victory over the blue and amber in that competition.

In a parallel to this season with Tony Smith; Maurice Bamford was announced as the new Great Britain coach, operating in a part time capacity with his country until the season’s end and he was given a standing ovation by the fans prior to the game with Barrow. That match saw Hunt on debut on the wing owing to Paul Gill’s resurgence at full back which saw him grab a brace of tries.

Arguably, the best result of the season came at Hull Kingston Rovers, who were to finish as champions, Leeds heroically keeping their line in tact to secure a stunning victory with Fullerton-Smith scoring his first try and Neil Hague romping 60 metres for the clincher.

In the run up to defending the John Player Special Trophy, a third home loss, to Featherstone – with the Loiners unable to breach the whitewash – followed, as the first of two new clubs were welcomed to Headingley Carnegie. Gary Hetherington’s Sheffield Eagles, in only their eleventh match, were given a ten try trouncing, all but Hague’s two coming from Aussies. A comfortable win at Barrow found home debutants David Heselwood and Andy Sykes facing their former side and back at base, Loiners thrilled the BBC audience with a stunning 10-4 win over Wigan in the John Player; Currie scoring one of the tries of the season courtesy of a majestic pass from Holmes.

Currie followed that up with a magnificent two try display at Hull, where victory was the first in the league for eleven years, but St Helens brought any title pretensions crashing with a devastating late surge at Knowsley Road.

In the JPS quarter final, Leeds faced some familiar faces in neighbours Bramley’s ranks; Paul Fletcher, Peter Lister and Steve Pitchford appearing alongside a young Karl Harrison, Leeds easing through to again face Hull.

Grothe made his spectacular bow with a hat trick against Leigh but the weather then looked set to dictate with two months of constant freezing temperatures and snow. Consternation was expressed about the state of the Boothferry Park pitch in John Player semi but Hull adapted the better and easily skated through, Leeds keeping their programme going thanks to the undersoil heating at Headingley Carnegie which brought wins against Workington and Halifax.

The big mid-season signing brought one of the country’s best prospects when Loiners snapped up GB under 24’s hooker Colin Maskill from Wakefield for £40,000, as understudy to David Ward. In the Challenge Cup, a second new side, Bridgend, were welcomed and thrashed on a memorable snow-laden afternoon in the Preliminary round – Grothe claiming a 15 minute hat trick – to set up a mouth watering tie hosting Widnes. Like the year before in the John Player, Leeds won at Naughton Park in the league a week ahead of the cup clash for which new coach Malcolm Clift was in place. The former Canterbury supremo, who had just won the Australian title, took the reigns with Bamford seeing out his tenure as Director of Rugby but the disruption seemed to unsettle the side, the Chemics gaining comfortable revenge and clinically punishing two Leeds errors. Two defeats in their last eleven games meant a brief lead of the table and eventually a top four finish; the best for ten years, Grothe’s two magnificent long range try saving tackles at Oldham being the feature of a draw at the Watersheddings.

In the Premiership, the Roughyeds were easily accounted for and Leeds so nearly upset the Hull Kingston Rovers party at Craven Park in the semi final, producing a wonderful performance to go down by just a point as a number of the Southern Cross stars bade their farewell. During the season, several fringe players were released with Mark Gamson and Mark Campbell joining Sheffield, Wayne Heron going to Bradford, Russ Sowden (Batley), Andy Mackintosh (Featherstone) and Des Armitage and Pat Mitchell both having two loan spells each. Jeff Clare was taken on trial from Wigan when he moved to Carnegie to study and Paul Medley signed from the colts. Mark Conway, David Creasser and Roy Powell made their debuts for GB under 21’s against France.

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Customer Reviews

1984 1985 Leeds No 5 Match worn Rugby League Shirt Medium

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