Newtown RLFC farewells Gordon Clifford
- the man who displaced the great Clive Churchill as Australia's Test fullback

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The Newtown Rugby League Football Club regrets to announce the passing of Gordon Clifford, the Newtown Bluebags and Australian Rugby League Test fullback from the 1950's.

Gordon played with the Newtown Bluebags from 1950 to 1958 and made a comeback with Eastern Suburbs in 1960.

He was Newtown's fullback in the 1954 and 1955 first grade Grand Finals against South Sydney.

He played in 8 Test matches for Australia: 1 against New Zealand in 1956, 2 against Great Britain and 2 against France on the 1956-57 Kangaroos tour, and all 3 Tests in the home series against Great Britain in 1958.

Gordon was the top points-scorer on the 1956-57 Kangaroo tour with 94 points (2 tries, 44 goals) and is best remembered for having displaced the great Clive Churchill as Australia's Test fullback on that tour.

Gordon played 115 games for Newtown between 1950 and 1958 and scored a total of 919 points for the Bluebags. He was a Newtown junior product and attended the Gardiners Road Public School and the Patrician Brothers College, Redfern. He also represented Sydney and NSW during his playing career.

A Life Member of the Newtown RLFC, he was named as fullback in the Newtown Team of the Century at the club's Centenary Dinner held at the Petersham Town Hall on the 5th July this year.

A prolific goal-kicker and highly competent fullback, his gentlemanly demeanour and impeccable grooming belied a steely resolve on the Rugby League field.

He was known under the nickname of "Punchy" within both Newtown and wider Rugby League circles, although his family nickname was originally spelled as "Puncha".

He played with distinction alongside an impressive roll-call of representative players in what was a Golden Era for Australia's foundation Rugby League club.

The large crowd in attendance at Gordon Clifford's Funeral Mass on Friday, 28th November was testimony to the regard he was held in within his wide circle of friends and within the NSW Rugby League community.

The Newtown Rugby League Football Club extends sincere sympathy to the family of the late Gordon Clifford.

RIP Gordon Clifford 1928-2008


© Newtown Jets RLFC 2006