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Player Profiles



A total of 43 players appeared on the Invicta teamsheet for the 1984-85 season. Because of the nature of the season it is difficult to give details of some of them. If anybody out there can flesh out some of the player details please let me know -  

Alexander, Adrian

Former Rugby Union player who signed for Kent Invicta from Oldham. Returned to Oldham and played on loan for Leigh. Signed for Southend Invicta on 27 September 1984. Made 7 appearances for Invicta. 

Anderson, Chris

Made his one and only appearance for Invicta in their final ever game away at Blackpool Borough when he scored a try. Could this be the Chris Anderson who went on to play for Halifax and is now the Australian coach?

Atherton, Mark

Joined Invicta from Sharks Club, Mackay, Queensland. Made 17 appearances for Invicta (one as substitute) scoring 5 tries in the season.

Barwood, Adrian

Signed from Bridgend on 30 August 1984. Made two appearances on the wing for Invicta in the first two home games against Bramley and Wakefield Trinity. 

Best, Tony

Made two full appearances and five substitute appearances for Invicta scoring three tries.

Bishop, Alan

Uncle of Neil. Signed from Runcorn Highfield on 2 September 1984. Made 2 appearances for Invicta.

Bishop, Neil

Son of the famous St Helens and Great Britain player, Tommy Bishop. Born on October 14 1962. His brother, Gary, played 16 times for Kent Invicta at scrum half. Nephew of Neil Bishop who also played for Southend Invicta.

When Neil was six years old the Bishop family emigrated to Australia. On his return to England he joined his uncle Alan at Huyton and scored two tries in 5 appearances. He made his debut for Kent Invicta on October 9 1983 against Huddersfield. Scored three tries for Kent Invicta. His first of two tries in a pre-season friendly for Southend Invicta were the first ever Rugby League touchdowns at Roots Hall. 

Injured early in the season he made only 3 appearances (one as substitute).

Briscoe, Phil

Born in Liverpool on 8 May 1961. Represented Widnes Schools at all levels up to the age of 18. Also appeared in the successful Widnes Tigers amateur team which won the Lancashire Cup three times and appeared in the BARLA Cup Final. Moved south in 1980 and was introduced to Bill Goodwin (then coaching Peckham ARLFC) by Fulham physio Gordon Pinkey. Played for Peckham for the next three years helping them to win the Southern Amateur Cup final.

Made his debut for Kent Invicta in their home win against Dewsbury on 23 October 1983. Made 16 full appearances as well as 6 appearances as a substitute, scoring 8 goals. Appeared 25 times for Invicta (four as substitute) scoring two tries, two goals and a drop goal.

Joined Bill Goodwin at Fulham in April 1986.

Bruen, Bob

Signed from Runcorn Highfield on 2 September 1984. Made two appearances as substitute in Invicta's first two games of the season. Made 4 appearances for Kent Invicta the previous season, scoring one try.

Burley, Daryl

An Australian who signed from the Southern Suburbs Club on 28 September 1984 (with Reg McGill). Left club in January 1985 after failing to make a place for himself in the squad. Made 2 appearances (one as substitute).

Carson, Trevor

Made 7 appearances (two as substitute). Was man of the match against Dewsbury at Crown Flatt.

Cholmondeley, Dave

Former centre at Halifax and Keighley. Joined Invicta on 26 August 1984 in exchange for Ian Van Bellen. For me the undoubted player of the season, although he only finished runnner up. If anybody epitomises the true spirit of Rugby League it's Dave Cholmondeley. A true servant of the club who always gave 100 per cent. Played in every game (30) scoring 4 tries, 21 goals and 7 goals. A remarkable achievement given the fact that he was the only Invicta player not based in the south!

Went on to play for Sheffield Eagles, signing on 3 September 1985.

Cooper, Tony

Born in Manchester on 23 March 1952. Moved south when he was 11 years old  Attended St Columbus College, St Albans. Studied PE and English for three years at Loughborough College. Joined Wasps RU Club when he was 21 and played for them for six seasons. Represented Hertfordshire and Southern Counties. As captain of Wasps he had trials with Leigh RLFC before Swinton stepped in with an offer. Made over 50 first team appearances with Swinton, all at second row.

Lived in the Wirral for 18 months but then moved South, eventually joining Kent Invicta. Lived in Newport, near Cambridge and was a Special Needs teacher. 

Made 8 appearances for Southend Invicta (5 as substitute). Later joined Bill Goodwin at Fulham (signed on 5 April 1986 with Phil Briscoe).

Cordery, Dave

Made one appearance but no record of which game. Presumably it was the final game against Blackpool Borough.

Daley, Bill

Made one appearance as substitute but no record of which game.

Day, Les

Made 11 appearances for Invicta scoring three tries.

Dean, Martin

Born in Clitheroe on 10 June 1956. Lived for various times in Portsmouth, Lincolnshire, Chelmsford, Blackburn, West Germany and Singapore. His rugby career began at 19 when he began playing for Portsmouth Rugby Union Club as a winger. After moving to college in London he played for Blackheath RU Club. He then moved to Loughborough College where he joined the Rugby League team and was selected for the 1981 Great Britain University side which toured France - playing at Prop.

After leaving Loughborough he moved back North to Blackburn and played for Keighley and Swinton 'A' teams.  Injury stopped him playing for two years. In 1983 he moved south again and resumed his playing career with Ealing ARLFC and was recommended to Invicta coach Bill Goodwin at the beginning of the season. He was signed from Ealing RLFC on 2 September 1984. Made 17 appearances (three as substitute) for Invicta, scoring one try.

Donnelly, John

Aka "Dallas". A larger than life character. A big, burly prop who had been signed from the Wests club in Sydney on 8 December 1984. Made three appearances for Australia in the 1975-76 World Cup. Later found dead after a heart attack. 

Doyle, Bernie

Made one appearance for Invicta. Was it in the final game at Blackpool Borough?

Elia, Mark

Invicta's "golden boy" and one true superstar. Born in Auckland on Christmas Day 1962 he played for the Premier Grade Club Te Atatu in Auckland. In three seasons he not only broke the club's tryscoring record , but also the Auckland League record. Had also ran the 100 metres in a recorded time of 10.35 seconds.

Arrived in England to play cricket for Surrey Second X1 and signed for Kent Invicta. Was their top try scorer with 19 tries in 33 appearances. Continued his great try scoring record with Southend Invicta scoring 15 tries in 17 appearances. Left Invicta shortly before the Bradford Northern game to join the New Zealand international training squad.

It was inevitable that he would be snapped up by a bigger club and he signed for St Helens in November 1985. He scored 15 tries in 13 appearances for Saints in his first season!

Played for Saint Helens against Halifax (captained and coached by Chris Anderson) in the 1987 RL Cup Final at Wembley in front of 91,267 spectators (including me!). True to form scored a spectacular try but will always be remembered for two tries he didn't score that day. Trailing by a single point Elia dived over the line only to have the ball punched out of his grasp by Halifax's John Pendlebury. Minutes later Andy Platt burst through to put Elia over but the pass was adjudged to be forward by the referee, John Holdsworth (a decision subsequently vindicated by video replay).  

Feighan, Frank

Invicta's flying winger. Originally signed from Peckham ARLFC. Made most appearances (34) for Kent Invicta the previous season. His main claim to fame was scoring two great tries in Kent Invicta's cup defeat against Castleford which was televised on "Grandstand". His second try was voted BBC Try of the Season. Played 20 games for Southend Invicta scoring 8 tries.

Following the demise of Invicta signed for Fulham on 27 September 1985.

Gillan, David

 A New Zealander who made 22 appearances for Invicta (one as substitute) scoring one try.

Grainey, Dave

Made one appearance for Invicta. Was it the last game against Blackpool Borough?

Grimoldby, Nick

Signed from Peckham ARLFC  on 31August 1984. Made 15 appearances for Invicta (seven as substitute).

Hanney, Ray

Hard tackling loose forward from Victoria, Australia. Signed from Colonials ARLFC on 22 September 1984. Made 15 appearances for Invicta.

Harding, Dave  

Born 29 April 1960 in Birkenhead City, New Zealand. Played for Northcote Tigers in New Zealand. Arrived in England in October 1983 and contacted his ex-Northcote Tigers team mate , Gary Freeman, at Kent Invicta. Started training with Kent Invicta and made his debut for them against Bramley on 16 October 1983. Made 19 appearances and scored 3 tries for Kent Invicta in the 1983-84 season. Played in several positions for Southend Invicta, appearing at full back, winger, centre, stand off and scrum half. Made 27 appearances, scoring 2 tries and 3 dropped goals.

Johnston, Ken

Made 6 appearances for Invicta, scoring two tries.

London, Steve

Signed from Peckham ARLFC on 2 September 1984. Made 2 appearances for Invicta (one as substitute).

McCafferty, Tony

Made 11 appearances (two as substitute) scoring two tries.

McGahan, Glen

One appearance for the club, presumably against Blackpool Borough in the final game..

McGill, Reg

Signed from the Southern Suburbs Club in Australia on 28 September 1984 along with Daryl Burley. Made 11 appearances for Invicta. Left the club in February 1985 because of his mother's illness. 

Millington, Wayne

Born in Hull on 18 December 1959. Younger brother of Hull KR prop, John Millington. Father played for Batley just after the war.

On leaving school (David Lister High School) played Rugby Union with Hull and East Riding, making many regular appearances for Yorkshire Under 16s. Then reverted to Rugby League, playing for Hull KR colts and the 'A' team. Went abroad before moving to London where he met Bill Goodwin, who was then coaching  Peckham ARLFC. Made his debut for Kent Invicta against Cardiff City, playing at centre. Sent off for kicking against Keighley for kicking on 28 October 1984 and served a 6 match suspension starting at Wakefield on 18 November. Made 23 appearances for Kent Invicta, scoring two tries.  

Signed for Fulham and made 7 appearances in the 1985-86 season. 

Neel, Tony

Tony Neel (or "Noel" during his time at Kent Invicta and part of his time at Southend!) was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on 25 January 1957. His real Christian name, originating from his mother's Samoan side of the family, was Tusiatafuso. Didn't start playing Rugby League until he was 19 when he joined Premier Grade club, Marist, as a second row. After coming to England he was put in contact with Bill Goodwin and played on one occasion for Peckham ARLFC before making his debut for Kent Invicta as an emergency hooker at Swinton in October 1983. Made four full appearances for Kent Invicta before leaving the club in February 1984 following a dispute with the club's management.

Rejoined Peckham and signed for Southend Invicta from Peckham ARLFC on 2 September 1984. Invicta's leading points scorer for the season with 70 points. He made  25 appearances, scoring three tries, and 29 goals. 

Played one game for Fulham in the following season (as Tony Noel again!) 

Nicholson, Ian

Made one appearance as substitute (probably in the final game against Blackpool Borough).

Penola, Colin

Born in Mackay, Queensland, on 15 February 1956. His great, great grandparents were from the Soloman Island. Played for three years with Carlton before coming to England on a working holiday in 1983.

Whilst working in Leeds he was put in contact with Carlisle RLFC and appeared four times for them. He was spotted in action by Kent Invicta coach, Bill Goodwin who signed him for Kent Invicta's debut season 1983-84. Made his first full appearance in the game against Batley on 11 September 1983.  Kent Invicta's Player of the Season in 1983-84 after making 31 appearances and scoring 5 tries.

Made 25 appearances for Southend Invicta (one as substitute), scoring one try.

Signed for Oldham on 12 September 1985 and then moved to Hunslet, signing on 9 January 1986.

Pike, Alan

Signed from Peckham ARLFC on 22 September 1984. Made one appearance for Invicta (against Blackpool Borough in the final game?) 

Scanlon, Andy

Signed for Southend Invicta on 19 October 1984 from Keighley. Dewsbury lad who was a product of the famous Shaw Cross Boys Club. Made 21 appearances for Invicta, scoring one try.  Played for Mansfield Marksman the following season (10 appearances).

Schaumkell, Kevin

A Maori from New Zealand. Member of the 1982 New Zealand touring side to this country. Made one appearance for Invicta. Signed for Sheffield Eagles on 16 December 1985.

Seldon, Chris

Made 3 appearances for Invicta.

Wadworth, Ian

Signed from Peckham ARLFC 0n 14 October 1984. Made 3 appearances for Invicta (one as substitute).

Walker, Clive

Signed from Bridgend on 2 September 1984. Made one appearance as substitute.

Wellman, Chris

Veteran Aussie. Signed for Invicta on 26 September 1984 from Sydney club, Cronulla. This was his second spell in England, having appeared for St. Helens in the early 70s. Made 15 appearances, scoring two tries.

Wilkes, Calvin

Very experienced player who had previously been with Leeds, Doncaster, Keighley and Carlisle. Made 16 appearances fro Invicta (two as substitute) scoring four tries. Moved to Mansfield Marksman, signing on 17 September 1985. However, no record of him playing for Marksman in the 1985-86 season.

The Coach - Bill Goodwin

A Yorkshireman who played professional Rugby League with Doncaster, Featherstone Rovers and Batley. Had lived in the South since the early seventies playing an active role in Amateur Rugby League in the south playing with Peckham ARLFC in the Southern League. He later became club coach and established Peckham as the Southern League's leading club. Bill also became an Official Grade One Coach and achieved the status of BARLA Southern Regional Coach.

In 1983 Bill was appointed Kent Invicta's coach for their inaugural season and achieved seven victories in the first ten games. However he was then sacked by the acting Chairman, Jim Thompson. He was then appointed coach when Invicta moved to Southend.

Following the demise of Southend Invicta Bill Goodwin went on to coach Fulham  (April 1986 - May 1988 and March 1989 - April 1989).

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