William and Thomas Lane point to the name of their grandfather Les Lane outside Suncorp Stadium.
William and Thomas Lane point to the name of their grandfather Les Lane outside Suncorp Stadium. Contributed

League honour for Lane

THE Lane family tradition in rugby league has continued, with Les being one of 700 Maroons players from the pre-Origin era to have his name inscribed on the honour board outside Suncorp Stadium.

To cap off a top period for the family, his son Mark Lane has been honoured with selection in the Souths Magpies Team of the 1990s.

Les played 15 seasons of A grade for Collegians in Warwick and one for Wattles.

While he loved the blue of the Collegians club, he regrets not playing another couple of seasons with Wattles in the Toowoomba competition and hopefully some more Bulimba Cup and state footy.

Les played rugby league at the Warwick Showgrounds from 1958 to 1965 and at Father Ranger Oval from 1966 to his retirement in 1976 except for his season with Wattles in 1968.

He was Toowoomba halfback in Bulimba Cup in 1968 and part of a Toowoomba side which lost the final to Brisbane.

“Courier Mail writer Jack Reardon wrote at the time that we would have won the final if centre John McDonald was not injured,” Lane said.

“We did win the state championships on the May long weekend.”

He scored two tries against Ipswich in the Bulimba Cup and one against Brisbane, and was selected as a reserve for Queensland in the game against Great Britain.

Les and fellow reserve Ian Massie didn’t get on and Les was in the squad of 17 for the game against New South Wales four days later.

“They could only have two reserves then, so Jeff Denman and I missed out. After the game, the players said we were part of the team and should also get $50 (match payment),” Les said.

He was married in February, 1969, but doesn’t blame his wife Lyn for his decision not to return to Wattles in 1969.

“I was in business with Dad and thought about the travelling,” he said

Despite a lot of encouragement from Toowoomba coach Kev Boshammer, Les didn’t re-sign with Wattles. His skill on the rugby league field was carried on by son Mark, who was a regular in Souths Queensland Cup teams, mainly at lock but occasionally at five-eighth.

Mark captained the 1989 Warwick Cowboys under-18 team to the Toowoomba grand final before playing A-grade and then moving to Souths. Now, Mark coaches an under-6 team at Souths, which also includes son William.

Mark’s sister Karen Hegedus has played for Queensland in touch.

Les’s grandchildren are the fourth generation to play rugby league, starting with Les’s father Manny Lane.



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