Legend Killeen dies, 72

Str Helens back page pic'Len Killeen with his Lance Todd trophy only 32 years late
Str Helens back page pic'Len Killeen with his Lance Todd trophy only 32 years late

ST Helens legend Len Killeen has died in his native South Africa at the age of 72.

Born in Uitenhage near Port Elizabeth, Killeen spent five seasons with Balmain Tigers and was a member of their Grand Final-winning team in 1969, but is best remembered for his earlier spell with St Helens.

Spotted by a St Helens scout, he moved to England in 1962 at the age of 23, and scored 1,161 points with 115 tries and 408 goals for Saints before joining Balmain in 1967 for a £4,500 transfer fee.

The highlight of his stay in England came in 1966, when he scored a try, kicked five goals from five attempts – including a 65-metre penalty – and won the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match in Saints’ 21-2 Challenge Cup final win over Wigan at Wembley.

A week later, Killeen scored three tries and six goals in Saints’ 35-12 win over Halifax in the League Championship Final.

Killeen, who returned to live in South Africa when he retired, was inducted into the Hall of Fame at both St Helens and Balmain.

Also an accomplished cricketer who represented his country at basketball, he is survived by his wife Cathy and his two sons, Michael and Heath.

A St Helens spokesman said: “Saints would like to pass on their sympathies to the family and friends of Len.”