Please note: This podcast contains offensive language
Glen Liddiard grew up in Werrington, with three older siblings and a love for the great outdoors. Sport, specifically rugby league, consumed Glen’s upbringing and proved an effective means of socialising with the local community.
First playing rugby league at the age of 4, Glen often idolised his older brothers on and off the field. A chance encounter at the age of 16, following his older brother David to England (his parents), saw Glen become the youngest ever professional rugby league player in the UK, debuting alongside his brother and going on to play 28 top-flight games that season. Under the guidance of British rugby league legend Frank Myler, Glen jumped at the opportunity to have a run with the Oldham Rugby League Football Club, alongside his older brother.
“He (Myler) said, ‘We’ll give you 10 quid a week to play in Reserve Grade’. That first game I scored a hattrick on the wing – I think I was just running scared! The following week Frank said, ‘We’ve picked you in First Grade’”, Glen said.
Back in Australia, Glen debuted for Parramatta in 1988, alongside greats such as Peter Sterling, Peter Wynn, Eric Grothe and Brett Kenny. At a club that had dominated the past decade, it was Kenny specifically, who mentored Glen and even shifted positions (from five-eighth to lock) to cater for the new kid on the block.
“I just followed Brett Kenny around at training and watched what he did. I tried to base my game around what he did”, Glen said.
Despite adversity of the highest order throughout his career, Glen has maintained a clear perspective, always placing family as his first priority. Resilience, developed through immense triumphs and devastating challenges, help shape a desire to keep going, and to overcome hurdles in life and in football.
A proud Biripi man, Glen now works as the Indigenous Welfare Officer at the Penrith Panthers and plays a crucial role in mentoring young players, connecting them to community and developing as people on and off the field. Success, for Glen, is seeing these young players prosper in life and return to their communities as more mature people willing to give back.
“To me, that (developing life skills) is more important. If they make it in football, that’s a bonus,” Glen said.
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