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Les Mara by Alex Service
A clever stand-off, Les came to Knowsley Road from Balmain for a spell in the mid seventies. He played for the Tigers for four seasons, interspersed with a spell at South Sydney in 1977 and also played for Newtown Jets in 1982. When he joined St.Helens, Les had received the Frank OBrien Glass Award as the outstanding young Australian player of the season. He was also selected for the New South Wales team ahead of Bobby Fulton, which should give you an idea of how highly he was rated in Australia at the time.
Les made 4 full and one substitute appearance for the club in the 1975-76 campaign. This was when the Saints were known as Dad's Army and beat Widnes at Wembley despite tremendous heat. Les was a creative and speedy stand-off, with a crunching tackle, who made quite an impression at Knowsley Road during his brief stay with the club.
Les made his debut, ironically, against the 1976 Kangaroos at Knowsley Road. Unfortunately the visitors came away with a resounding 7-32 victory. His last match was against Widnes, on New Years' Day 1976, when he scored a try. His scrum-half partners in his matches for the Saints were Alan and Ken Gwilliam and Jeff Heaton.
The Saints were recovering from a shaky spell in which they lost heavily to Featherstone and Salford, when Mara scored a sensational 70 yard try against Whitehaven, which certainly made him a crowd favourite. When England international Dave Eckersley returned to First Team duty, he played no further matches.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|12th Oct 1975||
|22nd Oct 1975||
|16th Nov 1975||
|18th Nov 1975||
|28th Dec 1975||
|6||Hull Kingston Rovers||L||1975~76||A||18||4||VIEW|
|1st Jan 1976||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 5 | LOSSES : 1 | DRAWS :|
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