FORMER English representative rugby league player Ken Noble is kicking off a new life on the coast as he hangs up his boots in Tamworth.
Mr Noble first travelled to Australia in 1962 as a member of the English rugby league team on an international tour.
Huddersfield is the birth place of rugby league and he was the only Huddersfield player chosen for the tour.
The team toured New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, but Australia was where Mr Noble thought would be a better place to bring up his family than England.
“I was friends with a lot of people out there and I think it was seeing their families that made me think it was a better place to bring up children,” he said.
“I managed to talk (my wife) Brenda into it.”
When he moved to Australia he was offered contracts with South Sydney, Easts and Balmain rugby league clubs, but decided on Balmain when they offered him a house and organised a job for him.
He worked at Pearson’s Engineering where Arthur Beatson also worked.
Mr Noble played eight first grade games with Balmain Tigers in his three years with the club between 1964 and 1966.
He then moved his family to Quirindi where he was coach captain.
“I wasn’t a good coach captain because I don’t think I have the gift of the gab,” he said.
“You know what to do, but it’s hard to express it and get others to do it.”
Mr Noble spent one season with Quirindi before moving to Tamworth, where he played with Wests Lions for a few years before retiring.
“I was well into my 30s by then,” he said.
Mr Noble said he enjoyed the participation of rugby league.
“I enjoyed being on the field and it is a contact sport, but you don’t have to go looking for
trouble,” he said.
The former international said he had no favourite rugby league teams, but followed Wests Tigers.
“I just like to watch a good game,” he said.
Mr Noble said one of his best memories from his playing days was at Wembley, where Huddersfield played Wakefield Trinity in 1962.
They lost 12-6, but played in front of 95,000 people in the Challenge Cup Final.
Huddersfield made it to the top four playoff and played Wakefield Trinity again and beat them 14-7.
He will farewell Tamworth this year to make his home in Port Macquarie to be closer to his daughter, Julie.