ONE OF A KIND: Dale 'Rowdy' Shearer landed goals like shelling peas as a junior at Norths Tigers in Ipswich. So it was no surprise he stepped up in 1987 in the Origin decider to land a history changing penalty.
ONE OF A KIND: Dale 'Rowdy' Shearer landed goals like shelling peas as a junior at Norths Tigers in Ipswich. So it was no surprise he stepped up in 1987 in the Origin decider to land a history changing penalty.

What Shearer told Lewis before historic 1987 Origin goal

DALE Shearer used to slot goals over at will as a junior at Norths Tigers when his family lived in Ipswich.

So it was no surprise to the man known as 'Rowdy' at least that he landed one of Queensland's most crucial penalty goals in their State of Origin history almost 30 years ago to the day.

The QT took a trip down memory lane with Shearer as part of our ongoing tribute to the series winning 1987 Maroons side, in which the most famous Norths Tigers junior of them all Allan Langer made his Queensland debut.

Shearer acquired the nickname 'Rowdy' at Manly because he was the exact opposite - a quiet country lad who did his talking with his actions not words.

It was 8-all in the Game Three decider at Lang Park and half-time was approaching...and Shearer became more than rowdy with The King when the Maroons were awarded a penalty 35m out and slightly off centre.

Colin Scott had missed both attempts at goal earlier, and all three of his shots in Game Two.

Wally Lewis missed one in Game Two, and in Game One both Gary Belcher and Peter Jackson had been utilised but without much success.

Cometh the hour, cometh Rowdy.

"I said 'Wally, give me the bloody ball. I want to kick it', because they had all been kicking bad at training," Shearer recalls.

"Some of Scotty's kicks had barely gone a few metres off the ground. He had a shocker.

"So Wally threw me the ball and I thought 'beauty'. I nailed it...absolutely smoked it.

"That goal meant a lot more at that moment than we all realised because there were no points scored in the second half."

The goal took Queensland to a 10-8 lead and they held on in the second half to win the series and launch a golden era with two 3-nil clean sweeps in 1988 and 1989.

Shearer, still waxing lyrical about his goal kicking ability 30 years on, insists he should have been the Maroons kicker from the get-go.

"I had wanted to kick goals all along for Queensland because I had been a goal kicker since I was a kid," he grins.

"From the age of 13 on I could nail them from anywhere.

"When I played at Norths in Ipswich my dad would take me down to (Cribb Park) every afternoon.

"We lived straight across the road from Norths so I didn't have far to go."

Shearer's late father Bob was the principal of North Ipswich State School at the time.

 

ELUSIVE: Dale Shearer in action for the Maroons in 1992.
ELUSIVE: Dale Shearer in action for the Maroons in 1992. Contributed

There are several stunning facts about Shearer's 1987 Origin kick. It was his first shot at goal in his Maroons career and he had not had a shot for the Sea Eagles in club football either.

"I went to Manly and they signed Michael O'Connor and he was a gun kicker," Shearer recalls.

Shearer agrees it is a tribute to the Norths Tigers that two of their juniors played such a critical role in Maroons history.

"And my sister Kym went out with Alfie when they were kids at school," he grins.

"I played with Alfie's brother Neville and we had a gun side at Norths."

Shearer scored a try in all three games of the 1987 series and added another in the additional clash in the United States.

He also held the Maroons try scoring record with 12 until surpassed by Greg Inglis.

 

PROUD DAD: Dale Shearer with his son Jesse in the early 1990s.
PROUD DAD: Dale Shearer with his son Jesse in the early 1990s. Contributed

As for the nickname 'Rowdy'...

"I went down to Manly from the bush and put my head down and bum up and just got into the training," he says.

"I wanted to be the quickest.

"I realised I wasn't where I should be so I trained 30 days straight and said nothing.

"So Crusher (Noel Cleal) said 'I think we'll call you 'Rowdy'."


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