Thanks to the local junior network, most youngsters from the Featherstone area find their way to Post Office Road when they first turn professional. One lad who didn’t was Cyril Kellett. Although he was born in Featherstone, Cyril signed for Hull Kingston Rovers as a youngster in 1956 and he was 28 years old before he joined his hometown team.
1968 Cyril Kellett.
1968 Cyril Kellett.
Signed in January 1968 after a distinguished decade at Craven Park, Kellett immediately filled two roles, taking the full-back shirt from Brian Wrigglesworth and the goal-kicking duties from Tommy Smales. He then began to rack up some impressive statistics, just as he had done throughout his career. In his first full year he kicked 125 goals and provided a solid last line of defence. His experience and ability to read a game invariably found him in the right place at the right time, compensating for a lack of pace. His prolific goal-kicking extended into his second year with 83, followed by 90 goals the next. By now, another young full-back had come on the scene, and he proved to be a handy goal-kicker too. Harold Box presented a serious challenge to Kellett over the last three years of his career. Box claimed the full-back role for a large part of the 1971/2 season, when Kellett was injured. The old-timer was not done yet though, and forced his way back into the reckoning, and at the ripe old age of 34 had his finest hour.
Although he had played in a Wembley final for Hull KR in 1964, he will always be remembered for the 1973 cup final against Bradford when his immaculate display of place kicking landed him a perfect eight from eight. It was a record that has never been broken, though it was equalled by Iestyn Harris. Cyril finished that year by smashing the Featherstone Rovers goals in a season record with 139, a figure since beaten by Steve Quinn, then Jamie Rooney.
The following year Kellett played 13 games, including a winning cup semi-final against Leigh. Box got the nod for the final though, and that summer Cyril Kellett finally retired. The records he set speak for themselves. Despite spending just six years at Featherstone, he kicked a phenomenal 557 goals in 171 appearances. He still stands third on our goal-kicking lists behind only Steve Quinn and Stuart Dickens. Moreover, in the whole history of the game, only Jim Sullivan and Neil Fox kicked more goals than Cyril Kellett. When he hung up his boots he had kicked a phenomenal 1,768 career goals, some 190 more than Quinn, who is himself seventh on the all-time list.