This week’s Throwback Thursday features some rare footage of an 18-year-old Allan Langer during his initial foray into senior football with the Ipswich Jets in 1985.
The pint-sized half came off the bench in a Winfield State League game against Central Queensland and scored two tries, displaying the speed, elusiveness and uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time that would become his trademarks.
The following season – under the tutelage of Jets coach and all-time great halfback Tom Raudonikis – Langer became a star of the BRL premiership, outwitting opposition defences on a weekly basis and forming a brilliant combination with flashy winger Gordon Langton.
After Queensland No.7 mainstay Mark Murray suffered a career-ending injury, Langer debuted for the Maroons in the 1987 series opener, despite reservations held by coach Wayne Bennett and several senior players over the diminutive livewire’s ability to handle the rigours of Origin football.
‘Alfie’ went on to craft one of the great careers, playing 34 Origins and 24 Tests, while also captaining Brisbane to four premierships and scoring 100 tries in 258 games for the Broncos.
Many fans, however, still cherish the memories of Langer running around in the green and white of Ipswich during the final years before the BRL landscape changed forever with the advent of the Broncos in 1988.
The Allan Langer Medal is awarded to the Jets’ Player of the Year each season.