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Vale Graham Lena

By Steve Ricketts – QRL History Committee

Graham Lena was set for a lengthy career in the maroon of Queensland after an impressive interstate debut at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1971.

The Courier-Mail's Jack Reardon wrote that indigenous five-eighth Lena more than held his own against New South Wales' aggressive number 6, Tom Raudonikis, in a match won 17-15 by the Blues.

 But injury intervened, and Lena's only other appearance in Maroon came a week after the SCG clash, when Queensland played New South Wales Country in Newcastle, on their way home.

 Born at Murwillumbah in the Tweed Valley, Lena came through the grades with the Colts club at Ayr in North Queensland, and represented Burdekin in the Foley Shield.

Graham Lena in action. Photo: Supplied
 
In 1968 he played for All Whites in Toowoomba and represented Toowoomba – in the centres – in a match against Great Britain's World Cup side.

 The following year, Lena played at Ingham, before being lured south to Brisbane Brothers.

 In 1971, Lena won The Courier-Mail's Best and Fairest Award; helped Brisbane to Bulimba Cup success and represented Queensland. 

 The next year in 1972, he suffered cruciate ligament damage, followed by cartilage damage in '73, forcing him to retire in 1974.

 Despite his relatively brief stint at Brothers, he did enough to be named in the club's Team of the Century.

 A brewery truck driver in his younger days, Lena later worked with Queensland Health, dealing with mental health and alcohol related problems.

 He also worked as a volunteer counsellor with Lifeline.

 Graham passed away on January 6.

 His funeral will be held at the PCYC Arana Hills, on Tuesday, January 16 at 1.30 pm.