The Darryl Brohman v Les Boyd feud is one of the biggest in rugby league.
The Darryl Brohman v Les Boyd feud is one of the biggest in rugby league.

Monday Buzz: New twist in league’s greatest feud

The two men involved in rugby league's most bitter personal feud have come face-to-face for the first time in 37 years ... and refused to shake hands.

On Friday afternoon at a Gundagai racetrack, Les Boyd and Darryl Brohman found themselves in the same sponsor's marquee for the Snake Gully Cup meeting.

Just a couple of tables, or 15m, away from each other.

It was the first time they had met since Boyd smashed Brohman's jaw with a vicious elbow in a State of Origin game at Lang Park. Game 1, June 17, 1983. Exactly 13,312 nights ago.

Brohman took Boyd to court and won an out-of-court settlement for reportedly $30,000, a huge amount of money in those days.

So over the weekend, we spoke to both men about the Friday afternoon encounter. Boyd is now 62 and Brohman 63.

"There's not much to f---en tell you," Boyd said. "It was the first time we've seen each other since it happened. You can't turn back time.

"He came up to me and said he felt a bit awkward. I just said to him, 'have a good day'. That was about it."

Did you shake hands?

"No, mate. I was just there with a couple of mates having a good time. He was sitting at a table not far from me. It didn't spoil my day, although I backed plenty of losers.

"What happened, happened. Life's gone on. It's a long time ago. He can live his life and I'll live mine."


Daryl Brohman down with a badly broken jaw.
Daryl Brohman down with a badly broken jaw.

We texted Brohman for a comment and got the following reply.

"Clearly it was a bit awkward," he wrote. "I went up to him about mid-afternoon and said this is clearly awkward for both of us so let's just go our separate ways and try and enjoy our day. Spoke for 20 seconds maximum. Other than that there was no interaction."

The incident all those years ago remains one of the most famous acts of foul play in history.

It put Brohman out for the entire 1983 season and many believe cost him a Kangaroos jersey.

He never got to wear one.

Boyd was suspended for 12 months.

It is an incident that has caused bitterness ever since.


Caricature by artist Scott
Caricature by artist Scott "Boo" Bailey.

And it leaves other famous grudges like the Roosters v Rabbitohs, Bill Harrigan v Bob Fulton, Wayne Bennett v Anthony Seibold or Benny Elias v Mario Fenech in the shade.

In 2007, it exploded on the 2GB Continuous Call team when Fulton called Brohman a coward for suing the NSW Blues forward.

Brohman removed his headset and stormed out.

In a recent interview with Daily Telegraph colleague Dean Ritchie, Boyd said: "I never meant to do it. You never really want to hurt anyone."


Les Boyd (C) was banned for 12 months.
Les Boyd (C) was banned for 12 months.

He was sent to the sin bin and ran straight into the Queensland dressing shed to check on Brohman.

"I apologised because he was hurt," Boyd said. "His father started abusing me. So I basically said 'get ­f---ed' and walked out."

Attempts to get the pair together for speaking engagements have always failed.

It's a feud and falling out that both men will take to their graves.