Steele Retchless (born June 16, 1971 in Brisbane, Queensland) is an Australian former rugby league player. A former player for the Brisbane Broncos and London Broncos, his position of choice was Second Row. Steele played his last game for Easts Tigers in a Queensland Wizard Cup preliminary final defeat to Redcliffe Dolphins on September 9, 2006.
Son of Brisbane Rugby League
legend Mick Retchless, Steele played his junior football for Fortitude Valley Diehards
and made his senior debut for the club in 1991
. In 1993
, Steele switched to Wests Panthers
contesting successive finals and winning the Brisbane Rugby League premiership
in his first year at the club.
Steele joined first grade Australian Rugby League premiership side the Brisbane Broncos in 1995. During a two-year contract he made just 11 appearances. In 1997, Steele was ever present, making 22 appearances for the South Queensland Crushers. Unfortunately, the Crushers picked up a second successive wooden spoon and folded at the end of the season.
The collapse of the Crushers presented an opportunity to play in Super League (Europe)
for the London Broncos
where Steele was to become a legend. During seven seasons at the club Steele was a virtual ever-present and set a club record number of appearances. In 1998
against Bradford Bulls
he made a Super League (Europe)
record of 66 tackles in a game. In 1999
, in his finest moment at the club, Steele scored a memorable last minute try in the Challenge Cup
semi-final to earn the Broncos
a place in their first ever final. Steele was a huge favorite with the London
fans who appreciated his incredible commitment to the cause and general appetite for the game. In 2004
, in his final season at the club, Steele was awarded player of the year.
Post-Broncos Career and Retirement
After his time in London, Steele returned to Australia
to play in the Queensland Wizard Cup
for Ipswich Jets
. After finishing that season as a leading contender for the QANTAS
Player of the Year, Steele played one more season for Easts Tigers
. Easts made the finals but were subsequently beaten by Redcliffe
in the major Semi-Final, with Redcliffe going on to win the premiership. Steele won the coveted player of the year award for Easts Tigers and also best forward in his final season. Steele is now on the coaching staff at Easts Tigers alongside, former International Darren Smith
Steele qualified to play for the USA Tomahawks
through his grandfather, Stuart Beck
, who was raised in Iowa, and his mother who was born in Washington DC. Beck arrived in Australia
from the U.S.
in the middle of last century, captaining his adopted homeland in the sport of baseball