Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this story contains the name and image of a deceased Indigenous person.

Kevin James Longbottom, born in 1939 in Sydney, NSW, remains an iconic figure within the Dharawal Indigenous community in La Perouse and beyond, celebrated both during and after his illustrious Rugby League career. Known affectionately as 'Lummy', along with a host of other nicknames including 'Longy', 'Larpa', and 'Golden Boots', he carved out a place in the hearts of his fans and teammates alike.


Longbottom's rugby roots trace back to his early days playing junior football with La Perouse United, Rosebery-Kensington, and Kensington United. His leadership qualities were evident early on, leading to his selection as captain of the South Sydney Rabbitohs' Presidents Cup side in 1960. Under his leadership, the team clinched the title by defeating Eastern Suburbs in the final, with Longbottom scoring a pivotal try.

His professional debut came swiftly. Later that year, he was graded by the Rabbitohs and soon appeared in reserve grade. By 1961, he had ascended to the first grade team, marking his debut with a dramatic try against Manly-Warringah that secured a vital draw. This marked the beginning of an impressive first grade stint where he scored five tries and 14 goals in just his first year.


Transitioning to the centre position in 1963, Longbottom's career was punctuated by memorable performances, particularly noted for his long range goal kicking. His prowess was highlighted in the 1965 Grand Final against St George, where his three crucial goals kept the Rabbitohs competitive. His teammates recalled his unusual practice of kicking goals barefoot, which he believed improved his accuracy.

The pinnacle of his playing career came in 1967 when he was part of the Rabbitohs' squad that won the Grand Final against Canterbury-Bankstown. That match was also notable for a controversial moment involving Longbottom - a long-range kick that appeared successful but was ultimately not counted, leading to a flurry of debate. Despite this, the Rabbitohs secured the championship, thanks in part to another crucial goal by teammate Eric Simms in the dying minutes of the game.


Following his peak, 'Lummy' continued to be a fixture in the Rabbitohs' line-up, contributing significantly to the reserve grade team's success in subsequent years, including victories in the 1968 Grand Final. Even as newer talents emerged, Longbottom remained a revered figure among the Souths faithful, his legacy underpinned by his dedication and remarkable skill.


By the time he retired in 1970, Longbottom's record stood at an impressive 191 games and 789 points across all grades, encapsulating a storied career that left an indelible mark on Australian Rugby League. His life, tragically cut short by cancer in 1986 at the age of 46, is commemorated by those who remember him not only for his athletic achievements but for his indomitable spirit. Kevin Longbottom is buried at the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park in Matraville, where his legacy continues to inspire both past and present generations of the Rugby League community.

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