Keith Scot Besomo
- 604Wallaby Number
Keith Besomo was a remarkable individual and inspiration to his peers as he overcame profound congenital deafness to reach the highest level in elite sport.
An amiable giant of a man at 1.93m and 100 kgs, Besomo had to lip read the lineout calls. He was an athletic, skilful and spring-heeled lineout forward who in 1973 burst on to the senior club scene in Sydney after his exploits in the Kentwell Cup competition for the Bondi Surf Life Saving Club team had brought him to the attention of Eastern Suburbs. His first taste of representative football was in 1976 when he played for Sydney against the ACT. He formed a redoubtable second row partnership with Garrick Fay and then Mick Mathers as the side enjoyed famous victories against Fiji in 1976, Wales in 1978 and Ireland in 1979.
Following that 16-12 defeat of the Irish, in which Besomo dominated a lineout that included the famous Moss Keane and Willie Duggan, he made his debut in the 2nd Test at the S.C.G. While that was his only Test, Besomo became a much-travelled tourist with the Wallabies - France in 1976, New Zealand in 1978 and Fiji in 1980. He 'migrated' to Perth at the end of the 1980 season after he was not selected for the home series against the All Blacks. Besomo joined the Associates Club in Perth and continued to play for Western Australia until he retired.
Besomo won his first Test cap at lock in combination with Peter McLean in the 2nd Test, 3-9 loss to Ireland at the S.C.G.