St George Junior League Hall of Fame

George Carstairs

George Carstairs

Position: Centre/Lock
Junior Club: Marist Bros.
Era: 1921-1929
Senior Matches: 79
St George Matches: 79
Australia: 2
Highlights: George Carstairs played in the St George Junior League via the Marist Bothers club. He served in both World Wars and was prematurely reported as KIA while fighting in the Middle East. He played in the inaugural season of St George Rugby League Football Club, scored the first try for St George in first grade and was the first junior from the St George district to be selected for Australia, playing in two Tests on the 1921-22 Kangaroo tour. He was also the top first grade point scorer for the club in 1922, 1924 & 1925.

Arthur ‘Snowy’ Justice

Arthur ‘Snowy’ Justice

Position: Front Row/Hooker
Junior Club: St George Junior
Era: 1922-32
Senior Matches: 150
St George Matches: 132
NSW:
Australia: 5 (1928-30)
Highlights: Snowy Justice came to first grade in St Georges second season. He played 10 seasons, captaining the Dragons from 1928 to 1930 and again for most of the season in 32. Snowy captained St George in their first Premiership decider. He played 25 games for NSW as well as 5 tests for Australia. He played in historic scoreless draw in third Test on 1929-30 Kangaroo tour. Rugged front rower and determined rake went on to become St George secretary manager in 1950s and 60s. Was also Chairman of the NSW judiciary.

Bill Hardman

Bill Hardman

Position: Second Row Forward
Junior Club: Bright Le Sands
Era: 1924-31
Senior Matches:101
St George Matches: 101
NSW: 1925-26
Highlights: Bill Hardman was a St George Junior from the Brighton Le Sands Club. He was selected straight from A Grade into the St George first grade side. He went on to play 8 Years with the Dragons. At 6‘ 2" (188cm), Hardman was a class forward who played six games for NSW in 1925-26. He played in Saints’ first premiership-deciding final appearance in 1927 and played in the 1930 grand final. Hardman’s career was unique because he only ever played first grade. He never played a reserve grade game in his career.

Aubrey Kelly

Aubrey Kelly

Position: Lock Forward
Junior Club: St George Junior
Era: 1924-28
Senior Matches: 52
St George Matches: 52
NSW: 1926-27
Highlights: Aubrey Kelly was a St George Junior and only ever played with St George. In his first year, ‘Jockey’ won a reputation as one of the hardest tacklers in the game. He played in Saints‘ first premiership-deciding final appearance in 1927 as vice-captain. He continued to played with the club until the end of 1929. A Lock forward who represented NSW in 1926 & 27, he became one of the many players who were forced out of the district to look for work during the Great Depression. During his career, Kelly was described as, "almost universally the greatest forward in Australia, and one of the greatest the league code has produced. His diving tackles were renown. At Earl Park in the 1920’s, "Jockey" Kelly was seen bumping his shoulder against one of the goal posts. Just before, he had dislocated the shoulder in a tackle. Against the post he knocked the shoulder back into place and continued on playing.

Percy Fairall

Percy Fairall

Position: Hooker
Junior Club: St George Junior
Era: 1928-30 & 1932-37
Senior Matches: 155
St George Matches: 103
NSW: 5
Australia: 5
Highlights: Percy Fairhall played 155 all grade games, the first Saints player to surpass 150 games. Also played with Souths 1938-40 and played in that clubs’ 1939 grand final loss. He captained St George when they demolished Canterbury by a record 91-6 in 1935. Played for NSW before making his Test debut against NZ in 1935, playing in all three Tests.

Alby McAndrew

Alby McAndrew

Position: Halfback
Junior Club: Brighton Le Sands
Era: 1938-45
St George Matches: 69
Highlights: Joining Saints as a 17 year old in 1938, Alby McAndrew possessed a superb sidestep and turn of pace. One of the smallest men to play the game, Alby has been has been rated alongside Billy Smith and Bob Bugden as one of the best half backs to ever play for the Dragons. (All 3 are St George Juniors) The youngest premiership-winning halves duo on record were St George Junior Leagues, Roy ‘Torchy’ Hasson and Alby McAndrew who were both 20 when the Dragons claimed their first premiership title in 1941. Like so many of others from the era, Alby’s representative career was greatly impacted by the war.

Jack Lindwall

Jack Lindwall

Position: Winger/Centre
Junior Club: Arncliffe Scots
Era: 1938-44 & 1946-49
Senior Matches: 133
St George Matches: 133
Highlights: Jack Lindwall was a brilliant attacking centre/winger with the Dragons during the 1940s. Only played with St George. His ability as an attacking player saw him score 28 points (against University) in just his second game for St George third grade in 1937. He scored 110 tries (at the time a club record) and holds club record of six match tries and 36 points in a match against Manly in 1947 He also crossed for five tries in a match on five different occasions during his career. Lindwall played in the club‘s 1942 and 1946 grand final losses and was a try scorer in both matches. His two tries against Balmain in 1946 took St George to within a point of victory. He retired in 1949 as the greatest try-scorer in the club’s history, until surpassed by Johnny King.

Doug McRitchie

Doug McRitchie

Position: Centre
Junior Club: Brighton Le Sands
Era: 1942-44 & 1946-50
St George Matches: 81
NSW: 1948 & 1950
Australia: 1948-50
Highlights: St George junior who never played the lower grades, going from Presidents Cup at 17 to first grade at 18. Doug was St Georges captain in 1947-48. He served in New Guinea and like many players, his career was affected by WWII. A popular and robust player, McRitchie was a hero in the Red V as well as the green and gold. At his peak, he was noted as the hardest running centre and the fiercest tackler in the game. He made the initial break that led to Ron Roberts’ famous Ashes winning try in 1950.

Jack ‘Dutchy’ Holland

Jack ‘Dutchy’ Holland

Position: Prop/Forward
Junior Club: Hurstville United
Era: 1947-52
St George Matches: 87
NSW: 1949-51
Australia: 1948-50 (7)
Highlights: A St George junior, Dutchy Holland was a no frills front rower who gave great service to the district club over 6 years. He joined Saints after serving in Army during WWII. A giant forward he played in 1949 grand final win. He always claimed to have scored a legitimate try that would have won the First test against Great Britian in 1950 (Lost 6-4) As consolation he kicked his only ever goal in his final Test appearance v GB in the same series won by Aust 5-2.

Billy Wilson

Billy Wilson

Position: Prop/Forward
Junior Club: St George Junior
Era: 1948-67
Senior Matches: 239
St George Matches: 174
NSW: 1960 & 1963 (6)
Australia: 1959-60 & 1963 (10)
Highlights: Billy Wilson‘s exploits and reputation for toughness are legendary. He developed into one the most uncompromising prop forwards to ever play the game. Called ’Captain Blood’ because of the amount of blood he spilled for the game, Wilson was sent off in the 1953 final and then played the 1954 semi final with a broken arm and gashed eye. One of 3 recorded times he played with a broken arm. He earned a reputation as a rugged enforcer and fierce protector of his teammates. In the 1956 Grand Final he moved out of the scrum to replace his injured centre. With the side down to 10 men, he was later selected by his team mates as man of the match. Billy captained Australia at the age of 36 and played his last first grade game at 40 years and 5 days of age. Through his 65 games for North Sydney, he is recognised in their team of the century.

Norm Provan

Norm Provan

Position: Second Row / Forward
Junior Club: Sutherland Woronora
Era: 1951-65
Senior Matches: 269
St George Matches: 297
NSW: 19
Australia: 14 Tests, 12 Tour Matches
Highlights: Provan’s junior football was played with the Sutherland Woronora Juniors in the St George junior league. He was graded by St George in 1950. Tall and strong second rower in the great St George sides, Provan played in the losing 1953 Final before featuring in ten of St Georges record eleven straight Grand Final victories. He Captained 4 of the victories. He also enjoyed success with the Australian Test and World Cup teams. He is recognised as one of the top 100 players of all time, he is in The Team of the Century and immortalised in the Gladiators trophy. he is now officially recognised as an Immortal.

Bob Bugden

Bob Bugden

Position: Halfback
Junior Club: Sutherland Woronora
Era: 1954-65
Senior Matches: 209
St George Matches: 135
NSW: 2
Australia: 2
Highlights: Bob Bugden played in the St George Junior league via the Sutherland Woronora Club. He played with the St George ‘ Presidents Cup side in 1954 aged 18. Bobby Bugden has been rated as one of the best scrum halves to have played for St George. He made his first grade debut still aged 18 in the Dragon’s premiership semi-final victory in 1954 and two weeks later appeared and scored a try in the final. He was the Dragons‘ first choice half-back for the first six of their consecutive premiership victories from 1959–61 and played 135 club games (133 in 1st grade), scoring 56 tries for the club. He followed his Dragons’ coach and captain Ken Kearney to Parramatta where he played a further four seasons, often as vice-captain. Budgen made his state representative debut in 1960 and again represented for New South Wales in 1964. Budgen was picked for the 1959 Kangaroo tour and played in five tour matches but no tests. He was selected in the 1960 World Cup squad and although he did not play in any tournament matches, made two tour match appearances for Australia after the World Cup. Bugden made his Test debut in the 1960 domestic series against France for the 2nd test. He scored 3 tries on debut and backed up with another try in the 3rd test.

Reg Gasnier

Reg Gasnier

Position: Centre
Junior Club: Renown United
Era: 1959-67
Senior Matches: 125
St George Matches: 125
NSW: 21
Australia: 39 International + 38 Tour Matches
Highlights: An Immortal of Rugby league, Reg Gasnier was born and raised in the southern Sydney suburb of Mortdale playing his junior league with the Renown Club. Widely regarded as the greatest centre three quarter to play the game, ‘Puff’ possessed an amazing turn of speed that more often than not, left all in his wake. 39 Test & World Cup matches, Reg Gasnier was selected at age 13 in a New South Wales Schoolboy side in a curtain raiser to the 1952 Australia and New Zealand Test. The competition‘s leading try scorer in 1960 (25 tries), 1963 (24 tries) and 1964 (18 tries). Scored two tries in the 1960 Grand Final victory and played in six premiership winning sides. In 1962 and at just 22-years-old, Reg Gasnier became Australia’s youngest ever Test captain. At 28, he finally succumbed to another leg injury, announcing his retirement after a provincial match in Avingnon, France on December 21st, 1967. In his 125 appearances for St George, he scored 127 tries. Reg is listed in top 100 footballers of all Time. An original Immortal and a AM Awardee. Reg is acknowledged in the Australian Sporting Hall of Fame. In their elite category of 30 legends of Australian sport, Reg Gasnier is the only footballer."

Johnny King

Johnny King

Position: Winger
Junior Club: Arncliffe Scots
Era:1960-71
Senior Matches:191
St George Matches:191
NSW: 8
Australia: 17
Highlights:Originally from Gildranda, Johnny King’s talents were recognised early and saw him brought up through the St George juniors. Graded in 1960, his 5th first grade game was the seasons Grand Final in which he scored 2 tries. He was the sole try scorer in two Grand Finals (1961 & 1964) and was the scorer of a controversial try in the 1963 Grand Final. Widely regarded as one of the greatest finishers in the history of the game, Johnny King holds the club try scoring record (143 tries). He also holds a unique record of scoring tries in six successive winning grand finals (1960-65). he went on to coach Western Division to victory in the inaugural Amco Cup Final in 1974 before coaching South Sydney in 1976. In the 1980s, John King successfully coached Country Seconds to an upset win over Sydney.

Billy Smith

Billy Smith

Position: Halfback/Centre
Junior Club: Renown United
Era: 1961-77
Senior Matches: 234
St George Matches: 296
Australia: 26
Highlights: A St George junior, Smith was first graded at age 16. He playing in third grade in 1959 for the Dragons before his father objected and he returned to Renown for two more junior seasons. He played in the centres in St George‘s 1963-65 grand final wins. Billy Smith became one of the most talented and tenacious halfbacks in post-war rugby league. He made his debut for NSW and Australia at halfback in 1964 but did not take over the role with the Dragons until 1965. Twice-winner of the Harry Sunderland Medal for best Australian player in an Ashes series. After captain NSW in 1967, the formidable halfback played in five of the six Tests on tour and savoured victory with Australia’s World Cup side the following year. Smith captained Australia in the opening match against Great Britain and his toughness was an integral part of Australia‘s win in the final. Smith finished his career in reserve grade in 1977 but not before passing Norm Provan’s record, 296 grade matches.

Steve Edge

Steve Edge

Position: Hooker
Junior Club: St George Rowing Club
Era: 1973-84
Senior Matches:221
St George Matches: 103
NSW: 1
Highlights: Edge was graded with the St George Dragons in 1972 and that year played in the club‘s premiership winning third grade side. Regarded as one of the most successful captains under the limited tackle rule, Steve Edge played in a remarkable eleven grand finals in all grades during his career. He holds a unique record in Australian rugby league history as the only man to captain two different clubs to Grand Final premiership success. He became a regular first grader from 1974 and played in the 1975 Grand Final side that lost to the Eastern Suburbs Roosters. Edge captained the 1977 Dragons’ side, playing in the historic 1977 drawn Grand Final and subsequent replay victory the following week. In 1979 found his best form to play in Saints’ 1979 Grand Final winning side captained by Craig Young. In 1980 Edge signed with the Parramatta Eels under coach Jack Gibson and captained the Eels to three consecutive Grand Final wins from 1981 to 1983. Edge was regarded as a fine on-field leader, never an overly flashy player with the ball. Steve was hooker in the inaugural state of origin match.

Chris Johns

Chris Johns

Position: Centre
Junior Club: Penshurst RSL
Era: 1984-92
Senior Matches:245
St George Matches: 56
NSW: 10
Australia: 14
Highlights: Qld born but raised in St George, Johns was a reserve back for the 1985 grand final after playing in the winning Reserve Grade Grand Final. He joined Brisbane Broncos in 1988. A class centre who’s reliability could see him match it with any opposition at any level. He was named in the Brisbane Broncos Greatest Ever team to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

Brad Mackay

Brad Mackay

Position: Lock/Forward/Centre/Five Eighth
Junior Club: Brighton Seagulls
Era: 1987-00
Senior Matches: 244
St George Matches: 197
NSW: 17
Australia: 12
Highlights:St George junior, Mackay scored three tries on debut for Australia in 1990. In 1993, he became one of only two players in history to win the Clive Churchill medal in a losing grand final side. A versatile utility player, Brad Mackay played for St George, Illawarra and St George-Illawarra. He was also the inaugural captain of the Western Reds and has the distinction of winning Club Player of the Year with every club he played for. His versatility has seen him represent his country as a second rower, lock, centre and five eight.

Jason Stevens

Jason Stevens

Position: Prop Forward
Junior Club: Brighton Seagulls
Era: 1992-05
Senior Matches: 231
St George Matches: 64
NSW: 8
Australia: 12
Highlights:Graded by the district club in 1992, Stevens had progressed to be a regular first grader by the next season. He played in 1993 grand final but broke his thumb in the first tackle of the match and was unable to continue. After 64 1st grade matches for the Dragons he joined the Sharks in 1997, playing in a further 168 games. He made his test debut in 1997 and state of origin in 1999. A rugged niggling prop, statistics showed teams had a higher winning percentage with Stevens took the field.

Mark Gasnier

Mark Gasnier

Position: Centre
Junior Club: Renown United
Era: 2000-11
Senior Matches: 173
St George Matches: 173
NSW: 12
Australia: 15
Highlights: Mark Gasnier played his junior rugby league in the St George District with the Renown United club. He went on to play for the Australian Schoolboys team in 1998 and 1999. He toured New Zealand with the Australian Schoolboys in 1998. Gasnier made his 1st Grade debut for the Dragons in round 8 of the 2000 season against Newcastle Knights and made his International debut in a 2001 Test against the PNG Kumuls and scored a try in each. He made his origin debut in 2004 and went on to play 12 matches for NSW as well as 15 tests for Australia.