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The Best We've Ever Seen: Kevin Hastings

One of the most competitive halfbacks to have donned the Red, White and Blue, Kevin Hastings was a shining light in the 1980s, guiding the side through a turbulent period in Club history. 

Name: Kevin Hastings
Nickname: Horrie
DOB: 05/01/1957
Club Debut: Round 18, 1976 vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Roosters Player No. #674
First Grade Games for Club: 228
First Grade Points for Club: 290 from 50 tries, 58 goals and 17 field goals
Representative Career: 1 State of Origin Match for NSW (1983)
3 games for City Seconds (1981-1983)
Individual Accolades: Dally M Halfback of the Year (1980, 1981, 1982)
Rugby League Week Player of the Year (1980, 1981, 1982)
AMCO Cup Player of the Series (1979)
Rothmans Medal (1981)
Sydney Roosters Captain (1983-1987)
First Player to Reach 200 Game Milestone for Roosters (1986)
Sydney Roosters Centurions (2007)
Sydney Roosters Hall of Fame (2012)

An Eastern Suburbs local, Hastings rose through the junior ranks at St Marys Cathedral, going on to captain the Club's Jersey Flegg side in 1975 before making his first-grade debut the following season, making six appearances.  

With the departure of star-studded players from the mid-late 1970s, a rookie Hastings made his mark almost immediately, taking ownership of the halfback position mid-way through the 1977 season - and while there was plenty of praise from coaches and teammates alike, few could predict the influence he would have on the side over the next decade. 

Hall Of Fame | Kevin Hastings

Nicknamed 'Horrie' by former teammate Bob O'Reilly - Hastings became a key component of the Roosters by age 21, becoming the side's top try scorer in 1978 before being named player of the series in that season's AMCO Mid-week Cup following a man of the match performance in the final.

Under Coach Bob Fulton, Hastings led the Tricolours' charge to a Minor Premiership and Grand Final appearance in 1980, which included a seven-match winning streak that culminated with taking home his first Dally M Halfback of the Year and RLW Player of the Year awards.

He's played half, five-eighth, centre, wing and fullback at Easts and I reckon he could play lock at a pinch - that's how good he is. I know Easts certainly wouldn't swap him for any half in town.

Bob Fulton Former Roosters Head Coach

The following seasons saw the mercurial playmaker establish himself as one of the premier no.7s of the competition and a model of consistency, featuring in every game from 1978-1981 including 106 consecutive matches.

Taking home the Rothmans Medal in 1981 as the Roosters claimed their second consecutive Minor Premiership, Hastings completed a treble of Halfback of the Year and RLW Player of the Year Awards - displaying his tenacity by playing through the 1982 finals series with a broken foot. 

Considered extremely unlucky not to have made that year's Kangaroos squad, Hastings continued to star in the Red, White and Blue, taking over the Roosters captaincy in 1983 before making his debut for NSW that same season - which would ultimately be his only representative appearance much to the bewilderment of supporters and judges alike. 

A broken arm in 1985 limited him to just nine games, with the impact of the injury resonating as the side failed to qualify for the finals, but his return the following season coincided with a renaissance under Arthur Beetson as he featured in all but one match. 

The determination and will to win burned brightly in the twilight years of his career, as he seamlessly shifted from halfback to an alternating role at hooker and lock with little protest. 

Horrie's longevity was rewarded as he broke Barry Reilly's record of 198 first-grade games to become the first-ever player in Club history to record a double century of matches in the Red, White and Blue, against Western Suburbs in Round 13, 1986. 

He takes charge of the attack as soon as the ball is played and sets up his supports brilliantly. He can deliver short balls, long passes, cut-out a man with delayed passes, put up bombs, make searching kicks downfield and still come up with a tremendous tackle count. In my book, there's little doubt who's the best no.7.

Peter Sterling Former Halfback Opponent

Despite featuring in just twelve matches in his final season in 1987, Hastings helped guide a new-look Roosters outfit to second place on the ladder, finishing his tenure in the famous colours with a record 228 games. 

The season following his retirement, the Club took its home base to the newly-built Sydney Football Stadium, with the Kevin Hastings stand named in his honour - before being on hand to congratulate Luke Ricketson on eclipsing his appearance record in 2002. 

A decade later, Hastings was included in the Sydney Roosters Hall of Fame in 2012 amongst some of the titans of Club history, and holds the unique distinction of being the only member of the esteemed group to have played for the Club in the 1980s.  

Still to this day, Kevin 'Horrie' Hastings' is revered by Roosters Members and supporters as a prominent figure of the Club and is still considered by many as the best halfback to have donned the Tricolours. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.