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Sydney Roosters Hall of Fame

Sydney Roosters Hall of Fame

Introduced in 2010, the Sydney Roosters Hall of Fame currently comprises of nine of the greatest players to have ever pulled on the Red, White and Blue, with numerous serving as captains and coaches of the Club as well as representing their state and country. 

 

Dally Messenger: Inducted 2010 

The original superstar of Rugby League, Dally Messenger is revered as one of the best players to ever lace on a boot.

One of the first players to sign to the newly formed Rugby Football League in August of 1907, Messenger made an immediate impact, dazzling crowds with his electric style of play.

The fleet-footed centre, also able to play on the wing and at five-eighth, brought a large contingent of rugby union players with him to join the newly-formed code, and can be attributed to contributing to the growth of the game in its formative years.

Hall Of Fame | Dally Messenger

Messenger was the catalyst for the Tricolours' first three Premierships, won in 1911, 1912 and 1913. Such was his contribution, the Club presented him with the Agricultural Shield at the conclusion of the 1913 triumph.

Appropriately, one of the best to lace on a boot was honoured in 1980 bearing the name of the Player of the Year - the Dally M Medal - and was made one of Rugby League's 'Immortals' in 2018.

As the Club celebrated its 100 Year Anniversary, Messenger was named in 'The Centurions' - the Roosters All-Time Team from 1908-2007 - and was named in both the Australian Rugby League Team of the Century and the New South Wales Rugby League Team of the Century in 2008. 

Dave Brown: Inducted 2010

Known as 'The Bradman of League', Dave Brown's illustrious career in Red, White and Blue featured Premiership triumphs, representative honours and records which still stand to this day. 

A point-scoring machine with remarkable skill and achievement, Brown carved out one of the greatest careers in Australian Rugby League, and overcame a number of hardships before shining on the biggest of stages. 

Debuting for Australia, he scored a record 285 points from 19 tries and 114 goals on the 1933-34 Kangaroo Tour while playing 32 of 37 matches. To put things into perspective, the rest of the 26-man squad combined for a total of 20 points.

Hall Of Fame | Dave Brown

Season 1935 was a memorable one for Brown, and one of the greatest individual seasons in the code's history. The headgear-clad centre scored 244 points in the regular season (a record which stood for 34 years) which included 45 points in a single match (with 5 tries and 15 goals) and 38 tries for the season, both of which still stand as records to this day.

Brown was ranked no.9 in Rugby League Week's Top 100 Players, named in the centres in the Sydney Roosters Team of the Century in 2000, and in 2003 was named in both the Australian and International Rugby League Hall of Fame.

He was named in the Australian Rugby League's 100 Greatest Players in 2007 and the New South Wales Team of the Century in 2008 and was an inaugural inductee into the Sydney Roosters Hall of Fame before becoming a Rugby League Immortal in 2018. 

Jack Gibson: Inducted 2010 

Jack Gibson AM is renowned as the most legendary coach in modern Rugby League, taking Easts to two Premierships in 1974 and 1975 while also making his first-grade debut for the Tricolours in 1953 and earning a reputation for being a tough and uncompromising forward.

Gibson played 123 games for Easts between 1953 and 1961 before making the switch to coaching in 1967. That year he took Easts to the finals after the Club failed to record a win in 1966.

Hall Of Fame | Jack Gibson

In 1974 and 1975 he took what is remembered as one of the best ever Easts teams to consecutive premierships. 'Supercoach' introduced a number of new coaching techniques and applications including video previews, skinfold testing, introducing the use of weights machines and creating an overall program of rehabilitation and fitness conditioning, now referred to as a high-performance unit.

In 1988 Gibson received an Order of Australia Medal for his contribution to Rugby League.

Arthur Beetson: Inducted 2010 

An entertainer both on and off the field, Arthur Beetson - affectionately known as 'Big Artie' - was a catalyst for the Club's turnaround in fortunes in the 1970s, and is revered as one of the greatest players of them all. 

As both a captain and colossus, Beetson would feature in 42 of the 50 games played in the 1974-75 seasons, with the Jack Gibson-coached Roosters winning 43 of those matches as the Club claimed back-to-back Premierships. A try-scorer in both victories, Beetson was named Man of the Match in the 1974 decider and was retrospectively awarded the Clive Churchill Medal in 2008. 

His achievements at Club level were replicated on the rep scene, creating history by becoming the first Indigenous person in any sport to captain Australia in the second Test against France in 1973. 

But 'Big Artie' would prove his credentials off the field as well, returning as Head Coach from 1985-1988, taking Easts to within a game of the Grand Final as he looked to rejuvenate the fortunes of the Club through the mid-80s.

Hall Of Fame | Arthur Beetson

Despite continuing his coaching career elsewhere, Beetson returned once again to the Club - as if guided by an invisible force - this time as a talent scout in 1994, using his charisma and passion to recruit future Club legends including Anthony Minichiello and Mitchell Aubusson.

Tragically, Beetson passed away after suffering a heart attack on the Gold Coast in 2011, with the Rugby League world in shock at the loss of one of the code's most talented and loveable characters. Honouring his legacy, the Arthur Beetson Medal was introduced, awarded to the man of the match for the annual Indigenous All Stars match. 

To this day, Beeton's legacy is stronger than ever and immortalised within the Eastern Suburbs community, featuring on the famous Legends Mural in Bondi, as well as Artie's Sports Bar at Easts Leagues. 

Brad Fittler: Inducted 2010

Many knew the capabilities of Brad Fittler with the ball in hand, but in his nine-year career in Red, White and Blue, few could stop the mercurial playmaker in his wake as he enjoyed a top-level career that included Club, State and International glory. 

He tasted Premiership glory, State of Origin victories and success on the international stage before his 21st birthday, but it was his move east that would cement him as one of Rugby League's greatest figures. 

With the Panthers joining the ill-fated Super League, Fittler remained loyal with the ARL, joining former head coach Phil Gould at the Roosters in 1996 – to form one of the finest player and coach combinations in Club history. Fittler’s influence on the side was immediate as the Red, White and Blue won their first ten matches, going on to feature in finals football for the first time since 1987.

Hall Of Fame | Brad Fittler

The following season the Tricolours went one game better with a Preliminary Final finish, as Fittler took over the captaincy and took home the Provan Summons Medal as the best player in the game.

With a burning desire to bring silverware and success back to the Roosters, Fittler made the selfless decision to retire from representative football in 2001, solely concentrating on Club duties as he led a new generation of players into the 21st century.

His personal sacrifice was rewarded as his crowning moment then came in the 2002 Grand Final, as the 30-year-old became the force and inspiration for his team to end a 27-year Premiership drought for the Club.

His legacy continues to live on at the Club, as the most capped captain (199), the tenth most capped player (217 games) and is the sixth-highest try scorer (91 tries). In 2018, Fittler was immortalised on the Club Legends Mural in Waverley alongside fellow Premiership-winning captains Arthur Beetson, Anthony Minichiello, Jake Friend and Boyd Cordner. 

Ray Stehr: Inducted 2012

One of the toughest and most uncompromising front rowers to ever play the game, Ray Stehr was the cornerstone of the Eastern Suburbs' forward pack during the glory days of the 1930s and 1940s through the midst of World War II. 

Growing up in Coogee, Stehr defied the odds and made an immediate impact through the Eastern Suburbs junior grades, making his first-grade debut at just fifteen for Easts after being selected to travel with the side on a mid-week trip to Newcastle. 

The young front-rower would continue his meteoric rise, becoming the youngest-ever debutant after making his competition debut aged 16 and 84 days, a record that still stands to this day.

Stehr etched himself as a permanent member of the line up and became the catalyst for the Club's success through the mid-1930s as the Red, White and Blue claimed a treble of Premierships in 1935, 1936 and 1937.

Hall Of Fame | Ray Stehr

While he held a reputation as a rough player, he was equally revered as "a man of great personal strength and quality" according to the legendary Frank Hyde.

Eventually, Stehr's leadership would come to the fore, and in 1938 he was appointed as Easts' captain, but with the advent of World War II, Stehr focused his attention on the wartime effort, enlisting in the AIF in 1939 and retiring from the code. 

Returning to the Club in one of the great comebacks, Stehr took over as stand-in captain once again for the 1940 Premiership decider as Dave Brown succumbed to injury before the match, and despite telling listeners on a radio interview on the day of the 1945 Grand Final victory that 'This will probably be my last game', Stehr backed up his efforts for one final season.

His legacy at Easts would continue as Club President and had the distinction of being a commentator for the first-ever live broadcast of an Australian Rugby League match in 1961. Never too far removed from the Club he loved, Stehr famously popularised the phrase 'Easts to Win!' which was his famous closing catch-cry while on the radio waves.  

Dick Dunn: Inducted 2012

A local junior, Dick Dunn played in Easts’ Grand Final over Canterbury in 1940 but is best remembered for his phenomenal performance in 1945 decider.

Playing lock, Dunn scored 19 of his side’s 22 points (three tries and five goals) in a brilliant effort to sink Balmain, and would finish his career with 124 for Easts between 1938 and 1947.

Hall Of Fame | Dick Dunn

Dunn was also Head Coach of Easts in 1960 and 1962-1963 and was later Vice President of the NSWRL, a chairman of the judiciary and co-manager of Australia’s tour of New Zealand in 1971. Dunn became a Member of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1986.

Ron Coote: Inducted 2012

Ron Coote AM was famous for his outstanding cover defence and low tackling technique and is widely considered as one of the nation’s finest footballers of the 20th century.

He was a key member of the Roosters back-to-back Premiership-winning sides in 1974 and 1975 and played a total of 109 games for the Club.

Hall Of Fame | Ron Coote

After football, Coote remained involved with the game as a member of NSWRL judiciary for much of the 1990s, and in 2000 he founded the Men of League program which supports former players, officials and referees and remains the program’s President.

Coote was inducted into the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2005, The Rugby League Team of the Century, was named in the list of Australia’s 100 Greatest Players in 2007 to celebrate the code’s centenary year in Australia. He is a Member of the Order of Australia.

The Ron Coote Cup, contested annually by the Sydney Roosters and foundation rivals the  South Sydney Rabbitohs is named in his honour.

Kevin Hastings: Inducted 2012

Kevin ‘Horrie’ Hastings, is the first clubman to play 200 first grade games for the Roosters, holding the record for the number of first-grade games for Easts at 228 until broken by Luke Ricketson in 2005.

Hall Of Fame | Kevin Hastings

Playing with the Club between 1976-87, the talented halfback garnered almost every major individual award in the early 1980s, winning the Rothmans Medal in 1981 and named the Dally M Halfback of the Year in three consecutive years (1980-82).

From 1980-82 he was also named Rugby League Week’s Player of the Year, guiding the Club through a turbulent period with his ad lib style of play and wholehearted performances. 

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.

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