On this day in 1947, the South Sydney Rabbitohs play their second last game of the season against the Newtown Jets at Erskineville Oval. The fixture marks the Club debut of a late-season signing acquired from Newcastle for the price of 12 pounds 10 shillings (approx. $813) per game.
Wiry Country Seconds fullback, Clive Churchill kicks three goals for the Rabbitohs in their 25-10 loss, showing impressive signs in his first outing in the Cardinal Red and Myrtle Green.
It would not take long for the young fullback to cement his spot in the South Sydney line-up, soon becoming a household name, representing, and eventually captaining his Club, state and country.
Playing 157 games for the Rabbitohs spanning across 12 seasons from 1947-1958, Churchill is widely regarded as the greatest to have played the game, winning five premierships with South Sydney and shaping the way that modern rugby league is played.
Churchill’s impact on the game is further reflected through his selection as a rugby league ‘Immortal’ and in Australia’s rugby league ‘Team of the Century’ as well as having a stand at the Sydney Cricket Ground and the best and fairest grand final medal named in his honour.