The History Behind The Most Famous Jersey In NRL
This topic is an interesting but complex one.
Based on the Club’s colours of Cardinal and Myrtle (Red and Green), the most common jersey was predominantly green with horizontal red bars.
The rabbit emblem first appeared in 1959, and in recent years a white rabbit was worn at home games, black one at away games.
There is a home jersey and away jersey, and black shorts are usually home games with white shorts worn at away games. In the late 1950s early 1960s there were red and green squares on occasions.
White shorts were used from 1980 to 1993. Green shorts with red stripe down the sides 1975 to 1977.
There was a break from tradition 1980 to 1985 when we wore red, green and white. This jersey was nicknamed the ‘Minties wrapper’, because it was not popular with the fans.
The idea was to attract new fans from the Italian population, because they are the colours of the Italian National flag. It was the suggestion of the late life member Don Lane.
The Club also used a new theme song ‘Cheer Cheer for South Sydney’s might’ (same tune as used by AFL team Sydney Swans) during this time. Fortunately in 1986, the Club reverted to the traditional hoops and the Club song' Glory Glory To South Sydney' was resurrected to its rightful place (the song was first recorded in 1967 prior to Souths winning the grand final over Canterbury 12-10.
The song was originally meant to be used within the Club, but when aired on radio stations it proved very popular, with radio switchboards jammed with requests to play it again. Club legend George Piggins was coach in 1986-90 which likely had something to do with the return to tradition.
In the 1970 Grand Final victory over Manly, John Sattler had his jaw smashed by Manly forward John Bucknell, and half his rabbit emblem was torn off during the game.
For the 2008 Heritage Round and to celebrate 100 years of the Rabbitohs, Souths wore a half rabbit in honour of Sattler's heroics.
As Rugby League became big business in the 1970s, financial realities saw the beginning of sponsorship, with the club’s major sponsors appearing on the front of the jersey. This began in 1976.
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