Uncompromising: Ian Roberts
|Name: Ian Roberts||D.O.B: 31 July, 1965|
|Birthplace: London, England||Nickname: Robbo|
|Position: Front Row||Club Debut: Round 1 1986 vs. St George, Redfern Oval|
|Club Games: 65 (1986-1989)||Club Points: 20 (4 tries)|
A Souths Junior with the Mascot Jets, Ian Roberts has been touted as one of the best South Sydney products and best front rowers in the game of Rugby League.
Having made his first-grade debut in Round 1, 1986 in the Red and Green, by season's end he had already been praised by former Rabbitohs coach Jack Gibson as 'the best front rower in the game' for his uncompromising, physical style of play.
Roberts wasn't content with just playing a handful of first-grade games in his debut year, and featured in a majority of the Club's matches, scoring a try in the Minor Semi against the Canberra Raiders. His leadership also shone through as he was an integral part of the Premiership winning President's Cup (U23s) side later that season as well.
"He became one of the best forwards I've ever seen"Keith McCraw Souths Juniors President
Playing in one of the most fearsome forward packs in Club history didn't irk the young front rower, as in just his second year he was awarded the Dally M Prop of the Year.
Progress continued as Roberts earned his first representative jersey in 1988 while at the Rabbitohs, playing for City in that season's City vs Country match. In 1989 he was an integral part of the Souths side that claimed the Minor Premiership.
Souths Juniors President Keith McCraw saw Roberts rise through the ranks first-hand, going from developing junior to flourishing in first grade.
"He came through the grades and all the representative programs, and went into first grade at a really young age to became one of the best forwards I've ever seen," said Mr. McCraw.
"He was always tough and uncompromising, but he was always fair. He wasn't a thug, he just played the game hard.
"We've produced 63 internationals so he's right up there as one of the best juniors, particularly in the modern era and in the last 40-odd years.
"He has been one of, if not our best front rower since John Sattler and John O'Neill in the 1970s".
Roberts is the only player of the 1980s to make the South Sydney Dream Team in 2004 - compiled of the best ever South Sydney players to have played for the Red and Green - proving he was one of the best products the Club has ever produced.
|President's Cup Premiership (1986)|
|Dally M Prop of the Year (1987, 1993, 1994)|
|Ken Stephen Memorial Award (1994)|
|South Sydney Dream Team (2004)|
|South Sydney Juniors Team of the Century (2008)|
|South Sydney Football Club Life Member (2009)|