Three of South Sydney’s modern-day, Premiership-winning heroes have received the highest honour upon which the Club can bestow them, Life Membership of the South Sydney Members Rugby League Football Club, at today’s Annual General Meeting held at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence in Redfern.
John Sutton, Greg Inglis and Sam Burgess all received unanimous approval of their Life Membership nominations, crowning stellar playing careers in South Sydney colours, all three having captained the Club over the past decade.
Sutton, Rabbitohs first grade player number 1020, finished his career as the most capped first grade player in South Sydney’s history with 336 first grade appearances in the cardinal red and myrtle green.
John Sutton Career Highlights
Sutton, a South Sydney junior, was the first South Sydney player in the Club’s history to play 300 first grade games and currently sits in the top ten of players for all time for first grade appearances in the elite Rugby League competition in Australia.
Sutton, who made his NRL debut against the Brisbane Broncos in 2004, is a three-time George Piggins Medallist as the best and fairest for the Rabbitohs in the NRL in a particular season, a winner of the Bob McCarthy Clubman of the Year award, Coaches award, Supporters’ Choice award and Rising Star award at South Sydney.
Sutton represented the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII in 2005 and City Origin in 2008 and 2009.
Arguably his greatest achievement was captaining the Rabbitohs to their 21st premiership in 2014, being the first Rabbitohs player since John Sattler in 1971 to be presented with the premiership trophy at season’s end.
2019 Burrow NRL Appreciation Award
Sutton continues his journey with the Rabbitohs in 2020, working as a Development Coach across all South Sydney squads including NRL, Canterbury Cup, Jersey Flegg, Women’s, SG Ball and Harold Matthews Cup teams. He is also an ambassador for Souths Cares, recently conducting coaching clinics and healthy lifestyles presentations in Sydney, Lithgow and Wellington.
Inglis, Rabbitohs first grade player number 1077, played 263 NRL games over 15 seasons, including 146 games for the South Sydney Rabbitohs. He played in five NRL Grand Finals, winning three including the Rabbitohs’ drought-breaking 21st premiership in 2014, and was crowned the Clive Churchill Medalist in 2007 as a five-eighth. He is also regarded as one of the best players ever to have played in the centres and at fullback.
Greg played 39 Tests for Australia and 32 State of Origin games for Queensland, is currently State of Origin’s leading try scorer of all time, and won the Golden Boot award as the world’s best player in 2009.
Greg Inglis - State of Origin highlights
He is a five-time Dally M award-winning player across a number of positions, a two-time George Piggins Medalist as the Rabbitohs’ best and fairest player in a particular season, and was an inductee in the Indigenous Team of the Century when it was announced in 2008. He is already being discussed in Rugby League circles as a future Hall of Famer and Immortal of the game.
Inglis is regarded as a leader both on and off the field, captaining the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Indigenous All Stars, Queensland State of Origin, and the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII sides. Greg is also regarded as a leader amongst the Indigenous community right across Australia and dedicates a lot of his time to helping Indigenous charities and communities around the country.
Greg Inglis Career Highlights
Greg’s famous goanna post-try celebration is copied by thousands of children on football fields around the country and was part of tributes paid by his team mates following his retirement earlier last season.
Greg continues to have an influence at South Sydney through his role as a Development Coach from NRL through to the under 16s squads, as well as being an ambassador for Souths Cares, helping to deliver programs across the South Sydney and Western Sydney regions.
Burgess will be remembered as one of the Rabbitohs’ finest leaders the Club has seen and is recognised within the sport as one of the best, if not the best, Englishmen to ply his trade on Australian shores.
Sam, Rabbitohs first grade player number 1073, played 270 first grade games across the NRL with South Sydney and the Super League with the Bradford Bulls since 2006. Burgess made his first team debut for Bradford against Leeds in 2006, going on to play 88 games for the Bulls.
Burgess arrived in Sydney on his 21st birthday ahead of his initial NRL season in 2010 where he made his debut in the cardinal and myrtle against the Roosters in round one. Burgess would play 182 matches for South Sydney, including the 2014 NRL Grand Final in which he was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal for his inspirational performance playing the entire game with a shattered cheekbone and eye socket.
Burgess remains the only South Sydney player to have won the award named after the Rabbitohs’ greatest player and fellow Life Member, ‘The Little Master’ Clive Churchill, and the only non-Australian to have claimed the award since its inception.
Sam played 23 Test matches for England between 2008 and 2018, and played two Tests for Great Britain in 2007. Sam also represented England at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, playing in five Tests for the home nation.
The Best of 'Slamming' Sam Burgess
Adding to the 2014 NRL Premiership trophy and his Clive Churchill Medal, Sam was also awarded the RLIF International Player of the Year award in 2014, was the Dally M Lock of the Year in the same year, has won the George Piggins Medal as the Rabbitohs best and fairest player on three occasions and the Jack Rayner Players’ Player award five times.
Sam has also shown his leadership qualities at club and international levels, captaining the Rabbitohs last season on a full time basis and sharing the captaincy through a number of seasons in red and green, as well as captaining England in 2016 and then the following year in the 2017 World Cup Final against Australia.
Burgess continues his Rugby League career with the Rabbitohs working in coaching and administrative roles at the Club.
Rabbitohs Chairman, Nicholas Pappas, presented the three with their Life Membership medallions. Congratulations to John, Greg and Sam on this prestigious recognition of their efforts for South Sydney and their connection with the Club for the future.
A vote was held for the five Member Co. Board directorships with the current Board Members of Nicholas Pappas, Nick Hatzistergos, Michael Andrews, Ray Martin and Greg Johnson returned to their positions.