The South Sydney Rabbitohs congratulate Club legend George Piggins and Rugby League historian, author and journalist Ian Heads on their inductions into the National Rugby League Hall of Fame today.

Mr Piggins is a towering figure in South Sydney history having won premierships as a player, led the first grade team as Head Coach, was Chairman of the South Sydney Football Club, and was the talismanic leader of the Club’s fight for reinstatement in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Mr Piggins, Rabbitohs first grade player number 546, made his first grade debut in 1967 and would go on to play 112 first grade matches amongst his 245 grade games for the Club between 1964 and 1978. He would win a first grade Premiership with the Rabbitohs in 1971, the Club's 20th Premiership, capping off the Club's third golden era.

Mr Piggins coached the South Sydney first grade team for five seasons between 1986 and 1990, taking the team to three finals series including the minor premiership in 1989.

Mr Piggins was the Chairman of the South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club between 1990 and 2003, where he became the public face of the Club's fightback for reinstatement into the elite Australian competition between 1999 and 2001. He is widely regarded as one of the leading figures in the Rabbitohs' 115-year history due to the professional and personal sacrifices he made to win the Federal Court battle for South Sydney's reinstatement.

Mr Piggins was made a Life Member of the South Sydney Football Club in 1979, and took up his Life Membership of the South Sydney Member Co. in 2023.

The Club's highest on-field award, the George Piggins Medal, is awarded to the player of the season each year.

Ian Heads is one of the most highly regarded Rugby League journalists, authors and historians with a special connection to the Rabbitohs.

Mr Heads wrote the book The History of Souths, published in 1985, which was followed in 2000 by South Sydney: Pride of the League. Both of these books are regarded as detailed histories of the greatest Club in Rugby League in Australia, chronicling the many successes and deep hardships which have shaped the South Sydney Club for over a century.

Mr Heads also penned the book The Juniors: The Best for the Best, which detailed the history of the South Sydney Juniors, which was also published in the year 2000.

Mr Piggins and Mr Heads joined forces to produce the book Never Say Die: The Fight to Save the Rabbitohs in 2002.

Rabbitohs CEO, Blake Solly, paid tribute to both men.

"There is arguably no taller figure in the history of the South Sydney Rabbitohs than George Piggins, both on and off the field of play, and his induction into the National Rugby League Hall of Fame today is wonderful recognition for a life dedicated to Rugby League and the South Sydney Rabbitohs," Mr Solly said.

Blake Solly

"As many have said before, the South Sydney Rabbitohs would not be alive today without the efforts of George throughout the Fightback years of 1999-2001. However, his contribution goes much further than that when you combine his dogged determination as a player and his leadership as Head Coach and Chairman of the Club over the decades"

"Mr Heads also holds a special place in our Club's history. He chronicled the Club’s history in numerous books over the years, and I'm sure he would have written thousands of articles about our Club during his seven decades working in the media.

"He was always on hand to assist our Club with any enquiries regarding our storied history and penned special pieces for us over the years.

"Both of these men are giants of the sport in their own unique way, however they came together to record George's biographical book in 2002 and, fittingly, they are inducted into the National Rugby League Hall of Fame together today.

"On behalf of everyone connected to the Rabbitohs we thank both George Piggins and Ian Heads for their contributions to the Rabbitohs and Rugby League, and we congratulate them on their official recognition in the Hall of Fame today."

Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman, Peter V’landys AM, said: “George Piggins has made a massive contribution to the game of Rugby League over his lifetime. His dedication as a determined administrator, coach and player deserves recognition in the prestigious NRL Hall of Fame.

“George was President and Chairman of South Sydney throughout the 1990s and led the fight to have South Sydney reinstated into the NRL competition in 2002. His determination, fighting spirit and ultimate success will forever be enshrined in Rugby League history. George epitomises the spirit of Rugby League - aspire, work hard, never give up and succeed.

“Ian Heads was one of the game’s great storytellers. He was a giant in journalism and a gentleman.

“He has always been highly respected for his knowledge of the sport and for his dignified coverage of the game. He authored over 40 Rugby League biographies and histories and covered the game over five decades. His knowledge of the game and his service to the game as a great writer and storyteller will now always be permanently acknowledged in the NRL Hall of Fame.”

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