The South Sydney Rabbitohs are mourning the passing of international centre Terry Hill who passed away today (Wednesday) whilst overseas, aged 52.

Mr Hill, Rabbitohs first grade player number 781, made his first-grade debut with South Sydney against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at the Sydney Football Stadium in round one, 1990.

A South Sydney junior, Mr Hill would go on to play nine first grade games for the Rabbitohs in the 1990 season, as part of 26 grade games played during his three years with the Club.

Mr Hill, a Zetland junior, would go on to play 246 first grade games with South Sydney, Eastern Suburbs, Western Suburbs, Manly-Warringah and the Wests Tigers, winning a premiership with the Sea Eagles, as well as playing five Test matches for Australia and 14 State of Origin games for New South Wales in a 16-year career.

Mr Hill also forged a successful media career for himself, most notably as a regular contributor to the Nine Network’s The Footy Show.

Despite being best known for his efforts at the Sea Eagles and in the representative arena, Mr Hill always spoke fondly of his time as a Rabbitohs player and his time playing in the South Sydney junior league, coming through the ranks to represent the Red and Greens in first grade as an 18-year-old.

On behalf of everyone connected to the South Sydney Rabbitohs, we offer our deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Terry Hill.


Rabbitohs Historian, Michael Curin, penned the followed tribute to Mr Hill:

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are mourning the passing of former Rabbitohs first grader and international Terry Hill, following a suspected heart attack while in the Philippines this week where he’s been working for a charity, at the age of 52. He was affectionately known as ‘Tezza’.

Terence Christopher Hill was born on 22 January 1972 in Newtown, Sydney, and played all his junior football with the Zetland United Panthers. His grandfather was George Stonestreet, who played with Newtown in 1937-40 and 1942-43.

As a junior, ‘Tezza’ was good enough to represent Souths in their Harold Matthews and SG Ball Cups between 1986-89. In 1989 he also represented and captained both, City Under-17s and NSW Under-17s. Souths also graded him that same year and the following year he made his First Grade debut with Souths in Round 11 against Canterbury at Sydney Football Stadium, Moore Park, at the age of only 18 years and 54 days. Hill played in 26 graded games for Souths and scored three tries in his two years at the club, which include nine games in first grade. He also represented NSW Under-21s in the same year in two games against Queensland Under-21, scoring a try.

Hill was always a talented footballer, quite quirky and quick witted in real life, and some would even say a bit of a troublemaker throughout his career, a times having issues with coaches he played under.

Hill’s early career can be seen as the straw that broke the back of the controversial draft system. He was all set to join Warren Ryan at Wests when Easts stepped in and selected him as their draft choice in early 1991. Hill was forced to play for the Roosters (after first declaring he would sit out the season) but the eventual demise of the draft system after it was challenged in the courts by the Players Association saw him gain a release from Easts and ultimately play with Wests Magpies. With Wests, Hill confirmed his reputation as one of the brightest young prospects in the game, but relationships soured with the club when Warren Ryan informed state selector Don Furner that Hill would not be available for the third match of the 1993 State of Origin series because of injury. Hill complained that he had not been consulted and Furner was forced to admit that the young centre should have been given a medical. Hill was subsequently called into the squad following the withdrawal of Paul McGregor.

The following year he joined Manly and although he did not play for NSW that year, he was chosen as one of four centres on the Kangaroo Tour. Hill had a quiet tour, scoring seven tries in eight appearances in minor club matches, but came more to the fore in the troubled 1995 season. He played in beaten NSW teams before being chosen for the First Test against New Zealand, but a four-week suspension for head-butting cost him his place in the next two Tests.

In 1996 he was part of Manly’s premiership winning side, who defeated St. George in the Grand Final by 20-8, and the following year they were beaten in the Grand Final by an enthusiastic Newcastle team. While Hill continued to play for NSW for the next three seasons, his final appearances for his country was 1997’s sole Test match against a hastily put-together ‘Rest of the World’ team and the one-off Test against New Zealand in 1998.

Unimpressed by new Manly coach Peter Sharp, Hill joined the newly merged Wests Tigers for 2000. The fiery centre not only found himself out of favour with national coach Chris Anderson in 2001, he asked for a release from his club after a public falling out new coach Terry Lamb. To Hill’s credit, he buried the hatchet with Lamb at the end of the troubled 2001 season and was in vintage form in the early part of 2002 before suffering a groin injury that required urgent surgery. After a more consistent 2003 season under Tim Sheens, Hill had signed for another season with the South Sydney Rabbitohs but a groin injury during pre-season training caused him to retire. By the end of the year, Hill was training once more with another former club, Manly-Warringah, playing on to make 16 more appearances for them in the 2005 season.

Hill was called out of retirement in 2006 to play rugby union for the Central Coast Waves. He suffered a knee injury during the Grand Final of the NSW Country Caldwell Cup and was unable to take any part in the Waves' 2006 Shute Shield campaign.

His impressive representative record includes 17 games for Australia, of which five are Tests, four World Cup games and eight Tour games, scoring 15 tries. He also played in 14 Origin games for NSW in 1993, 1995 and 1997-2000, and five City Origin games between 1993-97, scoring two tries.

‘Tezza’ also appeared on Channel 9’s The Footy Show during the 1990s, and in many television commercials. He was also extremely passionate about his greyhounds, as an owner and a major supporter of the sport and was responsible for helping the sport to attract widespread media coverage with his live television crosses to Dapto on a Thursday night during The Footy Show to watch his greyhound Nads race.

On behalf of everyone connected with the Rabbitohs, we offer our deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Terry Hill.

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