James J. Giltinan
- Sydney, NSW
- Date of Birth:
- 29 August 1866
- Established the NSWRL: 1907
- Helped establish interstate rugby league in Brisbane
- Organised and underwrote the first Kangaroo tour of England: 1908-09
- Honoured posthumously with the naming of the JJ Giltinan Shield
Along with Australian Test cricketer Victor Trumper, James J Giltinan was responsible for luring some of the Wallabies’ finest players to join the breakaway code of rugby league.
Giltinan invited Albert Baskerville’s All Golds team to play a series of matches against the NSW Pioneers who had been convinced to break away from rugby union.
He is considered the driving force behind the establishment of the NSWRL in 1907 and was appointed the first secretary of the fledgling league.
Giltinan attended the foundation meeting of every original club and also liaised with administrators in Brisbane to establish interstate rugby league.
A successful entrepreneur, Giltinan organised and underwrote the first Kangaroo tour of England in 1908-09.
He was deposed as NSWRL secretary in 1909 but continued as Honorary Secretary of the New South Wales Rugby League right through until 1950, when he resigned due to ill health.
Giltinan passed away in September 1950 and was honoured posthumously with the JJ Giltinan Shield, awarded to the premiership winners from 1951-57 and to the minor premiers ever since then.
"He was without doubt, the game’s father - a man with a grand view of league’s wonderful future. He was the risk taker, the money man."Ian Heads True Blue, the History of the NSWRL