Clive Churchill

''I have never seen a greater player than Clive Churchill'', said long-time ARL chairman Bill Buckley. ''Churchill is the greatest'', reckoned Dally Messenger.

''He set the standard by which all the famous rugby league players of his era, and since, will be assessed,'' wrote renowned league writer Tom Goodman.

''I never saw Dally Messenger ('The Master') play,'' said Ray Stehr. ''But I have seen the Little Master.''

Churchill's size, 168cm and 76kg, gave hope to all males of smaller stature who dreamed of playing rugby league.

With Souths, NSW and Australia, he performed magnificent deeds. He played 157 club games, 37 times for NSW, an incredible 91 times for Australia (including 34 Tests and three World Cup games) — 298 games in all.

He then went on to coach South Sydney to four premierships in five years (1967, 1968, 1970 and 1971).

In 1981, when Churchill was named one of Rugby League Week's four ''Immortals'', it was yet another nod to his greatness.

Photographs and film exist as a reminder of what a quick-footed, relentless player he was, jersey sleeves always rolled up, setting up raids from the back, revolutionising fullback play for all who were to follow, felling opponents of all sizes with his brilliant low tackling.

In rugby league's world, Clive Churchill did it all, taking over the captaincy of his country in 1950 and promptly leading Australia to the first Ashes win in 30 years, and winning five premierships with Souths from that memorable season to 1955.

Position: Fullback.

Clubs: Central Newcastle 1946–47; South Sydney 1947–58; Norths Brisbane 1959.

Club landmarks: Won premierships with Souths 1950–51, 1953–55.

Games for NSW: 37 (1948–57).

Games for Queensland: One (1959).

Tests for Australia: 34 (1948–56) — 24 as captain.

World Cup matches: Three (1954) — all as captain.

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1948–49, 1952–53 (captain), 1956–57; Australian tours of New Zealand 1949, 1953; World Cup 1954; Inducted as one of the original Immortals 1981.