51. Ian Walsh

Ian Walsh's football career had covered more than a decade before St George signed him in 1962.

In country football, he had played against the French teams of 1951 and 1955 and the Great Britain teams of 1954 and 1958.

In 1959, he became an Australian player, touring with the Kangaroos and playing all three Ashes Tests.

At Saints, Walsh was part of five winning premiership campaigns. He played 25 Tests for his country and proved a magnificent stand-in for injured skipper Arthur Summons on the Kangaroo tour of 1963–64.

In 1966, he was captain-coach of the Saints team that won the club's 11th successive premiership and led his country to Ashes victory.

The following year, his farewell season, Walsh was Saints' skipper at the time of a piece of league history that had to arrive one day — when St George finally did not win a premiership.

Throughout his career and beyond, Walsh was a fine and forthright man, an ornament to the game he played. His courage was legendary. In successive years, 1963 and 1964, he suffered badly broken arms yet fought his way back.

As a hooker, he was a renowned ball-winner in the tough scrums of the time, a rugged defender of the ruck, the shrewdest of generals with his clever reading of the game, and a perfect dummy half with his handling and passing skills.

He coached Parramatta with some success in 1971 and 1972, and for many years was a hard-hitting columnist with the Daily Telegraph.

Position: Hooker.

Clubs: Condobolin 1951; Parkes 1952–53; Forbes 1954–55; Eugowra 1956–61; St George 1962–67.

Club landmarks: Won premierships with St George 1962–65; Captained St George to premiership 1966.

Games for NSW: 24 (1959–66).

Tests for Australia: 25 (1959–66) — 10 as captain.

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1959–60, 1963–64; Australian tours of New Zealand 1961, 1965 (captain).