30. Ray Stehr

Having recovered from a crippling childhood illness to become a first-grader with his beloved Easts at age 16 in 1929, Stehr set out on a football journey which was without parallel for its feuds, fisticuffs and raucous controversy.

Above all else, Stehr was a front-row warrior, and one of the best, in the thick of the action through 55 games for Australia (including 11 Tests), 33 matches for NSW and a then-record 184 first-grade games for Easts in a career that stretched through the Depression and beyond World War II.

Stehr's famous blow-up with the tough Englishman John Arkwright in the third Test of 1936 is one of the game's most retold stories: how Arkwright and Stehr were involved in a dust-up in a scrum, and then Arkwright (seemingly) felled Stehr with a pole-axing blow.

Referee Lal Deane promptly sent Arkwright off, and then Stehr, too, after the Aussie prop ''recovered''. Stehr later claimed he'd taken a dive, but not everyone agreed with him.

Balancing Stehr's image as a ''hit man'', Frank Hyde called him ''a man of great personal strength and quality''.

Powerful and brave, Stehr was a cornerstone of the great Easts teams of the 1930s, and forward with a genuine nous for the game.

In the 1936 final, Easts scored a spectacular try, involving many passes and most of their brilliant backs, yet Stehr was the man who put the ball over the line.

Position: Prop.

Clubs: Eastern Suburbs 1929–42, 1945–46; Mudgee 1934.

Club landmarks: Won premierships with Easts 1935–37, 1940 (captain), 1945 (captain).

Games for NSW: 33 (1931–41).

Tests for Australia: 11 (1933–37).

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1933–34, 1937–38; Australian tour of New Zealand 1935.