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August 28: McGrady gets police escort to win medal; Hall of Famer Walters born

On this day, a Hall of Famer from a champion family was born and Ewan McGrady creates history by getting a police escort to the Rothman's Medal.


John Dorahy was born in Wollongong. He started his first-grade career with Wests in 1974 before Manly poached him in 1980 along with a host of Magpies players.

The goal-kicking fullback returned home to captain Illawarra in the Steelers' entry into the NSWRL premiership two years later.

After four seasons with Illawarra, he spent 1986 with Hull KR before finishing his career with three years at North Sydney. Dorahy played two Tests for the Kangaroos in 1978.

Dorahy, who was known by the iconic nickname "Joe Cool", was still a force when he returned from his English stint to play for the Bears, earning Country Origin selection in 1988 before calling time on his Australian club career the following season before finally hanging up his boots following the 1989-90 English season with Halifax.

He went on to coach Wigan, winning the Challenge Cup, league and grand final treble in 1993-94.

John Dorahy was the first captain of the Illawarra Steelers.
John Dorahy was the first captain of the Illawarra Steelers. ©NRL Photos


Hall of Famer Steve Walters was born in Ipswich. Steve Walters made his reputation at Canberra, where he played in three winning grand final sides. He played 228 first-grade games for the club between 1986 and 1996, and later played briefly for North Queensland and Newcastle. 

Unlucky in 1990 to miss selection on the Kangaroo tour, when his brothers Kevin and Kerrod were in the squad, it wasn't until the following year that Steve made his Test debut, against New Zealand, but from then to the end of the 1994 Kangaroo tour he was a fixture in the Australian line-up.

When Steve was injured during the Papua New Guinea tour of 1991, Kerrod replaced him. A year later, all three brothers were part of Australia's World Cup squad.


Simon Mannering was born in Hawke's Bay. Originally a centre, he made the transition into the back row midway through his career and became the first Warriors player to notch 300 NRL appearances at the club shortly before retiring at the end of 2018. Mannering also represented the Kiwis 45 times.


Canterbury’s  brilliant  Ewan  McGrady  was named  Rothmans  Medallist  for  1991  by  NSW premier  Nick  Greiner. 

McGrady  kept organisers  and  guests  waiting  for  more  than  an  hour  before  arriving  at  Sydney’s  Hilton  Hotel  with  a  police  escort.     


This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.