Inaugural Eric Simms Medal
18th May 2023
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have struck a new sporting award, the inaugural Eric Simms Medal, which will be presented to the player-of-the-match following the Rabbitohs vs Eels Indigenous Round match this Friday 19 May on Bidjigal land at Allianz Stadium. The Eric Simms Medal pays tribute to one of not only the greatest Aboriginal Rugby League players, but to one of the legendary South Sydney players of all time, Eric Simms.
Mr Simms played in six Grand Finals for the South Sydney Rabbitohs between 1965 and 1971, winning four Premierships in 1967, 1968, 1970 and 1971, being named the man-of-the-match in the 1968 Grand Final. The goalkicking fullback played 206 first grade games for South Sydney, scoring 23 tries, 802 goals and 87 field goals for a total of 1841 points, a Club record which stood for 46 years. Mr Simms, Rabbitohs first grade player number 540, was such a prolific points scorer that the New South Wales Rugby League changed the value of a field goal from two points down to one point to try and halt his domination of scoreboards across the league. Mr Simms also played nine Test matches for Australia in 1968 and 1970 and represented New South Wales in 1968.
The Eric Simms Medal will be presented to the player-of-the-match at all future Rabbitohs home games played in Indigenous Round. This year, the Eric Simms Medal will be selected by two of the sportís greatest ever players, proud Aboriginal men Greg Inglis and Johnathan Thurston. Between them they have played in seven NRL Grand Finals for five victories, played 77 Tests for Australia, 69 State of Origin games for Queensland, 11 Indigenous All Stars matches, won four Golden Boot awards and two Clive Churchill Medals, another award named after a legendary South Sydney fullback. The Eric Simms Medal will be presented by Mr Simmsí children, daughter Chelsea and son Nathan, in a post-match presentation, rounding out what promises to be a stellar game day event celebrating and highlighting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander culture in Australia.
Rabbitohs CEO, Blake Solly, says there is no one more fitting to have this medal named after him than Eric Simms. "Eric Simms is a towering figure at our Club and in Rugby League. For nearly half a century he held the record as our greatest points scorer. His family continues to live on Bidjigal land with connections to the Rabbitohs. His cousin, Aunty Barb Simms, will perform the Welcome to Country on Friday night and we are honoured to have his son Nathan and daughter Chelsea presenting the player-of-the-match with the medal named in their fatherís honour. He is, without doubt, one of the greats of our Club, and weíre delighted to have a man that wore his fullback jersey after him and another brilliant Aboriginal player in Greg Inglis, join one of the gameís future Immortals in Johnathan Thurston, selecting the winner. For nearly half a century he held the record as our greatest points scorer. His family continues to live on Bidjigal land with connections to the Rabbitohs. His cousin, Aunty Barb Simms, will perform the Welcome to Country on Friday night and we are honoured to have his son Nathan and daughter Chelsea presenting the player-of-the-match with the medal named in their fatherís honour."
Ref - NRL [Viewed 19 May 2023] / FN-2
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