Piggins and Heads inducted into NRL Hall of Fame

19th July 2023

The NRL has today formally inducted Contributors George Piggins and Ian Heads into the NRL Hall of Fame. In a special event at the Sydney Cricket Ground, both Rugby League identities were formally added to the prestigious group of Hall of Famers in the Contributors category.

Piggins (Administration) played 120 games as South Sydney hooker between 1967 and 1978, coached the Rabbitohs between 1986 and 1990, before famously leading the fight for South Sydney to be reinstated after the club was cut from the competition in 1999. "George Piggins has made a massive contribution to the game of rugby league over his lifetime. His dedication as a determined administrator, coach and player deserves recognition in the prestigious NRL Hall of Fame," Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’landys AM said. "George was President and Chairman of South Sydney throughout the 1990s and led the fight to have South Sydney reinstated into the NRL competition in 2002. His determination, fighting spirit and ultimate success will forever be enshrined in Rugby League history. George epitomises the spirit of Rugby League - aspire, work hard, never give up and succeed."

Heads (Print Media) is a doyen of Rugby League journalism, having written for Sydney’s Daily and Sunday Telegraphs, Rugby League Week, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Sun-Herald. Heads also authored more than 40 Rugby League biographies and histories. "Ian Heads was one of the game’s great storytellers. He was a giant in journalism and a gentleman. He has always been highly respected for his knowledge of the sport and for his dignified coverage of the game. He authored over 40 rugby league biographies and histories and covered the game over five decades. His knowledge of the game and his service to the game as a great writer and storyteller will now always be permanently acknowledged in the NRL Hall of Fame."

Piggins attended the ceremony, alongside his wife Nolene, while Heads, who is suffering ill health, was represented by his wife Joy and son Phil at the event.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs congratulate Club legend George Piggins and Rugby League historian, author and journalist Ian Heads on their inductions into the National Rugby League Hall of Fame today. Mr Piggins is a towering figure in South Sydney history having won premierships as a player, led the first grade team as Head Coach, was Chairman of the South Sydney Football Club, and was the talismanic leader of the Club’s fight for reinstatement in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Ian Heads is one of the most highly regarded Rugby League journalists, authors and historians with a special connection to the Rabbitohs. Mr Heads wrote the book The History of Souths, published in 1985, which was followed in 2000 by South Sydney: Pride of the League. Both of these books are regarded as detailed histories of the greatest Club in Rugby League in Australia, chronicling the many successes and deep hardships which have shaped the South Sydney Club for over a century. Mr Heads also penned the book The Juniors: The Best for the Best, which detailed the history of the South Sydney Juniors, which was also published in the year 2000. Mr Piggins and Mr Heads joined forces to produce the book Never Say Die: The Fight to Save the Rabbitohs in 2002.

Ref - SSFC [Viewed 4 Aug 2023] / NRL [Viewed 4 Aug 2023] / FN-1 / FN-2

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