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V’landys leads tributes to Kurri Kurri junior John Sattler


Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V’landys AM has led the tributes for Kurri Kurri Bulldogs junior John Sattler, who has passed away.

The South Sydney legend, born at Telarah in 1942, died at the age of 80 after battling dementia.

He moved to Kurri Kurri with his family when he was 12 before attending Marist Brothers High School in Maitland.

Sattler, the father of ex-NRL star Scott, began playing rugby league, at 16, for the Bulldogs.

He made 38 appearances between 1959 and 1962; and was selected in the club’s Team of the Century.

The Bulldogs’ grandstand is also named in his honour.

In 1962, the tough-as-teak prop represented Newcastle against the touring British side.

The following year he moved to Sydney and joined the Rabbitohs.

In 1967, he was appointed Souths captain and he inspired them to premiership wins in the in 1967, 1968, 1970 and 1971.

He wrote his name in grand final folklore by playing almost the entire 1970 decider against Manly with a broken jaw. 

Sattler also led his team to the big dance in 1969 where they lost to Balmain.

After 195 matches with the Rabbitohs, he signed for Brisbane Western Suburbs in 1973.

“John was a legend of the game,” V’landys said.

“The tales of his toughness were quite extraordinary, but they were also at odds with his nature off the field.

“He was a true gentleman.

“Those traits made him such a remarkable and celebrated leader.

“He captained his club South Sydney as well as his country on three occasions.

“John played in six grand finals with the Rabbitohs, winning four as captain, and was deservedly honoured as one of Australia’s greatest 100 players in the Centenary season in 2008.

“On behalf of the Commission, I extend our condolences to his family, friends, and all who knew him.”

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