John Sattler

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For the United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General, see John F. Sattler.
John Sattler
Personal information
Nickname Satts, Gentleman John
Born (1942-07-28) 28 July 1942 (age 72)
Kurri Kurri, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Position Prop
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
19??–?? Kurri Kurri 38
1963–72 South Sydney 197 12 0 0 36
1973–74 Wests (Brisbane)
1975 Norths (Brisbane)
Total 235 12 0 0 36
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1962 Newcastle
1969 New South Wales 4 0 0 0 0
1973 Queensland 4 0 0 0 0
1967–71 Australia 4 0 0 0 0
As of 31 August 2006

John William Sattler (born 28 July 1942 in Kurri Kurri, New South Wales) is an Australian former rugby league footballer of the 1960s and '70s. He was a rugged Prop forward who led his club, South Sydney to four premiership victories between 1967 and 1971 and who played four tests for Australia – three as the national captain. He is also the father of former rugby league player Scott Sattler who won a premiership with Penrith in 2003.

Club career[edit]

One of the hardmen of Australian rugby league 'Satts' was an aggressive player on the field but a softly spoken gentleman off the field, hence his other nickname "Gentleman John". He began playing rugby league at the relatively late age of 16 for Kurri Kurri and represented Newcastle against the touring British side in 1962. The following year he joined South Sydney.

In 1967 he was appointed Souths captain and he inspired Souths to premiership wins on four occasions in 1967, 1968, 1970 and 1971. He also led his team to the Grand Final in 1969 where they lost to Balmain. His position of choice was at lock forward though he played his best football at Prop forward.

After 195 games with South Sydney, and four premiership victories, John Sattler signed for Brisbane Western Suburbs in 1973.

The Legendary 1970 Grand Final[edit]

John Sattler playing for Souths in the 1970 grand final against Manly with his broken jaw evident

Sattler has attained legendary status in the game for his role in the 1970 grand final, almost all of which he played with a broken jaw to help Souths to victory over Manly.[1]

In the premiership decider of 1970 South Sydney were up against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 19 September. Having lost the previous Grand Final to the Balmain Tigers, Souths were desperate to win. Approximately ten minutes into the game Sattler collapsed after being punched by Manly forward John Bucknall. He suffered a double fracture to his jaw but pleaded to team mate Mike Cleary, "Hold me up so they don't know I'm hurt". He was helped up and continued to play in the game. At half time Souths were leading 12–6 when his team mates learnt about his injury.

During the interval he refused treatment and insisted he continue playing. He also told the side, "the next bloke who tries to cut me out of the play is in trouble," to prevent his team mates trying to protect him from further injury. At the end of the game South Sydney had scored 3 tries to nil in a 23–12 victory. He later went to hospital to receive treatment but only after receiving the Giltinan Shield and making an acceptance speech.

Representative career[edit]

Being injured during the 1970 Grand Final, he was not selected as captain for the Australian touring side announced later that night for the World Cup in England. However he had previously been selected in Australia's tour of Britain and France in 1967 and in the Australian teams which toured New Zealand in 1969 and 1971, in which he was selected as captain. He only managed to play in four tests for Australia, captaining his nation in three out of those four games.

He captained the Queensland state side against New South Wales in 1973 before retiring from professional rugby league the following year.

Sattler was sent off fifteen times during his career and served a total of 30 weeks of suspensions. But he is remembered for his physical and mental toughness rather than his poor disciplinary record.

Post playing[edit]

In the mid-1980s John Sattler was involved in one of the unsuccessful bids to form a Brisbane-based team for the New South Wales Rugby League premiership.

In February 2008, Sattler was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.[2][3]

In 2010 he was named as captain of Kurri Rugby League Club's team of the century.[4]

External links[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Sydney Cricket Ground Magic Moments". sydneycricketground.com.au. Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  2. ^ Peter Cassidy (2008-02-23). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  3. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League – The Players". NRL & ARL. 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  4. ^ cessnockadvertiser.com.au (21 July 2010). "Kurri Rugby League Club announces Team of the Century". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
Preceded by
John Raper
Australian national rugby league captain
1969-70
Succeeded by
Graeme Langlands