|Full name||Paul William Harragon|
12 October 1968 |
Kurri Kurri, New South Wales
|Height||193 cm (6 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||111 kg (17 st 7 lb)|
|1992–98||New South Wales||20||2||0||0||8|
|Source: NRL Stats and Rugby League Project|
Paul William Harragon OAM (born 12 October 1968 in Kurri Kurri, New South Wales) nicknamed Chief or Chief Harragon is an Australian rugby league football identity. A retired Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative forward, he played his club football for the Newcastle Knights whom he captained to the 1997 ARL premiership. Harragon was a regular presenter of The Footy Show and as of 2013 is the Chairman of the Newcastle Knights Advisory Board.
Harragon was raised in the New South Wales town of Kurri Kurri, and played for Lakes United in the Newcastle competition. He joined the Newcastle Knights in 1988 and made his first grade debut in 1989 against the Balmain Tigers.
He represented and captained Country, New South Wales and Australia. He was named man-of-the-match in the second game of the 1994 State of Origin series. At the end of the 1994 NSWRL season, he went on the 1994 Kangaroo tour.
Harragon captained the Knights to the 1997 ARL premiership title in a thrilling grand final against Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, despite suffering from serious headaches and seizures throughout most of the season.
Harragon excelled at the State of Origin level, making 20 consecutive appearances for New South Wales between Game I 1992 and Game II 1998 . He holds the record for the second most consecutive Origin games by a New South Welshman (Danny Buderus played 21 consecutive State of Origin games between game I 2002 and game III 2008), and most appearances by a NSW forward. A devastating runner of the football, he was famous for throwing himself at the defensive line in fearsome displays of determination. He is remembered for his ongoing fiery attacking and defensive clashes with Queensland hardman Trevor Gillmeister and Manly prop Mark Carroll.
Between 1992 & 1998, Harragon was a frequent choice to play for the Kangaroos. During the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand, he helped Australia retain The Ashes. All up he scored three tries while representing his country. He missed the 1995 World Cup final due to injury, with Gary Larson being flown in to replace him. That year it was reported that Harragon would receive $1.2 million to secure his loyalty to the Australian Rugby League in addition to $700,000 per season for the next three seasons.
In 1999, Harragon participated in the first rugby league game to be played at Stadium Australia. Later that year, after playing 169 first grade games in a career lasting ten years, Harragon retired due to an ongoing knee injury mid-season.
Harragon has since become a media personality, working for local Newcastle station NBN Television, before joining Channel 9 as a member of The Footy Show panel (on which his "That's Gold" segment became immensely popular), and as a football commentator. Following format changes to the programme before the 2009 season, Harragon decided to leave the production.
On Saturday 1 September 2007, his single "That's Gold" debuted at #8 on the ARIA Singles chart and #2 on the ARIA Physical Singles Chart. The song was distributed by Destra Entertainment/MRA Records. "That's Gold" is a parody of Spandau Ballet's 80s hit "Gold".
Harragon was also a director of and is a life member of the Newcastle Knights, and is spokesman for NIB Health Funds and Subway.
Paul Harragon lives in Newcastle with his wife Pam, his daughter and two sons.
- Matt Logue. "Legend Q&A". Rugby League Week (Sydney, NSW: PBLMedia) (14 May 2008): pgs 38–39.
- Magnay, Jacquelin (27 October 1995). "Harragon hits the jackpot". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- "Paul Harragon at Rugby League Project". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
- Erin McWhirter (5 January 2009). "Paul Harragon quits Footy Show on Nine TV Network". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 19 March 2009.
- Harragon, Paul; Brett Keeble (1999). One perfect day: an autobiography. Ironbark. ISBN 978-0-330-36183-5. ISBN 0-330-36183-X.