Graeme O'Grady

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Graeme O'Grady
Personal information
Full name Graeme O'Grady
Nickname Snake
Born (1953-08-14) 14 August 1953 (age 63)[1]
Playing information
Height 173 cm (5 ft 8 in)[1]
Weight 79.5 kg (12 st 7 lb)[1]
Position Five-eighth, Lock
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1974–79 Western Suburbs Magpies 95 21 3 3 72
1980–82 Newtown Jets 68 13 7 0 53
1983–85 St. George Dragons 61 5 0 0 20
Total 224 39 10 3 145
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1981 New South Wales 1 0 0 0 0
Source: [2]

Graeme O'Grady is an Australian former professional rugby league player in the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) competition. He played for the Western Suburbs Magpies, Newtown Jets and St. George Dragons and one state representative appearance. O'Grady primarily played at lock.

Club career[edit]

A small player, even by the standards of his time, O'Grady was described as, "A tough, nuggetty player with a good step and effective kicking game,"[3] and, less flatteringly, as, "a refugee from a garden gnome colony."[4]

After six games with Western Suburbs in 1974, O'Grady spent the following year at Wests Illawarra before being recalled to first grade in 1976. From that point on, O'Grady was a regular in the Magpies team. In 1977, O'Grady was selected as the Amco Cup's Player of the Series after Wests defeated Easts in the Grand Final of the mid-week competition. He played lock in the semi-finals in 1978.

In 1980 he followed his former club-skipper Tommy Raudonikis to Newtown as part of, "probably the biggest buying splurge in the club's history."[5] He spent the next three seasons there under former Magpies lower-grade coach Warren Ryan. He was a member of the Newtown side that went down by 11-20 to Parramatta in the 1981 Grand Final, scoring a try in the first half.[6]

Joining former coach Roy Masters, O'Grady finished his first-grade career with three seasons with St. George Dragons from 1983. He announced his intention to retire before the 1985 Grand Final, taking his place in the starting team after an injury to John Fifita.[4] The Dragons lost the game by a single point to the Canterbury Bulldogs.

O'Grady retired to the Gold Coast in 1985 and captain-coached a Group 18 team, Cudgen Hornets, to premierships in 1986 and 1988.[2] and remained involved with the club for decades afterwards. He played for the Northern Rivers team in the Country Championships in 1986, and then captained the same side to victory in 1987.[7] O'Grady was named at five-eighth in the Western Suburbs Team of the Seventies.[8]


O'Grady was selected as a reserve to represent New South Wales in the sole Origin game of 1981, but did not get any time on the paddock.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Gary Lester (editor) (1986). Rugby League Action '85. Sydney, New South Wales: John Fairfax Marketing. p. 57. ISBN 0-909558-29-9. 
  2. ^ a b Whiticker, Alan; Hudson, Glen (2005). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players - Wests Tigers. Melbourne, Victoria: Bas Publishing. p. 190. ISBN 1-920910-61-1. 
  3. ^ Alan Whiticker. "Graeme O'Grady". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Alan Clarkson (29 September 1985). "Lap of honour would be a fitting reward". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Alan Clarkson (15 January 1980). "If money wins, Jets can't lose". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Frank Hyde (29 September 1981). "Newtown beaten by late knockout". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "Retravision Northern League Centenary Squad". Far North Coaster. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "WESTERN SUBURBS MAGPIES TEAM OF THE 1970's". Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "State Of Origin 1981". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 22 May 2011.