John Ferguson (rugby league)

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John Ferguson
Personal information
Born (1954-07-15) 15 July 1954 (age 65)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height173 cm (5 ft 8 in)[1]
Weight72 kg (11 st 5 lb)[1]
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1980–83 Newtown Jets 74 40 0 0 135
1984–85 Eastern Suburbs 31 16 0 0 64
1984–85 Wigan 25 24 0 0 96
1986–90 Canberra Raiders 94 50 0 0 200
Total 224 130 0 0 495
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1985–89 New South Wales 8 1 0 0 4
1985 Australia 3 0 0 0 0
Source: [2][3]

John "Chicka"[4] Ferguson (born 15 July 1954[1]) is an Indigenous Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s. An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative winger, in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership for the Newtown Jets, Eastern Suburbs Roosters and finally the Canberra Raiders, with whom he won the 1989 and 1990 NSWRL premierships. A prolific try-scorer, who topped the NSWRL's scoring list in 1988, Ferguson also played in England with Wigan, helping them to victory in the 1985 Challenge Cup Final. He has since been named in Australia's indigenous team of the century (1908–2008).

Playing career[edit]

Ferguson played at South Grafton Rebels as a junior and then as a first grader from 1972 to 1975. He then moved to play at Glen Innes from 1976 to 1980. He was then lured to play for Newtown Jets for the 1981 season.

Ferguson played in his first Grand Final with Newtown in 1981 before moving to Easts. He later moved to England, for a period he spent playing with Wigan. During this period, Ferguson came close to eclipsing the number of games played, with the tries he had scored. John Ferguson played right wing, i.e. number 2, in Wigan's 18-26 defeat by St. Helens in the 1984 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1984–85 season at Central Park, Wigan, on Sunday 28 October 1984, and played right wing, i.e. number 2, and scored 2-tries in Wigan's 28-24 victory over Hull F.C. in the 1985 Challenge Cup Final during the 1984–85 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 4 May 1985.

Ferguson would later return to the NSWRL, topping the League's try-scoring list in 1988 before going on to feature in two premiership-winning Canberra Raiders sides. In the famous '89 grand final, he scored a dramatic last-minute try to send the rugby league grand final into extra time. The Canberra Raiders eventually triumphed over the Balmain Tigers.[5] In the post season he traveled with the Raiders to England for the 1989 World Club Challenge, playing on the wing in Canberra's loss to Widnes.

Ferguson, still one of the fastest players at the Raiders despite turning 36 during the season, won a second premiership with the Canberra Raiders in the 1990 NSWRL season.

Representative career[edit]

Ferguson was selected to represent New South Wales as a winger in three State of Origin series:

Ferguson is the oldest player to have participated in a New South Wales State of Origin team – 34 years and 348 days. [6]


In 2001, Ferguson was named on the wing in the Indigenous Team of the Century. Arthur Beetson, named as captain of the team, commented that "Chicka was as good a winger as anybody". [7]

Ferguson was again listed in a top Indigenous players team in 2004 when the Canberra Raiders selected a side representing the best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to have played for the club.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Gary Lester (editor) (1983). The Sun Book of Rugby League – 1983. Sydney, New South Wales: John Fairfax Marketing. p. 56. ISBN 0-909558-83-3.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Rugby League Project
  3. ^ Yesterday's Hero Archived 27 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Denise Angelo, Sue Butler (1998). Australian Phrasebook: Language Survival Kit. Lonely Planet. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-86442-576-8. ISBN 0-86442-576-7.
  5. ^ "Sydney Football Stadium Magic Moments". Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust. Archived from the original on 16 August 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  6. ^ "State of Origin factboxes". AAP Sports News (Australia). 24 May 2005. Archived from the original (fee required) on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  7. ^ Walton, Darren (16 June 2001). "Beetson named captain of Indigenous Team of the Century". ABC News. Archived from the original (fee required) on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  8. ^ "Daley chosen to skipper indigenous side". AAP Sports News (Australia). 19 August 2004. Archived from the original (fee required) on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2007.

External links[edit]