Gasnier, Bath, McRitchie and Smith inducted into Legends Walk

The St George District Rugby League Football Club have today unveiled four new inductees into the “Legends Walk” at Kogarah, “Team of the Century” players Harry Bath, Mark Gasnier, Doug McRitchie and Neville Smith.

The Dragons “Team of the Century” was named last week as part of 12-month Covid-19 delayed Centenary celebrations for the St George District Rugby League Football Club (established in 1921) and the addition of these four new inductees takes the number of players in the ‘Legends Walk’ to 26.

“The Legend’s Walk is a unique memorial that recognises the personal contributions to the success of rugby league and the Dragons since 1921 and we are delighted to see Harry, Mark, Neville and Doug inducted here today,” said St George District Rugby League Football Club and St George Illawarra Dragons Chairman, Craig Young.

“All were named in the ‘Team of the Century’ last week and thoroughly deserve their place both in the Team and this Legend’s Walk that is significant in the history of this club”.

Former player and coach Harry Bath was a ball-playing second-rower and prop who won a Grand Final in each of his three years as a player (1957-59) and he broke the Saint’s point scoring record in 1958 with 225 points.

Bath was also one of the game’s greatest coaches — he started with St George reserves in 1960, he also coached at Balmain, Newtown and Australia in three World Cups (1968, 1970 and 1972) before famously returning to Saints to win premierships in 1977 and 1979.

Centre Mark Gasnier, a St George local junior from the Renown United Club played 174 games for the Club and scored 420 points throughout his time at the club (2000-2008, 2010-2011).

Gasnier Captained the Club in 2007 and 2008, won the “Player of the Year” in 2006 and was part of the Premiership in 2010. He was widely regarded as the best centre of his generation playing 44 Tests and 12 State of Origin matches for the New South Wales.

Centre Doug McRitchie played for the Club between 1942-44 and 1946-50 and was the only man to play in all three of St George’s Grand Finals in the 1940s (1942, 1946 and 1949).

He played 81 games for the club, was captain in 28 and also played four interstate matches for New South Wales and six Tests for Australia.

Neville Smith was a second-rower who holds a special place in the history of the club, as the captain-coach of the first Dragons team to win a first-grade premiership (1941).

Smith played 59 games as captain-coach between 1929-41 and 1943 and scored 281 points in a career that was cut short through injury. He was the NSW Rugby League premiership’s leading point scorer in 1939 and played for NSW in 1940 and 41 and would have been a Test certainty but for the absence of international football due to the war.

The Legend’s Walk was officially opened on March 6, 2004 by Immortal Norm Provan and now has 26 inductees: Harry Bath, Mark Gasnier, Doug McRitchie, Neville Smith, Ben Creagh, Ben Hornby, Jason Nightingale, the inaugural Dragons team (1921), Brian Clay, Mark Coyne, Reg Gasnier, Ken Kearney, Johnny King, Graeme Langlands, Eddie Lumsden, Matt McCoy, Noel Pidding, Norm Provan, John Raper, Rod Reddy, Kevin Ryan, Billy Smith, Robert Stone, Ian Walsh, Billy Wilson and Craig Young.

Family representatives of players chosen in the Dragons Team of the Century, who were able to attend, were presented with their family members “Team of the Century” plaque as part of this event.

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