Sattler’s stirring demand for teammates in iconic GF
As tributes to league icon John Sattler continue to flow, Phil Gould has shared another tidbit about the Rabbitohs legend’s famous 1970 grand final.
Sattler died on Monday after a battle with dementia. He was 80.
Having had his jaw broken by Manly prop John Bucknell barely minutes into that famous decider, Sattler’s teammates rallied around their skipper, but not in the way he wanted.
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“He gets smashed and goes down, but he gets straight back up,” Gould said on Nine’s 100% Footy.
“He gets the other players around him and said to them, ‘Don’t let them see that I’m hurt’.”
But after that rev-up and knowing their hard skipper was in pain, they did their best to protect him.
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“These teammates were trying to protect him, they were trying to take the runs rather than him, and they pushed him out of the way a couple of times.
“So at half-time, he said, ‘anyone does that again … you’re going to be in trouble’.
“And he said, ‘just let me play’, and he played the whole game with his broken jaw and became the stuff of legend.”
Rabbitohs legend dies after dementia battle
Sattler did eventually get treatment, but only after accepting the WD & HO Wills Cup.
Speaking on 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio on Monday evening, Souths chairman Nick Pappas described Sattler as “the legend of legends”.
“He was tough and uncompromising on the field, but he was eloquent and measured at the same time off the field,” he said.
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“He was that unique blend, and that really set him apart from everyone else.
“I had many quiet moments with John where he told me personal stories, and I was always impressed with his humility.
“That’s a quality I think we can all do with in today’s life, and John had it in abundance.”
Pappas said one of the moments he remembered most fondly of Sattler was his speech during the famous march to Town Hall in November 2000, as Souths campaigned for re-admittance into top-level competition.
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“I remember the moment when he was introduced and walked up the steps to take his place with the rostrum and address the crowd.
“I was standing up there not far from him, and I was looking down at the crowd at the faces.
“When John spoke, everyone listened. There was absolute silence in George Street when John spoke that day.
“I think I could see in the faces of the people … reassurance that if John was in this fight with us we were going to be OK.”
Fittingly, Souths will take on Manly this weekend at Accor Stadium, where Pappas said a memorial would take place before the game.
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