Illawarra Steelers overview
The Illawarra region's long and storied history with rugby league dates back to 1911 when their first grade competition commenced; a five-team premiership which included Dapto, Helensburgh, Mount Keira, Unanderra and Wollongong.
Although their attempts to join the NSWRL competition commenced from as early as the 1950s, it would take until 1980 until they were voted in to feature in the 1982 season.
This decision saw the introduction of the Illawarra district club, who adopted the Steelers emblem in recognition of the region's major steel industries.
Alongside the Canberra Raiders, the Steelers proved the catalyst for the decentralisation of Australian rugby league from the Sydney region.
The Steelers proudly represented the region for 17 seasons prior to merging with the St George Dragons ahead of the 1999 NRL season. However, the Illawarra Steelers are still proudly represented in the Harold Matthews Under-16s, SG Ball male and Tarsha Gale Cup female (both Under-18s) competitions.
Year entered premiership: 1982
First match: February 28, 1982 – lost 7-17 v Penrith, Wollongong Showground.
Full premiership record: Played 396; won 153, lost 230, drew 13, for 6614 (1116 tries, 1092 goals, 29 field goals), against 7313 (1250 tries, 1188 goals, 54 field goals).
Home ground: WIN Stadium, Wollongong (1982-98). Formerly known as Wollongong Showground (1982-91), Steelers Stadium (1992-96).
Home ground attendance record: 17,527 v St George, Steelers Stadium. May 21, 1993.