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By SCG Trust

Torrential rain in the week leading up to the 1963 grand final turned the SCG into a mud-bath, but it didn't stop a then record crowd of 69,860 from turning up.

St George created history by taking out the premiership in first grade, as well as the reserve and third grade titles. 

For the fifth and final time in their remarkable run, Saints would meet Western Suburbs in the decider.

The St George jerseys didn't stay white for long, with players sliding in the slick ooze which covered the pitch, while St John's ambulance men patrolled the sideline with buckets of water to wash the mud from their eyes.  

Controversy marred the decider. Referee Darcy Lawler awarded St George bolter Johnny King a contentious try after he continued running following what appeared to be a complete tackle.

Lawler, who had announced his retirement before the game, also disallowed a try to Wests' Peter Dimond who was believed to have been held up over the line.

In total St George were penalised just seven times to Wests' 18.

However the match will be most fondly remembered by the photo taken by legendary Fairfax photographer John O'Gready, who snapped rival captains Norm Provan and Arthur Simmons embracing.

It has since been dubbed 'The Gladiators'.

This Sunday the St George Illawarra Dragons and South Sydney Rabbitohs will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the last premiership in sequence by Saints at the SCG.

St George Dragons 8 Tries: Evans, King. Goals: Gasnier (1).
Western Suburbs Magpies 3 Tries: McDougall.

This Article First Featured On SCG Trust

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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