St George Illawarra’s 2010 premiership-winning captain Ben Hornby and grand final teammates Ben Creagh and Jason Nightingale have been inducted into St George District's "Legends Walk" at Kogarah, along with members of the inaugural St George Dragons team of 1921.
Hornby, Creagh and Nightingale were chosen to join the 18 legends already inducted and the 1921 St George team in the walk outside Netstrata Jubilee Stadium as part of St George District's centenary celebrations at Sunday's match against Canterbury.
“This is a huge honour and something of which I am very proud,” Hornby said. “It’s a great achievement and a great acknowledgement for all of us here today off the back of all the effort and sacrifices we made as individuals, and as clubman.
“I was lucky enough to win a premiership, but this today is right up there as the best individual accolade I have received as a player.
“This club means the world to me and to be here today in the same area with Immortals of the game, other premiership winners and great Dragons men, is quite humbling.”
Hornby captained the premiership-winning 2010 side and also made three appearances for NSW and one for Australia during his 12-year first-grade career after coming through the junior grades in Illawarra.
Looking back at the 2010 Grand Final
He surpassed the great Norm Provan’s record of most first-grade games for the club in 2012 and finished his career having played a club record, 273 games.
The Legends Walk was officially opened on March 6, 2004 by Immortal Norm Provan and was established to recognise significant achievements and personal contributions to the success of the St George District Rugby League Football Club and St George Illawarra Dragons since 1921.
Creagh, a 270-game veteran, started his career as a winger for the Dragons in 2003, playing through until 2016 where he finished his career as a second rower. A Premiership player in 2010, World Club Challenge winner in 2011 and Club Captain from 2013-2015, Creagh also made 11 appearances for NSW and two for Australia during his career.
“It’s truly an honour and very humbling to be inducted into what is a very talented group,” Creagh said. “To be inducted today alongside two of my great mates also makes it that little bit extra special.
“To have my name etched in history at what is one of the most iconic grounds in Sydney is great, it is a really special place and I have many great memories here.
“The achievements of all the men in this group are incredible and I can’t express in words how proud I am to have been inducted.”
Dragons v Bulldogs - Round 9
Nightingale started his rugby league journey with Renown United in the St George competition and after making his NRL debut in 2007, went on to play 266 games, placing him third in line behind Hornby and Creagh in terms of club appearances.
A winger with speed to burn and an uncanny knack of finding his way to the try line, Nightingale represented New Zealand on 33 occasions and is one of only four players to have scored more than 100 tries for the St George Illawarra Dragons.
“It’s an extremely proud moment for me and my family,” Nightingale said. “As a local junior and someone who came up through the grades here at St George, it’s very humbling and I’m truly grateful.
“To be recognised in this way at a venue that I hold so close to my heart, is something that I’ll reflect on in a positive way for the rest of my life.
“The Legends Walk is an impressive set-up and to be here alongside a host of stars and legends of the club is something of which I am truly proud.”
St George District Rugby League Chairman, Craig Young, and one of the original Legends Walk inductees, paid tribute to Hornby, Creagh, Nightingale and the 1921 team.
Craig Young - Hall of Fame
“The 1921 team fought for so long to gain entry into the NSWRL Premiership and as a player and administrator, I really have the people involved in that team to thank for giving me the opportunity to be able to represent this great club,” Young said.
“The other three men speak for themselves and thoroughly deserve this honour. They epitomise everything this club is about and were all part of the 2010 Premiership winning side.”
They join 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 as members of the Legends Walk.