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Dragons induct inaugural Life Members

The St George Illawarra Dragons are proud to induct Jason Nightingale, Ben Creagh, Ben Hornby, Bruce Gordon and Doug McClelland as the club's inaugural Life Members.

The five men were inducted at the club's 25 Year Celebration at Jones Bay Wharf's Doltone House on Thursday, July 11.

Nightingale finished his career having made 266 appearances and scored 110 tries – both the third-highest marks in club history – whilst being a key part of the side's run to the 2010 Grand Final.

He also appeared in 33 internationals for New Zealand scoring 19 tries and featuring in a trio of World Cups.

Nightingale has remained heavily involved with the club in numerous capacities since his retirement in 2018 and was inducted onto The Legends Walk in 2021.

"This club means everything to me," Nightingale said.

"I started as a kid, a St George junior, it’s always a big part of who I am.

"It’s a huge cloud with a proud history. It’s given me everything, it hasn’t just been the club, it’s everyone in the community, all the fans."

Creagh finished his rugby league career having made 270 appearances for his club, 11 for his state, and two for his country whilst taking home a quartet of Dragons Player of the Year Medals.

A one-club player, Creagh co-captained the Dragons for the first time in Round 16, 2007 alongside Ben Hornby and would go onto captain the side on 68 occasions after taking on the role full-time once Hornby had retired at the end of 2012.

In 2021, he was inducted onto The Legends Walk and, in 2022, re-joined the club as a director.

"This club has played a huge part of my life since I was 16 years old," Creagh said.

"I never lost the feeling every time I got to play for this club, how privileged I was to play for St George Illawarra.

"It’s a privilege to receive an award like this but it’s a team sport and to all the guys I played alongside from 2003 to 2016, thank you.

"I’ll wear the badge proudly and look forward to being involved in the St George Illawarra Dragons for a long time to come so thank you."

Hornby made club-record 273 appearances for the Dragons, skippered the side on 135 occasions – including the side's 2010 Grand Final victory and 2011 World Club Challenge win – and was the recipient of the 2003 Dragons Player of the Year Medal.

He also represented NSW on three occasions, Country on three occasions, and the Kangaroos once.

Having received praise from the likes of Johnny Raper and Wayne Bennett upon his retirement, he was inducted onto The Legends Walk in 2021.

“I'd like to thank the club for this recognition of Life Membership,” Hornby said.

“To be recognised for the part I played over the previous 25 years is obviously a huge achievement for me and something I'm very proud of. We've got a great club and, like I said, it's just great to be a part of it for all the years I was.”

Gordon has proven to be a cornerstone of the club’s success and stability over the years having made substantial financial investments through his company WIN Corporation to ensure the club’s resilience in the face of challenges and enable investment in key areas such as player recruitment and development.

His dedication, business acumen, and unwavering commitment have not only provided stability and sound governance but have also laid a solid foundation for the future success of the club.

McClelland played a profound role in the marriage between the Dragons and the Steelers with his diplomatic skills and strategic vision ensuring a smooth transition and helping to create a united club.

As Chairman, his leadership and governance was exceptional with his tenure characterised by effective oversight and strategic planning through the club's formative years.

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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