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Ron Coote AM (born 1944) is an Australian former representative rugby league player whose club career was played with South Sydney and the Eastern Suburbs Roosters, both of whom he won premierships with. He is considered one of the nation's finest footballers of the 20th century.[3] Ron Coote Cup, contested annually by South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters is named in his honour - his entire club career having been played at these two clubs.[4]

Ron Coote
Personal information
Full nameRonald Joseph Coote
Born (1944-10-25) 25 October 1944 (age 75)
Kingsford, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
PositionLock, Second-row
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1964–71 South Sydney 148 48 0 0 144
1972–78 Eastern Suburbs 109 39 0 0 117
Total 257 87 0 0 261
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1965–75 New South Wales 15 6 0 0 18
1967–75 Australia 23 13 0 0 21
Source: [1][2]

Early life and playing styleEdit

Born in Kingsford, New South Wales in 1944 Coote was a South Sydney junior and the son of 1930s Easts forward Jack Coote. He was a tall, rangy lock with an upright running style. He was famous for his outstanding cover defence and low, "round-the-legs" tackling technique. He was bestowed the name "Prince of Locks" acknowledging him as second greatest Australian lock ever (behind "King of Locks" Johnny Raper).

Club and representative careerEdit

He played 151 games for South Sydney from 1964–71 and 108 games for Eastern Suburbs from 1972–1978. With both clubs enjoying success during his tenure, Coote's Grand Final record is phenomenal. He played in nine Grand Finals in 11 seasons from 1965 to 1975. He won four premierships at Souths and consecutive premierships at Easts in season 1974 and season 1975. An arm injury forced him into retirement in 1978.[5]

He represented Australia in 23 Tests and World Cup games between 1967 and 1975 and was captain for 3 games in the 1970 World Cup.

Post playing and accoladesEdit

After football Coote became a successful businessman owning a number of McDonald's franchises. He was at one time a member of the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) judiciary. In 2000 he founded the Men of League program which supports former players, officials and referees who have fallen on hard times. The program offers practical assistance and grants for medical operations; it mentors players about to retire from the game and promotes the game in regional areas. As at 2007 Ron Coote is President of the Men of League Program.

In 2004 he was named by Souths in their South Sydney Dream Team,[6] consisting of 17 players and a coach representing the club from 1908 through to 2004, Coote has also been named in a team comprising Eastern Suburbs greatest ever players.

In 2005 he was inducted into the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame.[7] In February 2008, Coote was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.[8][9] Coote went on to be named in the second-row in Australian rugby league's Team of the Century. Announced on 17 April 2008, the team is the panel's majority choice for each of the thirteen starting positions and four interchange players.[10][11] In 2008 New South Wales announced their rugby league team of the century also and again Coote was named at second-row.[12]

Coote was made a life member of the Sydney Cricket Ground and a plaque in the Walk of Honour there commemorates his career. He is a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).


  1. ^ Rugby League Project
  2. ^ Yesterday's Hero
  3. ^ Century's Top 100 Players Archived 25 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Monahan, Jeremy (10 March 2010). "The rivalry between South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters is legendary". Southern Courier. Australia: News Community Media. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  5. ^ 2005 Annual Report Archived 5 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine - Australian Rugby League (p. 51)
  6. ^ South Sydney Dream Team Archived 14 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine from the official South Sydney website.
  7. ^ Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame Archived 18 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League – The Players". NRL & ARL. 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  9. ^ Cassidy, Peter (23 February 2008). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  10. ^ Balym, Todd (17 April 2008). "Johns, Meninga among Immortals". Fox Sports Australia. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  11. ^ "Team of the Century Announced". NRL & ARL. 17 April 2008. Archived from the original on 31 May 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  12. ^ ARL (2008). "Australian Rugby Football League 2008 Annual Report" (PDF). Australian Rugby Football League Limited. p. 30. Archived from the original (pdf) on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2009.

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