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SCG induct Ken Arthurson as Life Member

The Sydney Cricket Ground inducted 12 new life members tonight, including 'The Godfather of Manly', Ken Arthurson.

This is the highest individual honour awarded for sporting excellence and contribution at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Allianz Stadium.

Two of rugby league’s most influential administrators were elevated to life membership in Ken Arthurson for his leadership of the game as the long-time chairman of the Australian Rugby League and New South Wales Rugby League, and Roosters chairman Nick Politis who has been a part of the club since 1976 and its chairman for three decades and counting.

At a special function held on the SCG  and in front of the heritage
Members and Ladies pavilions, the ranks of life members grew from 33 to 45.

The new life members are:
• Graham Arnold (football)
• Ken Arthurson (rugby league)
• David Campese (rugby union)
• Belinda Clark (cricket)
• Richard Colless (Australian Rules)
• Glenn McGrath (cricket)
• Michael O’Loughlin (Australian Rules)
• Nick Politis (rugby league)
• Cheryl Salisbury (football)
• Basil Sellers (philanthropy)
• Mark Taylor (cricket)
• Steve Waugh (cricket)

All 12 inductees attended and were presented their life membership badges by existing life members including sprint legend Marlene Mathews, rugby league great Ron Coote and triple international Michael Cleary.

Earlier in the night, they were greeted by NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper and Venues NSW chairman David Gallop and CEO Kerrie Mather.

Known to all as ‘Arko’ following a playing, coaching and administrative career dedicated to the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, Arthurson was a hugely influential figure in rugby league for more than 50 years.

A gifted footballer, Arthurson's career was cut short by injury at age 23 after playing for Manly against Souths in the 1951 grand final at the Sports Ground.

Ken Arthurson with his fellow SCG Life Members at the ceremony
Ken Arthurson with his fellow SCG Life Members at the ceremony ©Phil Hillyard

Arthurson switched to coaching, guiding Manly to grand finals in 1957 and 1959 before becoming rugby league’s fulltime secretary at Manly in 1964.

Under Arthurson, the Sea Eagles won its first four first-grade premierships (1972, 1973, 1976 and 1978) before he left Brookvale in 1983 to become Executive Chairman of the Australian Rugby League and president of the NSWRL three years later.

With CEO John Quayle, he formed one of Australian sport’s most effective administrative partnerships, their tenure highlighted by the NSWRL premiership’s expansion beyond Sydney and the game’s partnership with Tina Turner. He is a former Trustee of the SCG.


Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 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 Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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