A local junior from the Engadine Dragons club, Mitch Healey debuted for the Sharks in 1989 and would go on to play 223 first grade games during what was an outstanding career at the Cronulla club.
Playing half-back but also five eighth during his time in the top grade, Healey forged a reputation as a highly dependable all-round player.
A strong defender, with a pinpoint kicking game, Healey was also an ever-present support player, a trait which would bring him 33 tries in those 200-plus appearances.
In season 1993 he also inherited the goal-kicking duties and while the likes of Eion Crossan then Mat Rogers would go on to take over the role in a fulltime capacity, when called upon Healey was an accomplished and reliable option.
In emphasising his abilities, Healey was the Club’s highest point-scorer in both the 1992 (58 points) and 1993 (108) seasons.
Healey played just one game in his debut year, six matches in 1990 before becoming a regular fixture in Sharks halves from that point on.
He would develop combinations and long associations with the likes of Andrew Ettingshausen, Mark McGaw, Gavin Miller and Jonathan Docking to name just a few, playing alongside a long list of Cronulla legends throughout his long and illustrious career.
During his 11 seasons the Sharks qualified for the finals on five occasions, with Healey’s playing 11 matches, with his highlight perhaps being an appearance in the 1997 Super League Grand Final in a match which saw Cronulla going down to the Brisbane Broncos with current Cowboys NRL Coach Paul Green his halves partner.
Healey left the Sharks in 2001 and joined the Castleford Tigers, where he played 76 games over three seasons in becoming a fan-favourite in the UK.
After learning the ropes as an Assistant Coach in 2004, working with Souths NRL coaches Paul Langmack and Arthur Katinas, Healey would go on to take over the reins from former teammate Aaron Raper of the under-20 Sharks.
With his 223 first grade appearances ranking fourth on the list of top grade games for the Sharks, Mitch Healey’s ability and longevity at the highest level makes him more than deserving of being rated one of the Sharks ‘Magnificent 7s.’
Born – 11 May, 1969
Junior Club – Engadine Dragons
NRL Games – 223 – 1989-2000
Tries – 33
Goals – 139
Field goals – 8
Points – 418
Other clubs – Castleford Tigers (UK Super League) 2001-2003
NOTE: The Men of League will unveil their ‘magnificent 7’ at a Gala Black Tie dinner to be held at Le Montage in Lillyfield in Sydney on July 16.
In all 14 former players have been nominated, with the Men of League to narrow that group down and announce the seven half-backs who they believe to be the best of all time.
Former Sharks star Brett Kimmorley is one of the 14 Magnificent 7 nominees.