MAGNIFICENT 7 | Preston Campbell
Despite being considered as a utility back for much of his career in the Shire, fan-favourite Preston Campbell earns a place in the Sharks’ collection of ‘Magnificent 7s’.
After joining the Sharks from the now defunct Gold Coast Chargers, Campbell made his Cronulla debut in round 11, 1999 against the Dragons, starring as a halfback when switched to the ‘7’ role midway through 2001.
In what was a remarkable year personally, Campbell was an exciting attacking presence for the Sharks, scoring 17 tries from his 29 appearances, playing a vital role towards in the side’s surge deep into the finals series.
Campbell’s successes would be recognised at the end of the campaign when he was named the 2001 Dally M Medallist.
Small in stature but big on heart and ability, Campbell was the third Sharks player and the most recent behind Steve Rogers and Gavin Miller, to earn the honour as the game’s best over the course of a season.
In his time in the Sharks seven jersey, Campbell made 18 appearances scoring 13 tries, while converting on 20 occasions at a remarkable strike rate.
Campbell had excited Sharks fans from seasons 1999 through until 2002, before linking with eventual-2003 premiers, the Penrith Panthers.
Born: June 7, 1977.
NRL Games: 268
NRL Debut: Round 1, 1998 (Gold Coast Chargers v Balmain)
Sharks Debut: Round 11, 1999 (Cronulla Sharks v St. George Illawarra Dragons)
Sharks Appearances: 55
Tries (Total): 86
Tries (Sharks): 24
Points (Total): 903
Points (Sharks): 148
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 halfbacks who they believe to be the best of all time.
Former Sharks star Brett Kimmorley is one of the 14 Magnificent 7 nominees.