Greg Pierce, Sharks Immortal, long-time captain, for two seasons the club’s first grade coach and one of the greatest players to ever play for the Cronulla-Sutherland club, has passed away aged 66.
Pierce, who fought cancer for over a decade, lost his brave battle and passed away in hospital on the Central Coast after 7.00pm last night.
A member of the Sharks team in the 1973 Grand Final, Pierce became club captain in 1975, a role he held until his retirement in 1980.
He led the Sharks to victory in the final of the midweek Amco Cup in 1979, before retiring at the end of the 1980 season to take on the First Grade coaching role, position he held for two seasons.
Graded at the Sharks from the local Gymea club, in total Pierce made 210 top grade appearances between 1969 and 1980, a tally that currently stands sixth on the clubs’ all time list for most appearances. He was a one-club man, playing out his entire career with the Sharks.
In 1978 Pierce captained both the City representative side and New South Wales before being announced captain for the Trans-Tasman series against New Zealand.
Pierce led Australia to a 24-2 victory in the first Test of that series, becoming the first Cronulla player to lead his country, with Steve Rogers the only other Shark to have done so.
After missing the second Test in that 1978 series Pierce returned as vice-captain in the third Test, before then being announced as vice-captain for the Kangaroo Tour of the UK and France later that year.
He would go on to play numerous tour games and eight Test matches for Australia.
In 2005 Pierce was inducted as an Immortal of the Sharks and is one of only five players to have ben bestowed that honour.
A Civil Engineer, Pierce enjoyed a successful career away from rugby league and for a time was the Operations Manager at Lord Howe Island.
He is survived by son Drew, daughter Sally and four grandchildren.
On behalf of all players, staff, commercial partners, members and fans, the Sharks offer their condolences to Greg Pierce’s family and friends.
The club will pay tribute to Pierce today with a minute silence before the Sharks game against the Warriors, while the NRL team will wear black armbands in his honour.