He grew up watching one of the greatest Sharks number 3’s in Steve Rogers from the hill at Southern Cross Group Stadium, however at the time little did he know he would one day be spoken about in similar tones.
Andrew Ettingshausen went from De La Salle student, to debuting in the top grade as a fullback, all while still at school and at the ripe old age of 17. A star had been born.
With the flowing locks and the ready smile, ET as he would become known, quickly emerged as a fan favourite, and why not, his speed and flair exciting the Sharks faithful on a weekly basis.
Going from a ‘kid’ playing alongside the likes of fellow immortal Gavin Miller, Ettingshausen would develop into a club leader, captaining the Sharks on a part-time basis in 1992, before taking over the helm on a permanent basis in 1995.
He would retain the captaincy until his retirement in the year 2000, leading the Sharks in more than 100 First Grade games.
Despite his obvious attacking ability attracting most of the headlines, Ettingshausen’s defence and toughness was equally respected at the highest level, never better emphasised than by his repeated selection in Australian and NSW teams.
ET would become a common feature in the representative teams of his era, playing 29 games for the Kangaroos and 30 matches for NSW.
The local junior played 324 games for the Sharks, a record which may never be broken.
While never managing to claim an NRL title, despite coming close in 1999 after his team won the minor premiership and in ’97 when beaten by the Broncos in the SuperLeague Grand Final, Ettingshausen gained enormous satisfaction from the Sharks 2016 success.
One of the first on the ground to congratulate skipper Paul Gallen after the fulltime siren sounded, the subsequent photos of the pair will go down in history as amongst the most famous images to come from the 2016 Grand Final day.
A Sharks immortal, now a worthy inductee in the Team of the Half Century, Andrew Ettingshausen sits alongside the greatest to have ever played for the club.