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Vale – John Maguire

The Sharks mourn the passing of John Maguire, a local junior who went on to play 137 first grade games for the Cronulla club, included amongst them the 1973 Grand Final.

Maguire, Shark #36, passed away earlier this week aged 77 after a lengthy illness.

Born in Junee in country NSW on September 14, 1944, Maguire played for De La Salle College as a junior before becoming a member of the Sutherland-Cronulla President’s Cup team in 1964 in representing the district before the official formation of the Sharks. With John as captain the team won through to the semi-finals. 

Maguire moved to St George in 1965, before making his first grade debut at the Dragons on July 3 of 1966 in a game at the SCG against Eastern Suburbs. He returned to play for Cronulla in 1968.

He would play 175 games at the Sharks, 137 of those in the top grade. Maguire then captain-coached Corrimal in the Illawarra competition in 1976, before playing with Parramatta in 1977 where he was a part of the Grand Final winning Eels reserve grade side.

While giving great service over an eight-year career at the Sharks, like many of his era, Maguire will be perhaps best remembered for his participation in the 1973 premiership decider.

A second rower in ‘73 Grand Final team, Maguire played alongside the likes of Cliff Watson, Steve Rogers and Graeme Bowen, creating lifelong friendships with those former teammates who have also sadly passed away.  

Maguire and hooker Ron Turner were the only two players to take part in every game during that 1973 season. 

Bowen and journalist, author and former Sharks historian Gary Lester played in that first President's Cup team with Maguire. 

"John and I went to school together at De La Salle, there were seven or eight of us from the school in that President's Cup team at the time," Lester recalled. "We were very proud of his achievements as a footballer but also of what he achieved as a teacher then school principal."

In an interview conducted by NRL.com at a Men of League function around a decade ago, the Grand Final and 10-7 loss to the Sea Eagles was still fresh in Maguire’s mind.

“It’s a game we would have obviously loved to have won. It was one of those games that was memorable because of the toughness of it. But unfortunately, we came second,” Maguire said.

Following his rugby league career Maguire was a respected figure in the teaching profession, becoming Principal at the local De La Salle Cronulla High School.

The Sharks NRL team will tonight wear black arm bands in a show of respect to Maguire for his service to not only the Cronulla Club, but also the local community. 

The Club offers its sincere condolences to Maguire's wife of 52 years Maria, son Damien, his four grand children, extended family, as well as his many friends and former teammates.

The family appreciate the many messages and well wishes received, however Maguire's funeral next week will be a private affair, for family and friends only.  

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 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.