Date Inducted: 05 Dec 1989
Sport: Administration - Rugby League
Hall Of Fame

James J Giltinan - Administration - Rugby League

James Joseph Giltinan was a Sydney businessman and sometime cricket umpire who, as founder and secretary of the New South Wales Rugby Football League (NSWRL), organised and financed a Sydney rugby union team to play against the visiting New Zealand professional team en route to England, the 'All Golds'.

The locals played three games against the visitors under rugby union rules (because no one in Australia knew the rules of rugby league). The visitors won all three games and the exhibition was such a success that it encouraged the Australians to form the NSWRL and start their own competition.

In the winter of 1908, Giltinan's committee established a local rugby league club competition with nine teams competing in the league and at the end of the first season, Giltinan left with a team of players from both states (NSW and Queensland) to tour Britain. This, the first Kangaroo tour, was not financially sound and bankrupted Giltinan.

Sydney's premiership competition trophy was named after him until the NSWRL changed the competition's name to the Winfield Cup.

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.