Penrith Panthers Hall of Fame
The inaugural four members of the Penrith Panthers Hall of Fame were inducted in June 2016 to commemorate the club’s 50th season.
Grahame Moran (1967-1974)
Position(s): Centre / Five-eighth
Grahame Moran was a member of the 1967 Penrith squad and a staple of the side for the first 8 years of its history. He played 121 matches for the Panthers and was a consistently outstanding performer during a period where the nascent club struggled to compete. The clever centre/five-eighth scored 25 tries for Penrith and was named in the 40th anniversary Team of Legends.
Royce Simmons (1980-1991)
Industrious hooker Royce Simmons played a then-record 238 games for Penrith. He became captain of the club in 1983 and led the Panthers with distinction for the next seven years. Simmons made 10 appearances for New South Wales in the mid-80s and in 1986 he became the first Panthers player to be selected for Australia. The stocky rake played every test match on the 1986 Kangaroo Tour, which Australia went through undefeated. Simmons retired in glory after scoring two tries in the Panthers’ 1991 grand final victory – the club’s maiden premiership.
Greg Alexander (1984-1999)
Position(s): Halfback / Fullback
One of the most exciting players of his generation, Greg Alexander was the cornerstone of Penrith’s most successful era in the late-80s and early-90s. Alexander burst onto the rugby league scene in 1984 and was named the competition’s Rookie of the Year, then produced a stunning second season in 1985 to claim the prestigious Dally M Medal. He helped the Panthers to their first grand final in 1990, then his talent and versatility saw him selected for every match on the 1990 Kangaroo Tour. In 1991, Alexander assumed the Panthers captaincy from fellow hall-of-famer Royce Simmons and steered the side to its first ever premiership. Throughout his career, ‘Brandy’ was the Panthers’ main attacking weapon; his brilliant swerve and incredible acceleration made him an ever-present threat. Alexander scored over 100 tries for Penrith and was the club’s leading try-scorer in 1985, ’86 and ’89.
Craig Gower (1996-2007)
Position(s): Halfback / Hooker
Craig Gower debuted for the Panthers in 1996 and quickly established himself as a star. He was named in the Australian Super League side in 1997 at just 18 years of age. The crafty hooker/halfback went on to play 238 matches for the Panthers, falling just short of Steve Carter’s club appearance record. Gower’s finest hour came in 2003, when he captained the Panthers to their second premiership. Wearing the number seven, he produced an outstanding season and it’s generally believed he would have won the Dally M Medal, had the awards not been cancelled due to a dispute between the Rugby League Player’s Association and the NRL (in lieu of this honour, Gower was named the RLPA’s Player of the Year). Gower had the honour of captaining the Australian Kangaroos in 2005, becoming just the second Penrith player to do so, after Brad Fittler.