Best NRL nicknames since 1970 revealed
Best NRL nicknames since 1970 revealed

Revealed: Top 15 nicknames in rugby league

There is no shortage of cult heroes and interesting characters in rugby league, some of whom have earned some hilarious and even ridiculous nicknames throughout their career.

Whether for their on-field heroics or their off-field antics, there are some great player nicknames which for whatever reason just stuck.

Counting down the 15 most iconic nicknames in rugby league since 1970:

 

15. John O'Neill ''Lurch'': Named after the butler in the TV show The Addams Family, he was one of the toughest and most feared players of the mid-60s and 70s.

Lurch from The Addams Family
Lurch from The Addams Family

14. Wayne Pearce ''Junior'': He was a fitness fanatic as a young bloke and while working out and pumping weights in the gym, one of the older guys told him: "We already have a 'flexy' (as in flexing his muscles in the mirror), so you can be flexy junior". It stuck.

13. Andrew Ettingshausen ''ET'': A movie about a friendly alien hit the big screen in late 1982 and coincided with a 17-year-old schoolboy from the Shire making his debut in first grade the next season

The Australian 50th - 1982
The Australian 50th - 1982

12. Mark Carroll ''Spud'': When he informed the late Peter Frilingos in an interview he got his energy from eating 16 potatoes before each match, a spud was born.

11. Paul Harragon ''Chief'': Inspirational leader of his side, he was the heart and soul of Newcastle for over a decade.

10. Graeme Langlands ''Changa": One of the original Immortals was known as Chang simply because as it rhymed with the first part of his surname.

9. Steve Roach ''Blocker'': Came about from his time as an apprentice plumber, where he would block pipes so they would require work.

8. Steve Menzies ''Beaver'': He always thought his nickname was linked to the show Leave It To Beaver, until his mother told him it came from "Stevie", which in turn became "Beavie", and finally Beaver.

7. Bob Fulton ''Bozo": His tendency to feign injury, take a dive and general clowning around on the field saw him earn the nickname Bozo (the clown).

Bozo the Clown
Bozo the Clown

6. Allan Langer ''Alfie'': His teammates saw similarities between the diminutive halfback and the character from the 80s sitcom Alf.

ALF
ALF

5. Andrew Johns 'Joey': The eighth Immortal can thank his father for the nickname he was given as a child - it's remained with him his entire life.

4. Brad Fittler 'Freddy': When he made his Origin debut in 1990, coach Jack Gibson, when introduced to him, confused Brad with the name Fred. Before long it became Freddy.

3. Phil Gould 'Gus': During a training run at Coogee, teammate Ken Wilson passed him going up a hill as a bus drove past. Wilson turned to Gould uttered, ''Get on the bus, Gus''.

2. Greg Alexander 'Brandy': He scored five tries in a trial match in 1984 and the headline in the local rag read 'As potent as Brandy'. Only his mother and wife call him Greg.

1. Paul Vautin 'Fatty': In 1979 during a training session, former player Fred Jones said of a 20-year-old redhead in his first year at Manly, "Who's that little fatty?"

Originally published as Revealed: Top 15 nicknames in rugby league

John O'Neill playing for Souths in the early 1970s.
John O'Neill playing for Souths in the early 1970s.
Sharks legend Andrew ‘ET’ Ettingshausen.
Sharks legend Andrew ‘ET’ Ettingshausen.
Bob Fulton playing for Manly in 1976.
Bob Fulton playing for Manly in 1976.
Alfie Langer after winning Winfield Cup trophy in 1992.
Alfie Langer after winning Winfield Cup trophy in 1992.

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