Vale Paul Sait – A Rugby League Legend
Rugby league legend Paul Sait passed away on Wednesday after a long battle with illness, he was 76 years old.
Sait was undoubtedly one of South Sydneys most versatile and toughest ever players. Paul became Rabbitoh #549 in 1968 and went on to play 165 first grade games for the club scoring 29 tries. He played in 3 Grand Finals, winning 2 in 1970-71. Sait could play in the forwards or the backs. During his career he played centre, five-eight, lock, second row and front row.
In the Rabbitohs 1970 Grand Final win over Manly, Sait dominated then future immortal Bob Fulton. In 2014 Steve Price said “Paul Sait was one of the few players that played all over Bob Fulton in the 1970 Grand Final win, he only played the first half but was the best player on the field.”
Paul Sait captained the Rabbitohs during the 1977 and 1978 seasons, was named in the Rabbitohs Dream Team in the centres in 2004, and was awarded Life Membership at the club in 1991.
Paul Sait Rep Honours
Mr Sait played 16 matches for Australia between 1970 and 1975, six games for New South Wales between 1969 and 1974, three matches for City Firsts between 1971 and 1975, plus matches for City Seconds and Sydney Colts in 1970.
Rabbitohs CEO, Blake Solly, paid tribute to Paul Sait.
“Paul is renowned as one of the great South Sydney men of the Club’s third golden era, his contribution is certainly the equal of the likes of Sattler, McCarthy, Coote and Simms,” Mr Solly said.
“He was able to earn his way into a first-grade team that won four premierships in five years, and cemented his name in the folklore of South Sydney.
“He was undeniably one of the two best centres to play for this club in its first century, being named in our ‘Dream Team’, and fittingly he was a life member of our club.
“To his family and friends we offer our condolences and support at this very difficult time.”
The Rabbitohs extended their “deepest and most sincere condolences” to the family and friends of Sait.
Paul Sait Memories
Paul Sait wanted to play lock. But he had a good player ahead of him, Ron Coote. Before the 1969 pre-season final the selectors gave both Coote and Sait a game each to then prove who was the best. Coote won which is no humiliation. Coote was one of the best ever locks.
In 1978 Sait, Piggins and McCarthy were coming to the end of their careers. They might all have retired before the start of the season except for one reason. Souths signed Jack Gibson as coach and the trio wanted to play under him. And it was a success. Sait was man of the match in the pre-season final which Souths won in the mud. (Mark Emery)
Paul Sait Jnr
In 2020 Paul ‘Stitch’ Sait junior told Bunnies TV about his dad once he had retired. “Dad later coached lower grades, Illawarra Red Devils and La Perouse Panthers. I will always remember going to Souths games in the dressing room and being allowed to sit on the sideline to watch him.
“Dad would take us surfing when we were young, he loved surfing, spear fishing and water skiing. These days we just enjoy quiet Birthdays and whenever we have get togethers.”
Paul Sait Community Room
In March 2023, Paul Saits’ junior club the Matraville Tigers opened the Paul Sait Community Room in Heffron Park. This room is next door to the new Rabbitohs Centre.
“Absolute honour for the family and our Dad with the opening of the Paul Sait community room at Heffron Park. This room therefore recognises all his achievements with Matraville Tigers, Souths, NSW and Australia whilst playing the game he loved.” Pauls’ son Chris Sait.
Paul Sait will be remembered as a man who achieved every honour the game of rugby league has to offer, he was unquestionably a legend and a champion on and off the field. Rest In Peace Paul Sait, 1947 – 2023.
Vale Paul Sait – A Rugby League Legend
By Steve Mavin and Mark Emery for Bunnies TV.