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RIP Terry Hill: Former Manly great, Origin star and cult hero dies in Philippines

Terry Hill. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
24th April, 2024
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The rugby league community is in mourning following the sudden death of former Kangaroos centre Terry Hill from an apparent heart attack in the Philippines.

Hill was 52. The colourful character, who went on to have a long-time role on The Footy Show with his larger-than-life persona, was one of the most recognisable players in the 1990s and early 2000s in a career which reached the heights of the game.

A powerful centre, he played 246 first-grade matches from 1990-2005, represented NSW in 14 State of Origin matches and played for Australia in eight Tests, including the victorious 1995 World Cup campaign.

Best known for his stint at Manly where he was part of the 1996 premiership-winning team, “Tezza” was a punishing defender and strong attacker out wide wherever he played.

“Terry was a much loved and respected figure at not only the Sea Eagles, but across rugby league, where he played for several clubs,” Manly CEO Tony Mestrov said.

“On behalf of everyone at the Sea Eagles, we offer our deepest and sincere condolences to Terry’s family and friends during this difficult time.

“Terry will always be fondly remembered at Manly.”

Geoff Toovey, who captained Hill in the 1996 premiership team, said: “Terry was a great player for Manly.

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“He was a good friend. He did a lot of good things for his team-mates. My sincere condolences to his family.”

He started his career at South Sydney in 1990 and was controversially signed by Easts the following year but successfully challenged the legality of the player draft that was in place at the time in court which led to the abolition of the transfer system after just one year.

Hill then had two seasons with Wests before joining Manly in 1994 under coach Bob Fulton.

He left the club in 2000 to be a foundation member of the Wests Tigers joint venture before finishing his career back at the Sea Eagles in 2005.

Tributes came in from the league community, and the greyhound industry where he was an owner and passionate advocate of the sport.

“Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW), and in fact the entire greyhound racing community, is deeply saddened today by this tragic news of the passing of Terry Hill,” GRNSW Chief Executive Officer Rob Macaulay said.

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“Terry was one of the great assets of the greyhound industry. He has been a lifelong supporter of greyhound racing, has owned some wonderful champion greyhounds along the way, and more importantly, his passion for the sport was infectious.

“Terry had great enthusiasm for greyhound racing and was responsible for helping the sport to attract widespread media coverage in the 1990s with his live television crosses to Dapto on a Thursday night during the Channel Nine Footy Show to watch his greyhound Nads race.

“Years later Terry said he would be stopped on The Corso at Manly not to be asked about his football career, but to chat about Nads and the racetrack he loved, Dapto.”

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