Eric Grothe, Sr. bigraphy, stories - Australian rugby league player

Eric Grothe, Sr. : biography

6 January 1960 -

Eric "Guru" Grothe (born 6 January 1960 in Sydney, New South Wales) is an Australian former rugby league footballer of the 1970s and 1980s. A New South Wales and Australian representative winger , he played club football for the Parramatta Eels with whom he won four NSWRL premierships. Since retiring, Grothe has been named amongst the nation's finest footballers of the 20th century

Origin father and son

Grothe's son Eric Jr. began to play for Parramatta in 1999 and himself represented for New South Wales in 2006. They are thus one of several father and son pairs to play State of Origin, including Wayne & Mitchell Pearce and Steve & Josh Morris/Brett Morris, all for NSW.


When a best Australian team of the limited tackle era was named in 1995, Grothe shared with prop Arthur Beetson the distinction of being a unanimous choice of every judge.

In 2005 he was named one of the 25 greatest ever NSW players.

He stands at equal third with Ray Price on the Parramatta all time try tally list with 78 scored in just 152 games.

In February 2008, Grothe was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.


  • Whiticker, Alan and Hudson, Glen (1998) The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players 3rd ed Gary Allen Pty. Ltd, Smithfield, NSW.
  • Middleton, David (ed) (1996) Rugby League 1996 HarperCollins Publishers, Pymble, NSW

Post football

Grothe currently plays in a band, Eric Grothe and the Gurus

Year by year

1978 Rookie

Grothe graduated from Liverpool Boys High School, the same school as another Australian international, Geoff Gerard. He played his junior football for the Mt. Pritchard Mounties. In 1978, Grothe was named as Parramatta's Rookie of the Year at age 18, scoring 16 tries in 17 matches in the Eels Under-23 Presidents Cup team.

1979 1st Grade

He debuted in first grade 1979, however after a promising start which included three tries in one game against South Sydney, a succession of injuries meant that he was not able to show his full ability until the 1981 season.

1981 Premiership & Origin

Grothe showed his class in Parramatta's first premiership title year in 1981 and launched his representative career in the sole New South Wales v Queensland game played that year under the State of Origin rules. He scored two tries in his debut for the Blues at Brisbane's Lang Park, including a 90 metre effort, scooping up a wayward pass by Maroons Greg Conescu and sprinting down the touchline before breaking a desperation tackle from Mitch Brennan to score crawling into the corner.

Grothe figures in a moment which has since made its way into Origin folklore. Queensland Colin Scott fielded a kick near halfway and split the defence in a 45 metre charge that ended just short of the line thanks to a despairing tackle by Grothe who had made almost 10 metres on him. Grothe clung to Scott's ankles as he waited for his team mates to get back but in a now famous image, Chris Close backhanded Grothe out of the way, picked up the ball from dummy-half and placed it over the line for a try.

1982 Kangaroo

The Guru was member of Parramatta's victorious premiership side in 1982, but didn't play in any of the 1982 State of Origin series games.

He was selected for Australia on the 1982 Kangaroo tour, the squad whose record earned them the title of "The Invincibles". He made his Test debut in the first Ashes Test against Great Britain at Boothferry Park in Hull, where his blockbusting runs saw him saw a try on debut in a 40-4 win for the Knagaroos. Grothe was injured in the second test win at Central Park while scoring a try, and missed the final test win at Headingley. He then played in both winning tests against France (the first from the bench), scoring two tries in each game. He also played in 14 minor games on tour, scoring 21 tries (including five tries in the match against Roanne in France). Grothe also kicked one goal on tour in a club game in France.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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