Spirit of the Red V: A Century of Dragons Rugby League (Volume I: 1921–1967)
Geoff Armstrong

Spirit of the Red V: A Century of Dragons Rugby League (Volume I: 1921–1967)

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The celebrated white with a Red V jumper that features on the cover of this book and is worn today by St George Illawarra in the NRL is the No. 1 brand across all Australian football codes. The Red V fanbase is the biggest and most passionate in rugby league.

'There is something special at St George, a fellowship, a friendship,' Reg Gasnier once said. Gasnier is a Dragons Immortal, synonymous with class, greatness and the Spirit of the Red V. St George made their premiership debut on St George's Day, 23 April 1921. The club merged with the Illawarra Steelers in 1999 to become the St George Illawarra Dragons. They celebrate their centenary in 2021. During the first 100 years, the Dragons built a reputation for excellence, especially from 1956 to 1966 when teams featuring names such as Gasnier, Provan, Raper and Langlands won 11 straight premierships.

Spirit of the Red V (Volume I) is fully endorsed by the St George club, and is the major publishing event of their centenary season. The book explains why the club was not formed in 1908, the game's foundation year. It recalls their early struggles, and how Frank Burge, another League Immortal, arrived in 1927 to build a winning Dragons culture. This revolution brought years of much success and then the 11 premierships, with more glory days to follow. There are many heroes, a little sadness, and famous and controversial games, sometimes on fields of mud, always watched by huge crowds.

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