The history of Panthers Penrith
From the first steps taken on Penrith soil by Captain Watkin Tench of the Royal Marines back in 1789, the spirit of adventure, excitement and teamwork has been present in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. The earliest reports of Rugby League games began to emerge in newspapers around 1908, and in 1912 the then Glenbrook Rovers took on the combined team of ‘Penrith and Emus’ at the Penrith Showground. The local community rallied behind the event just like they do today when the Penrith Panthers NRL team take the field at Panthers stadium.
In 1956 the first Panthers Club was built on Station Street using volunteer labour and the club was later granted a liquor licence and six poker machines. The 1960s marked one of the most significant eras for Rugby League in Penrith and Panthers was there every step of the way to support and encourage the team and the community on the road to victory. The 1970s – 80s bought with it ‘the boom’. The boom affected Penrith very much during the 1970s and some of the most significant growth in the region happened during this important decade. Panthers, a mainstay of the community for twenty years at that stage, wanted to make sure that the growing community could enjoy the club as the membership expanded. Nobby Hunter had the honour of breaking the soil for the foundations of the second Club and over the next few years Panthers began to take shape. In the same decade, the first Holden Commodore was introduced (1978) and would have been seen parked on the streets of Penrith for the first State of Origin in 1980 and later filling the parking lot at Panthers World of Entertainment, which opened on our current site in Mulgoa Road in 1984.
On 4 October 2006, Penrith Panthers announced a ‘Team of Legends’ – 17 players chosen as the all-time best in 40 years of competition in the top grade of Rugby League. The Team of Legends was chosen by a committee of experts and each of them have played a significant role in making the club what it is today.
|1. Rhys Wesser
2. Bob Landers
3. Grahame Moran
4. Ryan Girdler
5. Alan McIndoe
6. Brad Fittler
|7. Greg Alexander
8. Terry Geary
9. Royce Simmons
10. Tim Sheens
11. John Cartwright
12. Bill Ashurst
|13. Colin Van Der Voort
14. Craig Gower
15. Brad Izzard
16. Mark Geyer
17. Tony Puletua
Hall of Famers
On Saturday 25 June 2016 Penrith Panthers released their Hall of Fame inductees. Grahame Moran, Royce Simmons, Greg Alexander and Craig Gower have been revealed as the inaugural inductees to the Panthers Hall of Fame. The selection of the four Panthers greats was announced at the club’s 50th Season Gala Dinner in Penrith on Saturday 25 June 2016. The showpiece event was attended by dozens of former Panthers players, including members of the club’s 1991 and 2003 Premiership sides, along with the current NRL squad, staff and sponsors. Phil Gould AM was master of ceremonies for the evening and was joined by rugby league historian David Middleton to reflect on the club’s humble beginnings, greatest achievements and the people who made it all possible. Panthers members and fans were able to watch the Gala Dinner live on the Panthers website, thanks to an exclusive livestream hosted by Tim Gilbert.
The completed renovation of Panthers Penrith Leagues Club, together with the support and commitment of our staff drives our focus towards the community by providing an outstanding venue for our members and guests. The wonderful world that is Panthers is now more exciting than ever before, but with a reduced carbon footprint and an eye for the future. While we will probably always be renovating or building something new and exciting, we always make sure any works we do, have minimal disruption to our members and guests. So come in and enjoy our wonderful world as you would on any other day, while behind the scenes we get on with creating a new club full of new facilities, amenities and possibilities.
Each day presents us with a new challenge and opportunity to learn, grow and expand. Panthers Penrith has taken on the challenge to be environmentally conscious, but it takes more than a single effort to make a global impact – it takes everyone, including you.
The opening of the Club in Station Street set the stage for an outpouring of community spirit and support in 1956 and we hope that you will continue to join us in the coming years. One thing has always been true of Panther’s members and our local community – we are tough and hardworking people who, through good times and bad, have remained proud of our Rugby League team, our club and our community. Panther’s relationship with the community has deepened and strengthened over the years with our support of local community groups as well as the establishment of a number of local sub-clubs such as cricket, fishing and social golf.
Family doesn’t just mean our relationships with our parents, siblings, children, cousins or even in-laws. At Panthers Penrith, we believe that our family is not only those people who share our last name or live in our house but also those with whom we feel a bond and connection. Our members are our family, so we want to make sure the whole family enjoys our wonderful world. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot for some downtime, to connect with friends or a place to cheer on your team, Panthers Penrith is the place to come to. Ever since the doors opened at Panthers World of Entertainment, members and the community have come together, united by our love for Penrith, our Rugby League team and our club. Everyone is welcome at the wonderful world of Panthers – a place where every day is different, yet warm and familiar. The latest phase of the club’s renovation offers the Panthers family the opportunity to come together and enjoy our shared vision of the future.
Panthers Penrith has been a destination and integral part of the community since 1956. From modest beginnings, we have grown as Penrith has grown – providing a friendly and sociable place for members and guests to gather, relax and enjoy themselves. The Club has steadily transformed itself over the past decade with new faces and facilities, but this latest chapter crystallises all of the hard work and support over the past forty years, to ensure that our club is a wonderful world for the next forty years and beyond.