228 matches [1984-1994; 1997-1999]
1100 points [100 tries, 343 goals, 14 field goals]
Penrith junior and schoolboy star who debuted as a 19 year old in 1984. Possessing a tactical kicking game, he quickly established himself as the first choice halfback, and almost singlehandedly pulling the Panthers up from the premiership cellar. He was awarded the Dally M Rookie of the Year award at season’s end.
In 1985, he took over the goal kicking duties, and would be awarded the Dally M Player of the Year as he was a driving force behind Penrith qualifying for its maiden final series.
Alexander would be a late call up for the 1986 Kangaroo Tour, playing in 10 Tour matches but was not able to crack into the Test team.
In 1987, he overtook Bob Landers record for most points scored for Penrith.
By 1990, ‘Brandy’ had firmly established himself as one the premier players of the Winfield Cup, being selected for New South Wales and then finally making his Test debut in 1989 when named at halfback against New Zealand – he was Penrith’s second ever Kangaroo after Royce Simmons, however, he was Penrith’s first home grown Test player.
Alexander would assume the role of club captain in 1990, as he ably led the club to their maiden grand final appearance. Whilst it ended in defeat, he was rewarded with selection in yet another Kangaroo Tour, where he would play his last Test match against France.
1991 would be capped off with Alexander leading Penrith to their first ever premiership, putting in a commanding performance in the grand final, including a 38m field goal to break a 12-all deadlock late in the second half, and then nailing a sideline conversion to take a 19-12 lead with minutes remaining. On the club’s finest day, he was a Penrith junior holding aloft the greatest prize in Australian rugby league.
The following year saw the tragic death of his brother and team mate Ben. It saw a downturn in his career, in which he was understandably lacking hunger and desire. He would be relieved of the captaincy in 1993 and the next year would be shifted to fullback after Penrith had signed New Zealand Test halfback Gary Freeman. However, during that time, he passed 1000 points for the Panthers, being the first player to do so.
Seeking a fresh start, Alexander left Penrith at the end of 1994, signing with newcomers Auckland for the 1995 season.
He would successfully seek a release at the end of his second season and return to Penrith in 1997 for their solitary Super League season. He soon became only the third player to play 200 first grade matches for Penrith. Brilliant early season form saw Alexander make a return to representative football for the first time since 1991, being selected in the New South Wales team for the Tri-Series tournament. However, he would sustain a foot injury during the match that ultimately saw him miss the remainder of the season.
He would play two more injury riddled seasons before retiring at the end of the 1999 season. It was during that last season that he had passed 100 tries for Penrith, once again being the first player to do so.
Post retirement, Alexander has established himself as one rugby league’s key voices, working as a commentator with Fox Sports. He has also kept ties with the club, currently being a board member at the Panthers. He was also honoured with selection at halfback in the ‘Team of Legends’ in 2006 and then one of the four initial inductees into the Panthers Hall of Fame in 2016.
Amongst Panthers fans, there is a unanimous agreement that Greg Alexander is the greatest ever to play for the Penrith Panthers, and it is an honour that should remain for many years to come.