Peter Nissen Awarded with Life Membership of NSWPRL

Peter is presented with his Life Membership jacket by NSWPRL legend Alex ‘Jet’ Ramsay

Peter Nissen presently a trainer with the NSWPRL, was honoured with Life Membership at the team dinner at the Stonegrill Steakhouse, within the Wollongong Builders club, on Friday 29 June 2018. Great mate and fellow Life member Alex ‘The Jet’ Ramsay, who was honoured for fifty years involvement with the NSWPRL two nights before, made a brilliant speech about Peter and presented him with his Life Membership jacket.  The 2018 NSWPRL team were in attendance, along with fellow Life Members, Steve McDonald (President), Craig Sheridan (APM) and committee members Steve Greer and Cameron Smith.  Trainers Bob O’Riordon and Steve Wilson were also present.

Steve Wilson nominated Peter earlier in the year which was seconded by Vice President Rod Sheraton and agreed by the committee.

Some current NSW Life Members, Craig Sheridan, Peter Nissen, Alex Ramsay and Steve McDonald, 2018 at Wollongong Builder’s club.

Peter’s footy career and involvement with the NSWPRL is as follows;

Peter commenced playing rugby union for St. Therese Denistone at age seven until playing for Marist Brothers Eastwood (MBE) club Hillview from age ten.  Peter commenced playing mid-week rugby league with MBE from age ten, and represented in the Marist Catholic Schools (MCS) for MBE until aged fifteen. Peter’s main position was half-back or five-eight.  He was considered too small to play MCS for Eastwood when aged sixteen and seventeen and had to play colour comp.

Peter commenced playing Saturday Rugby League for Ryde District Devils when aged sixteen.  Ryde District was a new team and comprised of many players from Holy Cross College, MBE’s rivals in the MCS competition.

Peter at 16 years of age wearing his Ryde District jersey.

Peter started to grow physically and was moved into the centres when aged seventeen years and onwards,  He was picked to represent the Balmain Tigers when the President’s cup was under 17’s and again when it moved to the under 19’s age group.

Peter won C grade (under 19’s) with Ryde District in the Balmain District competition two years in a row.  This Ryde District side had many future Balmain Tigers, including John Muggleton, Kevin Hardwick and Michael Marketo and a number others were graded.

Peter was graded with the Balmain Tigers in 1979 to 1982 and played 77 grade games during that period. He was a member of the  Balmain Under 23 team who were runners up to Parramatta in 1980, and a member of the reserve grade team who were Premiers in 1982.  Peter sustained several serious knee injuries and in 1983 commenced playing for the Newtown Falcons Police team in the NSWPRL.


Peter’s Balmain Tigers days, U23 Runners up 1980, Reserve Grade Premiers 1982, Football card 1981 (don’t laugh at the hair, I was on night-shift), coming off after a semi final in 1980 at the SCG. My centre partner in Balmain reserve grade, Olsen Filipaina (2 Years ago). Olsen was the current NZ Test captain in the early and mid 1980’s.

At the 8th wonder of the world Leichhardt Oval.  I always wanted to get this photo, thanks Greery.

Newtown Police team 1983 and getting a pass away at Henson Park

Peter represented the City Police team during 1983 to 1986 before moving to Tweed Heads Police station in 1987.  From 1987 to 1992 Peter represented the Country Police team and was selected into the NSW Police team, to tour on the inaugural overseas tour to England.  The team was undefeated including defeating an English super league team Wakefield Trinity comprising of first and second grade players.

City Police team 1984

Victorious Country Police team 1989 Concord oval, Peter front row on right with knee guard.

1990 undefeated NSW Police team on inaugural England tour

In 1992 Peter organised a game for NSW Police against the England Police Rugby League team during their inaugural tour to Australia.  The game was played at Seagulls stadium Tweed Heads as a curtain raiser to the NRL Tweed Seagulls verses England game. A crowd of 15,000 spectators cheered the NSW police team to a 36 to 10 victory.

NSW Police Team 1992 V English Police team at Seagulls Stadium (Ballboys Matt Nissen and a young Caldwell)

In the mid 1990’s the City verses Country annual clash faded away.  In 2000 NSW stalwart and Life Member Terry Cameron asked Peter if he could organise a Country Police team to travel to Sydney to play the City Police team. With the help of Matt Dennis and another Police officer (name forgotten), the three organised a Country Police team to travel to Sydney.  Peter borrowed a playing strip from the Tweed Heads Seagulls and the Country side whipped the City Police team. This was Peter’s first year as a trainer.

2001 Country Police team at Kogarah Oval in borrowed Tweed Heads Seagulls jumpers

The City V Country Police concept faded again, until 2005 when the NSWPRL organised a carnival at Narrabeen Fitness camp.  Peter organised the northern posted players and the coach Chris Sullivan, and also attended as a trainer. The Country Police team won the carnival and NSW coach Craig Sheridan asked Peter to join the NSW representative police team and he has been there ever since.  Peter also organised the early foundation of the Country North Cowboys who play in the NSWPRL carnivals.  He was a trainer with the Australian Police team in 2008, 2011, 2013 (in England and part of the winning Police World Cup squad), and assistant to Craig Sheridan with the 2014 Australian Police Team.

2005 Country Police team at Narrabeen – Winners of the carnival

Australian Police team and Police World Cup Champions 2013, at Headingly Leeds England.

Peter as a NSWPRL Trainer for NSW in 2008 at Sharp Park Cronulla

Peter joined the NSWPRL committee around 2008 and suggested that a website might be an invaluable mechanism to provide a history and updates of teams and games played, as well as a way of allowing sponsors exposure with our organisation.  Peter organised the website and inputs the stories and photographs, and also luncheons to thank our generous sponsors for their support and friendship.

A small spot-fire to distinguish between NSWPRL & QLDPRL teams in Adelaide.

The first luncheon Peter and Craig Sheridan organised for our sponsor’s, 2010 Circular Quay Sydney

Peters response to being honoured with Life Membership;

First of all, thanks to Alex ‘Jet’ Ramsay, for presenting me with the award.  I have known the Jet for many years and he is a great bloke and mate and Mr. NSWRL.  Thanks Jet you are a legend.  Secondly, thank-you to Steve ‘Jackman’ Wilson for the nomination (it is greatly appreciated) and the NSWPRL committee for agreeing with Steve’s nomination.  Those that know me, know that I shy away from accolades and I am very honoured and humbled to accept this award.  I love rugby league and I loved being a NSW Police officer. 

My involvement initially with the NSWRL was to get my confidence back as a player after some knee injuries, to hopefully go back to grade rugby league.  What I found within the NSWRL, was a great bunch of blokes, who loved playing footy, encouraging each other, occasionally fighting with each other, but having a beer and a few laughs together when the game was over. 

The NSWPRL is a brotherhood within the tough job of being a cop, and those involved form a strong bond of mate-ship which carries over into the job.  I recall being a street cop at times having to go to some pretty hairy jobs.  When I looked around and saw a few NSWPRL players, I knew they had my back and I had theirs. 

I have now been involved with the NSWPRL for the past thirty-five years.  I hope the NSWPRL continues for another 100 years and then another, but who knows what the future holds. 

I want to thank all of those involved in the NSWPRL for the great times and memories I have shared with each and everyone of you.  In particular, Craig Sheridan got me back involved with the NSW team in 2005 and I have been involved ever since.  We have shared a lot of laughs and fantastic memories of games, tours and trips.  Shero is a great mate, a fantastic coach and has a great rapport with ‘the boys’ and is a major reason of the success of the NSW and Australian Police teams, I have been involved in.

I also want to mention Paul Wallace, who wandered into the carnival in Narrabeen in 2005 and asked if he could help.  Paul was a Newcastle trainer at the time and blew us all away with his knowledge, commitment and professionalism. Paul is a great mate and a selfless person who has the NSWPRL at heart, as does Bobby O’Riordon, another trainer I have had a lot to do with.  Dave Hatchwell and more recently Steve Wilson are the other trainer’s I have worked with and established friendships.  Gary ‘Digger’ Heskett was a trainer for a number of years and had a heap of great stories, thanks Digger. 

I’d like to thank the Country boys and Chris Sullivan, Rod ‘Rocket’ Morris and Luke Swain for keeping the Cowboys going, Mick Rickets and Mat Carroll for keeping the Boars going and Hilly and Ben Wrigley the Hunter Hawkesbury Kangaroos. 

The NSWPRL committee have a tough job and need support by all of us to keep these competitions going.  Lets all get behind them and make sure the NSWPRL gets stronger each year. 

To all of the players, thanks for having me as a trainer, stick together and when your playing days come to an end, get involved in some way.  I have been rewarded just being involved in the NSWPRL and watching the players progress; sharing wins, share a tear after a loss together, but overall just sharing friendships. Thanks again for the award…Nisso

With NSWPRL captain 2018 Mitch West and Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy, our NSWPRL captain at Albion Park Eagles ground. Mitch is in the top two or three Police rugby league forwards I have been involved with. I played with D/C Loy for the Country Police team.

With great trainers and mates, Bob O’Riordon, Peter, Paul Wallace and Steve Wilson WIN Stadium 2018.

Once I had Westy’s covered!!!

sorry its such a big post, but some may find it interesting.

Posted in ,

Leave a Comment