ERIC Ingram is well known throughout the shire and is regarded as a legend by rugby league players well beyond the ranks of the Hawks thanks to his incredible contribution towards five premiership titles in a row for Yanco-Wamoon.
Proud to have worn a Hawks jersey, he revealed that his origins in the sport did not originate from birth.
He fondly remembers his early days playing soccer for Leeton United and the day his brother and a couple of friends invited him to give rugby league a try.
“I played soccer up until I was 22 years old,” Mr Ingram said.
First diving into the sport at 10, it became the start of a lifelong love of athletics and while the switch to rugby league was a big change, it was one that Mr Ingram felt was a good fit.
Mr Ingram was a part of the team and the team had become a part of him.
He played his best and always put everything he could into each and every game and was surrounded by talented athletes who followed suit.
His efforts were rewarded as seven seasons of his career with the Hawks resulted in premiership titles.
Five of which came in consecutive seasons and clearly defined the Hawks’ dominance on the field.
“They say you remember your first,” he said of his win over the Narrandera Lizards in 1986.
“The one that always sticks out was the third one.”
The season had match after match of fierce competition and with the premiership looming over the Hawks, they were faced to take the field missing key players due to injuries.
“We figured we weren’t going to win it,” he said.
“But everyone pulled together and we made it happen.”
His dedication to the Hawks organization continues as a coach for the team he loves.
He’s come a long way since his childhood days spent chasing ducks by the canals, but he’s not lost touch with his roots.
“I went away to live in Cairns a few years ago, I loved the place but it wasn’t home,” he said.
“I enjoy life in general here, it’s all family around here.”
Surrounded by his family and friends, Leeton will always be his home.