Making the list of Northern Rivers Top 50  sports stars are, David Russell, Aaron Teys, and Naazmi Johnston.
Making the list of Northern Rivers Top 50 sports stars are, David Russell, Aaron Teys, and Naazmi Johnston. Glen Wimberley

#21-30: Northern Rivers' greatest sports stars of all time

WE HAVE reached the half way mark in our list of Top 50 Northern Rivers' greatest sports stars of all time.

Today we reveal the sport stars who made #21-30.

The inclusion of one of the names on the list is sure to generate much debate, and was the cause of a great deal of discussion in the office.

In the end, it was included, as the list is about great sporting achievement and not what happens behind the scenes.

So, let us know what you think. Email with your suggestions and thoughts.


30. Rhein Gibson

Lismore touring golf pro, Rhein Gibson, is preparing for a big year on the course. Photo : Mireille Merlet-Shaw/The Northern Star
Lismore touring golf pro, Rhein Gibson, is preparing for a big year on the course. Photo : Mireille Merlet-Shaw/The Northern Star Mireille Merlet-Shaw

CURRENTLY ranked 315th in the world, former Lismore golfer Rhein Gibson has made a sensational PGA comback.

In June, Gibson, 33, achieved his maiden victory on the tour, and qualified for the US PGA Tour for a second time, when he shot a 21-under par score of 193 in a rain-shortened 54-hole competition at the BMW event in Greenville, South Carolina.

Gibson's impressive performance saw him come from two strokes behind to win by three courtesy of a bogey-free round of eight-under 63 to record the most significant win of his professional career.

He moved to the United States as an 18-year-old on a college scholarship in Oklahoma.

In 2008 Gibson who was attending Oklahoma Christian University was named the Oklahoma Amateur Player of the Year.

The four-time first-team NAIA All-American, Cooper, graduated with a degree in marketing turned professional in 2010.

Gibson first competed on the PGA Tour in 2016 and has been a regular on the second tier Tour in hopes of re-qualification.

In 2012 he gained a new moniker 'Mr 55' when he made the golf world sit up and take notice with his 16-under 55 at the River Oakes Golf Club, confirmed as the lowest score shot in the history of a regulation 18-hole course.

Prior to earning his stripes on the PGA Tour, Gibson had played just one PGA event, the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

He earned that start with a hot finish at the 2013 Australian Open, which doubles as an Open Championship Qualifying Series event.

In 2014 he came fourth in the Australian Open before joining the Tour.

In 2015 Gibson finished equal second in the NSW PGA Championship at the Riverside Oaks Golf Resort.

29. Terry Greedy

Terry Greedy.
Terry Greedy. Marc Stapelberg

REGARDED as one of Australia's best goalkeepers of his generation, Socceroos goalkeeper Terry Greedy, 65, skills took him to within one match from the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

The former Lismore player who cut his teeth playing for Lismore clubs including Thistles, Italo Stars, Eastwood (now Lismore Workers') and Goonellabah, is regarded as one of greatest goalies of his generation.

At 27 he was late-starter as he finished his teacher-training in Lismore before he went to Sydney in 1978 to play for Bankstown Football Club for two years.

Greedy then spent the next two season at Melita Eagles, before settling in with the St George Saints as goal-keeper for four years in the then national league and won a premiership in 1983.

When Saints coach Frank Arok was seconded to the Socceroos the same year, he took Gibson with him,

A year later Greedy almost retired to pursue a second career in teaching but fortunately for soccer, while waiting for a response from the education department, he had second thoughts.

He became first-choice for an eventful 1985 World Cup campaign which ended in the final play-off match against arguably Scotland's best-ever team.

In 1987 he transferred to APIA Leichardt for two seasons.

Greedy went on to play 38 matches for the Socceroos, was honoured with a Hall of Fame Award of Distinction in 2008.

Named in the Socceroos Team of the Decade for the 1980s, even though he served the national team for only 16 full internationals over three years from 1983-1985, Greedy was recognised as an outstanding goalkeeper.

Greedy retired from the sport in 1990.

In 2011 Football Far North Coast named a medal awarded to the male player of the grand final in Greedy's honour.

28. David Russell

David Russell with Yuya Sakamoto
David Russell with Yuya Sakamoto Marinelli Motorsport

LISMORE driver David Russell has a better than one-in-four chance of getting on the podium whenever he gets behind the wheel.

He's been in form in 2019 with a 2nd at the Liqui-moly Bathurst 12 Hour Race - Class A - GT3 Pro-Am and top of the podium at the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour Race - Class B High Performance race.

The 37-year-old has been on the V8 Supercars grid for nine editions of the Bathurst 1000 but missed out on a co-driving spot this year.

With a strong track record of 31 wins in 326 races, he's been on the podium 93 times and recorded the fastest lap in his events on 20 occasions.

With 11 pole positions under his dash, Russell carries a race win percentage of 9.5 per cent and a podium percentage of 28.5 per cent.

It all adds up to a journey which commenced his circuit racing career in Production Car racing, driving a Suzuki Swift in the 2000 Australian GT Production Car Championship.

A year later Russell went to a Proton Satria in the same entry level class of the same series and finished runner-up in class behind the Holden Astra of Luke Youlden.

Later on he raced the Carrera Cup with Sherrin Motor Sport, culminating with third place in the 2008 series behind Craig Baird and Dean Fiore, which also then led to various endurance race drives in Europe and Asia with Juniper Racing and Lago Racing.

In 2018 Russell celebrated a decade of main series Bathurst supercar co-driver racing, having competed there with Fernandez Racing (one season), Kelly Racing ( two seasons), Nissan Motorsport (five seasons) and Tickford Racing (one season).

27. Kieren Perrow

Kieren Perrow.
Kieren Perrow. Blainey Woodham /

FORMER Suffolk Park professional surfer Kieren Perrow has seen all aspects of the sport from grommet to one the top jobs on the World Surf League after five years as its founding commissioner.

Perrow, 42, was born at Byron Bay where he joined and joined the local boardriders club at 13.

He was on the professional tour as a full-time competitor in 2002, then moved into the operational side of surfing when he retired from the world tour in 2013 after 11 years on the circuit.

One of the biggest changes he oversaw was the 2018 decision to ensure women will be paid the same prize money as men across all World Surf League events from 2019.

The move was backed by leading athletes on both the women's and men's tours.

However, the sport won't lose this intelligent and articulate ambassador as he shifted his focus to a development role, coaching with the WSL.

Perrow was one of the first surfers whose incredible rides, on a then-unknown wave at Shipstern's Bluff in Tasmania, entered the public stream of consciousness in 2001 as the new gold-standard of heavy-wave surfing.

His gliding along the leviathan barrels of Shipstern's led the mainstream charge of big-wave surfing.

After losing to Jeremy Flores in the 2010 final, Perrow's Billabong Pipeline Masters victory in Hawaii at the end of 2011 was one of the most emotional wins of his career.

Two years later at the same event he dislocated his shoulder in the first round first round of a competition which would become his last.

While leading a large sports organisation through changes is never easy, Perrow has come through as both respected and liked.

26. Aaron Teys

Aaron Teys.
Aaron Teys. Glen Wimberley

BALLINA product Aaron Teys is one of the most gifted lawn bowlers to come out of the region.

The home-grown international won the 2017 World Singles Champion of Champions and a multiple champion of indoor and outdoor championships, Teys, 26, continues his impressive dominance of the sport.

In November, Teys will be one of six Jackaroos from the recent Asia Pacific championships to be retained by Bowls Australia in the side to contest the new international event, the World Bowls Challenge at Moama, Victoria, which is considered the bowls equivalent of golf's Ryder Cup.

Knee-high to a boundary peg when he started bowls, by the time he was 13, Teys was collecting top championships against the best adult bowlers in two local clubs.

By then he'd already won junior bowler of the year.

Showing a maturity on the green beyond his years with a gentlemanly approach to sportsmanship to match, Teys won two major club singles titles against all-comers at Ballina club and Evans Head.

He left Ballina to become an apprentice greenkeeper at one of Australia's biggest bowls clubs, Warilla, where he learned from six-times World Cup singles winner, the giant Northern Ireland star Jeremy Henry, and has gone on to win an Australian Open singles among other impressive titles.

Teys is building a remarkable record and his pool room haul includes gold in the Triples and Fours at the 2019 Asia Pacific Championships, bronze in the Singles at 2018 Welsh 10-Nations, silver in the Triples and Fours for the 2017 Gold Coast Multi-Nations, gold in the 2018 Australian Indoor Championships and silver in the pairs, and gold in the 2015 Australian Open Singles.

25. Adam Pine

Adam Pine.
Adam Pine. The Northern Star Archives

ONE of the hardest working swimmers to come out of Lismore, Olympic gold medallist Adam Pine was outstanding in the freestyle and butterfly events.

He gained a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport and his career included three Olympics and four Commonwealth Games.

Pine competed for Australia in the 2000, and 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.

In 2000, he swam in the heats for the gold (4x100-metre freestyle relay) and silver (4x100-metre medley relay) medal winning relay teams.

At the 2004 Olympics, he swam in the 100-metre butterfly and was a member of the Australian 4x100-metre medley relay team, however this relay team failed to reach the finals.

Pine recited the Athletes Oath at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, as the occasion was his fourth appearance.

At the age of 31 he astounded pundits when he qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 100-metre butterfly.

At the 2009 Rome World Championship trials (Australian Long Course swimming trials) Pine swam in the finals finishing 2nd in the 100-metre butterfly.

This swim was under the A qualifying time for the world championships and earned Pine a slot on the Australian World Championship Team.

Married to Sasha, whom he met when they attended the University of Nebraska in the United States on scholarships, the couple have four children.

His wife's parents are Olympic swimmers Diana Rickard and Roger van Hamburg.

After retirement from competition, Pine stayed in the pool when he became general manager of Community Sports at Swimming Australia.

In 2013 Pine became the administrative head of the Paralympic Swimming Program for Swimming Australia and he was appointed Team Leader for the Australian Swim Team at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

24. Naazmi Johnston

Naazmi Johnston.
Naazmi Johnston. Supplied

LISMORE-BORN Commonwealth Games gold medallist Naazmi Johnston was an outstanding rhythmic gymnast.

The younger sister of sister Shaneez who won two silver and three bronze at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Johnston went on to eclipse her talented sibling.

Her family has a strong link with the Northern Rivers, moving to Woodburn and then Wyrallah from Sydney, with Johnston born in 1988.

She caught the rhythmic gymnastics bug as a youngster watching Shaneez learn the basics of the sport at Lismore's Police Citizens Youth Club, under the watchful eyes of firstly Margaret Watts and then Kim Haynes.

As an eight-year-old, she would sit and watch her sister in the gym, then sneak away to experiment with various apparatus on her own.

The family eventually moved to Sydney to allow their daughters to chase their gymnastic dreams - which they did.

Recognised as one of Australia's most decorated rhythmic gymnasts, which involves ball, hoop, ribbon and rope routines, Johnston won six Commonwealth Games medals including three gold at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games.

She competed at world championships, including at the 2005 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, 2009 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships.

Johnston represented Australia at the 2008 Summer Olympics where she finished just outside the top 20.

In the 2010 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in India she won gold for Australia for the first time in 16 years and took silver the same year at the Pacific Rim Championships in Australia.

In 2011 Johnston performed on Australia's Got Talent with a group called Meriden Rhythmix where they performed routines of rhythmic gymnastics and made it to the semi-finals before being eliminated.

23. Arthur Black

Arthur Black.
Arthur Black.

A SOUTH Lismore giant of the greens, Arthur Black, was a an outstanding lawn bowler who represented Australia at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Together with lawn bowls pairs partner, Kevin Henricks the dynamic duo came away with a highly respectable ninth against some very tough teams in unbelievable conditions.

Afterwards Black commented on the game and said it was an experience that tested even his remarkable skill.

He described the experience as "playing at 10 o'clock at night in pouring rain on saturated greens".

During his incredible 40 years as a competitive lawn bowler, Black played for New South Wales 121 times and for Australia 28 times.

However, the passionate bowler was always ready to to step up and represent his club and he took these matches just a seriously, which no doubt contributed to his fine form on the national and international scene.

In 1985 Black was chosen to play in the pairs and fours squads in the Asia-Pacific Bowls Championships inaugural games at Tweed Heads.

He was an inspired choice as his efforts helped Australia to come away the gold medal in the Men's Fours and silver medal in the Men's Pairs events.

Black also played for his country in Trans-Tasman tests against New Zealand.

He also won the prestigious and hard-fought Northern Rivers District Bowls Association title five times and was made a life member of the South Lismore Bowling Club

In 2016 Black and Australia's most decorated bowler Rex Johnston, better known as Paddles, were honoured by a trophy known as the Black Paddles Shield which is contested between local Zone One and Zone 11 (Manning district) senior sides.

In 2017 Black passed away.

22. Nathan Baggaley

Nathan Baggaley.
Nathan Baggaley. JULIAN SMITH

A MAGNIFICENT career overshadowed by several drug scandals, kayaker Nathan Baggaley is a multiple former world champion and Olympic silver medallist.

A triple world champion in the K1 Class sprints, Baggaley, 43, won gold in 2002 at Seville and in 2003 at Gainsville in the highly competitive 500m events.

He came back to win the same event in 2005 at Zagreb after being banned for 24 months for steroid use, which brought into question his results although none of his medals were ever withdrawn.

Baggaley was nothing if not versatile, taking silver medals in both the K1 and K2 500m sprints at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

A seven times national champion, the incredibly talented Byron Bay athlete made his international debut for Australia in 1997, initially competing in the K-2 class.

Then two years later Baggaley switched to the K-1 were he enjoyed stunning success and reached the K-1 500m semifinals at Sydney in 2000.

Baggaley was voted the Australian Institute of Sport's Athlete of the Year in 2004 and in August 2005, he was honoured with carrying the Australian flag at the opening ceremony for the 34th International Canoe Federation World Championships in Croatia.

But a month later Baggaley was again banned, this time for 15 months for the use of performance enhancing drugs when he tested positive to banned steroids stanozolol and methandienone in an out-of-competition drug test conducted by the Australian Sports

He was subsequently jailed for drugs charges in 2009.

This downward spiral continued and in August 2018, Baggaley's brother, Dru was arrested in connection with the attempted importation of 600 kilograms of cocaine and in June 2019, Baggaley was arrested in connection with the same alleged crime.

He remains in custody while the case continues.

21. Harold Crozier

Harold Crozier.
Harold Crozier. Contributed

EXCELLING at cricket and baseball, Harold Crozier, was a lifelong sportsman whose achievements were honoured with the naming of one of Lismore's main sporting faculties, Crozier Field.

Born in 1932, Crozier spent parts of his early childhood in Lismore before spending his teenage years in Alstonville where he discovered his first love cricket in 1946 at the local club.

A First Grade cricketer for 40 years, Crozier played well into his 50s, reportedlye scoring close to 10,000 runs, including 10 centuries.

His career also included being in the representative cricket team for NSW playing against South Africa when they toured in 1963 and then in 1966 against England.

A talented and tough wicket keeper-batsman, Crozier also captained both the Marist Brothers and the Easts Cricket Clubs which under his leadership won either a minor or major premiership 17 times over a 20-year period.

A life member of Eastern Districts Cricket Club in Lismore, Far North Coast Cricket Council, Far North Coast Cricket Umpires' Association and Lismore District Cricket Association.

His second sporting love was baseball which he started at the age of 10, suiting up for Brothers.

In the 1960s when he was in his early 20s he transferred to The Wanderers, also played for Norths and Ballina and was part of the Far North Coast representative team from 1952 through to 1962 as the regular second baseman.

In 1959 Crozier was selected to be in the Australian team as a second baseman.

Crozier retired from playing baseball in 1973 at the age of 41, making a return at 72 to play alongside his son David for the Ballina Sharks, where in the second year they won the grand final.

He died this year.

How this NRRRL team plans to be a powerhouse in 2021

Premium Content How this NRRRL team plans to be a powerhouse in 2021

THE year of the Cougar is how a player and coach describe the coming NRRRL...

BYRON GRIDLOCK: Aim for 1km every minute, says councillor

Premium Content BYRON GRIDLOCK: Aim for 1km every minute, says councillor

A perfect storm of issues have made Byron’s traffic a sore point.

New development is booming in this Northern Rivers shire

Premium Content New development is booming in this Northern Rivers shire

FROM in-ground swimming pools to new residential developments, we can reveal the...