NRL Trial - Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 08: John Sattler of the Rabbitohs runs during the Legends match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers at Redfern Oval on February 8, 2009 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Rugby league great John Sattler has passed away, aged 80.

Sattler will go down as one of the greatest players in the history of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, where he played in six grand finals during the 1960s and 1970s.

The 1970 premiership - one of four grand final wins he captained the Rabbitohs in - will go down as potentially his greatest moment, playing 77 minutes with a broken jaw to lead the club to their 19th premiership overall.

Sattler's other efforts captaining the side to premierships were in 1967, 1968 and 1971.

Playing 195 games for the club, Sattler played for New South Wales on four occasions while he was with the Rabbitohs, before playing with Queensland once he moved on from the Rabbitohs to play in the Brisbane premiership for Wests and Norths.

He would play four Tests for Australia as well, although that number would have been higher if not for his broken jaw during the 1970 grand final.

The NRL and ARL's list of the 100 greatest players to celebrate the centenary of the game, named in February of 2008, had Sattler at number 85.

Rabbitohs chairman Nicholas Pappas paid tribute to Sattler in a club statement.

“If anyone is to epitomize the true spirit of the South Sydney Rabbitohs it is John Sattler,” Pappas said.

"He bled red and green. He would do anything for his team mates. He never took a backwards step. He always led from the front.

“He was loved by everyone connected with the Rabbitohs, whether it be one of his former team mates who he led to Premiership glory, or the man in the street who loved South Sydney just as much as he did.

“He was tough and brave but fair, uncompromising on the field and empathetic off it, and he truly epitomized everything that we want the Rabbitohs to be.

“His favourite saying was ‘I play to win – everyone knows that.' There is nothing more ‘South Sydney Rabbitohs' than that.

“He always held the Rabbitohs dear to his heart and everyone here at the Rabbitohs always held ‘Satts' dear to ours.

“Our deepest and most sincere condolences go out to his son Scott and the entire Sattler family, his former team mates, and all of his friends that he has touched over the years.

“Rest in peace, ‘Satts'.”

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'Landys also paid tribute to Sattler.

“John was a legend of the game,” Mr V'landys said.

“The tales of his toughness were quite extraordinary, but they were also at odds with his nature off the field. He was a true gentleman.

“Those traits made him such a remarkable and celebrated leader. He captained his club South Sydney as well as his country on three occasions.

“John played in six Grand Finals with South Sydney, winning four as Captain, and was deservedly honoured as one of Australia's greatest 100 players in the Centenary season in 2008.

“On behalf of the Commission, I extend our condolences to his family, friends, and all who knew him.”