I first came upon the name Greg Inglis back in 2003. I was playing Under 18s for Western Suburbs in Newcastle with a group of friends. As we would warm-up the 16s would be out on the field before us. From the first game of the season I distinctly remember the tall skinny fullback who absolutely ripped through his opposition at least five times per game. He was electric.
My team were in awe. Numerous times we were chipped by our coach because instead of going through our drills we would stop and watch this dynamic athlete continually fend or slice his way though the other team like it was a training run.
A teammate, who's brother was in the young team, turned and said, 'That's Greg, he is from up Kempsey way, Storm have pinched him already, he will play NRL one day'. I think my reply was, 'Can he back up and play for us today please.'
It was an easy statement to make. You could tell then that this kid had it.
I next saw him on television playing for Hunter Sports High in the Schoolboy Cup. His team lost that day but again he was a standout.
It was only a matter of time before he made first grade. Like many others, I always looked forward to the video highlights from the Queensland Cup games from the previous weekend. You just knew when you clicked on a Norths Devils game there would be Greg carving up.
He was a late call up for his debut in Round 6, 2005, against the Eels. A try in his first match and the rest is history.
My three favourite Inglis moments
1. His second try in the Storms' 2007 Grand Final win over Manly.
Steaming onto an offload from Brett White then burning Michael Robertson and staying just inside the touchline. The look on his face as he crossed the stripe suggested he couldn't even believe what he just did.
2. The crazy bat back for Mark Gasnier to score for Australia in the 2008 Centenary test against New Zealand.
The ball was out for all money but Inglis never gave up, leaping beyond the deadball line and tossing the ball back over his head for Gasnier to touchdown.
3. The try which finished off a clinical 2014 grand final win for the Rabbitohs over the Bulldogs.
Backing up as he always did, Inglis turned the afterburners on and gave the Dogs' cover defence no chance. The Goanna to celebrate the try will be remembered for a long time.
While Souths CEO Shane Richardson said Greg's departure from the field was not a 'sad day' as he would continue to be heavily involved in the club, as a fan, there is a feeling of loss.
No more massive fend, no more blistering tries and no more staunchly aggressive defence from the most physically dominant player I have seen in nearly three decades of watching the game.
There's so much you can talk about in regards to what Greg has accomplished in Rugby League. The stats are all out there. This is just a thank you for the last 17 years of viewing pleasure.
His video highlights reel would feel about that long too.