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Eels Hall of Fame Legend and the first Champion of Parramatta, Michael Cronin, has said Parramatta has always been close to his heart. 

Named as the inaugural Champion at a Gala Dinner at Sydney’s The Star, Cronin said he had mixed emotions at being singled out from so many other greats of the club.

“It’s a little bit embarrassing, but also humbling,” Cronin said.

“You see all the players that have been at this club, and I see it as a great honour and I accept it as that.”

“When I came to Parramatta, they accepted me. I came here when I was 25 and I finished when I was 35 so it’s obvious I loved the club and it was never about the money.”

“It’s a place that will always be in my heart.”

The Champion of Parramatta status was created to recognise men of exceptional club spirit, known for their dedication to the club both past and present, on and off the field, and all Hall of Fame Legends must have been part of the Hall of Fame for more than ten years to be considered.

Cronin was chosen as the first Champion from 16 eligible candidates by the Hall of Fame judging panel, Eels Members and supporters, as well as votes from his Hall of Fame peers.

Earlier in the evening, former club and New Zealand Kiwis Captain Nathan Cayless and club founder Jack Argent were inducted as the 24th and 25th Legends in the Eels Hall of Fame.

Click through to see Steve Edge and Brett Kenny pay tribute to their good mate and the Champion of Parramatta, Michael Cronin

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Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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