Tom Kirk was a record-setting and prolific points scoring rugby league player of the 1930s, '40s and '50s.
An exceptional goalkicking fullback, Kirk won NSWRL premierships with Canterbury-Bankstown in 1938 and Newtown in 1943 and was a renowned leader in the famous Maher Cup competition in the Riverina.
From now on NSW Cup games between the Newtown and Illawarra will be played for the Tom Kirk Cup, the first of which will be on Saturday at WIN Stadium.
Not only was Kirk known for his outstanding goalkicking, he was also one of the strongest punt kickers.
His son, Ian Kirk, was a long serving Illawarra rugby league official and administrator and is an IDRL and Steelers life member.
Director of Rugby League Illawarra, Bob Millward, helped establish this memorial trophy.
"This is the first game of the season and we expect a bumper crowd," Millward said.
The Kirk family, including Ian, his sons Darren and Lachlan, his brother Brian, a former Cronulla player, will be among the special guests at the NSW Cup season.
The NSW Cup match will be preceded by NSWRL junior representative games between Illawarra and Cronulla, the SG Ball Cup at 1.30pm and Harold Matthews Cup at noon.
"The family is very humbled and honoured by the gesture of Newtown and Illawarra to bring this to fruition," Ian Kirk said.
"In a lot of ways those players of yesteryear are forgotten. But it's really an honour for the family and Dad and the Newtown and Illawarra clubs."
Ian Kirk said the family is proud of Tom Kirk's achievements in rugby league.
"Very, very proud to think that he was first in many things in the rugby league world," Ian Kirk said.
"It's just a shame that Australia weren't playing England in those 11 or 12 years that he was at his top because of the Second World War."
Tom Kirk represented Country in 1935, went to Canterbury in 1936 where he won the competition in 1938 with a team that included one of the game's greatest front rows in Eddie Burns, Roy Kilkaldy and Henry Porter.
Kirk played for NSW in 1939 and because of the residential qualification rule switched to Newtown from 1940-46. In 1943 he became the first player to kick 100 goals in a NSWRL season.
In 1946 he represented NSW against Great Britain and in 1947 he played for North Sydney and in that season became the first player to record 1000 career points.
He was the NSWRL leading points scorer in 1938, 1940, 1943, 1944 and 1946.