Rugby league legend Norm Provan has passed away at the age of 88.
The Immortal had battled dementia in recent years.
The Dragons confirmed Provan’s death last night and issued a statement a short time ago paying tribute to the big club.
“Norm Provan remains an iconic and crucial part of St George’s rich history,” said Craig Young, president of St George Dragons and member of the board of directors of St George Illawarra.
“Norm was instrumental in the great series of 11 prime ministers of St George, an achievement we will never see again.
“Everyone involved in the District of St George and the Dragons of St George Illawarra wish to send their condolences to Norm’s family.”
Nicknamed “Sticks”, Provan was born in NSW Riverina and played his junior football in Sutherland County.
He only joined St George after being pushed back by Eastern Suburbs during a trial. Provan made his debut for the Dragons in 1952.
The second rower was crucial in driving St George to their Premiership winning record and performed 18 tests for Australia.
He appeared in 256 games for St George between 1951 and 1965 and was considered one of the greatest players to tie a boot.
He has played 10 of the Red V’s 11 successive Grand Final victories, the last four as a captain-coach.
The legend’s appearance in ten major finals is an Australian rugby league record.
Proven was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2015, and three years later he was named Immortal.
He received the game’s highest honor alongside Dave Brown, Frank Burge, Mal Meninga, and Dally Messenger.
Provan’s exploits were immortalized by the NRL, with the Icon and Arthur Summons captured in a famous photo titled “The Gladiators” adorning the Premiership trophy.
The iconic photo of a mud-soaked Provan alongside Summons was taken at SCG after the 1963 grand finale.
In an interview earlier this year, head coach Wayne Bennett, who is on the panel of judges for the Immortal roster, said Provan’s accomplishments were unprecedented.
“I don’t know anyone in the game who did more than Norm Provan,” Bennett said.
“He’s been in 10 Premierships… we’re all fighting to win one and he’s won 10.
“Our premier of the NRL (the Provan-Summons Trophy) bears his name.
“He played for Australia and became a coach and he’s an exceptional man. He was a superstar of his day. He embodies the essence of the game.”
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