Rugby League Immortal and St George Dragons legend, Norm Provan has sadly passed away on Wednesday aged 88.
Provan is immortalised in the famous sporting image, now known as ‘The Gladiators’, captured when Provan embraced then Magpies captain Arthur Summons following St George’s 1963 win over Western Suburbs.
Provan entered the Australian Rugby League and International Rugby League Hall of Fames in 2004 and was awarded Immortal status in 2018.
The towering back-rower played a crucial role in St George’s ‘Never Before, Never Again’ era, playing in 10 of the club’s 11 successive grand final victories known as the club’s greatest era between 1956 and 1965. Not an easy task given most professional players at the time held down second jobs or apprenticeships on top of playing commitments.
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) October 13, 2021
St George Dragons chairman and St George Illawarra board member Craig Young said Provan is “an iconic and crucial part of the St George’s rich history” in a statement to the Dragon’s website.
“Norm was instrumental in St George’s great run of 11 premierships, a feat we will never see occur again,” he said.
“Everyone involved with St George District and the St George Illawarra Dragons wish to send their condolences to Norm’s family.”
National Rugby League took to Instagram to pay tribute to Provan with the caption, “A legend, an icon, an Immortal. Rest in peace, Norm Provan.”
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Fans were quick to comment on the post and offer their tributes to the Rugby League legend with one writing, “10 straight premierships, four as captain-coach. Never before, never again. RIP, legend.”
“RIP to a legend of the game.”
“The Great Man. They don’t make them like that anymore.”
“Nobody will ever hold a record like he did ever again. What a champ. Rest in peace.”
Provan hasn’t been the only League legend to pass away this year after fellow League great, Tommy Raudonikis passed away in April after a long battle with cancer.
Provan joined the St George ranks in 1950 and made his first-grade debut for the Dragons in 1951.
Provan retired in 1965 with an incredible 18 games for New South Wales and 31 matches for Australia to his name.
Provan went on to coach St George in his retirement in the 1968 season before concluding his coaching career with postings at Parramatta and Cronulla.
On top of his impressive career, Provan’s legacy in the game will be immortalised in ‘The Gladiators’ image which has gone on to be used for the NRL premiership trophy since 1982.