Rugby league legend Norm Provan dies aged 89

Norm Provan, one of the greatest rugby league players of all time and legend of St George’s greatest era, has died aged 89.

Provan played in 10 consecutive premierships with the Dragons between 1956 and 1965, and was named Australian Rugby League’s 13th Immortal in 2018.

His likeness will forever adorn the NRL’s premiership, locked arm in arm with Wests’ captain Arthur Summons after the 1963 grand final.

John O’Gready’s iconic photo was the inspiration for the NRL premiership trophy.(Getty Images)

Provan debuted for St George in 1951 and played in the second row throughout his 14-year career with the Dragons, serving as captain-coach for the last four.

He also represented Australia 14 times between 1954 and 1960, and New South Wales 19 times between 1954 and 1961.

A tall second-rower at 193cm, Provan was born in Urana in the Riverina region before moving to Sydney and playing for Willoughby as a junior.

He later moved to the Sutherland area, setting up his illustrious career with St George after initially being knocked back by Eastern Suburbs.

Norm Provan stands wearing a black tuxedo
Norm Provan played 256 first grade games for the St George Dragons, winning 10 consecutive premierships. (Getty Images: Don Arnold)

Provan remains the most capped player in St George’s history, a record he will hold forever after the club’s merger with Illawarra in 1999.

He is also a member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and in 2008 was named in the Australian Rugby League team of the century.

Due to his ailing health, Provan was unable to attend his induction ceremony after his elevation to immortal status, with daughter Sue McCloud attending on his behalf.

“We’ve always looked up to Dad. He’s always been immortal to us,” Ms McCloud said at the time in accepting his appointment.

“To have him receive this, especially now, means an awful lot to all of us — and to him.”

Norm Provan and Arthur Summons hold the NRL trophy that bears their name
Norm Provan, along with Aurthur Summons, were immortalised in the NRL trophy.(Getty Images: Cameron Spencer)


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