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St George legend, Rugby League Immortal Norm Provan dies aged 88

Rugby league legend Norm Provan has died aged 88.

The Immortal had been battling dementia in recent years.

The Dragons confirmed Provan’s death on Wednesday night and are expected to comment further today.

Nicknamed ‘Sticks’, Provan was born in the NSW Riverina and played his junior football in the Sutherland shire.

He only joined St George after being knocked back by Eastern Suburbs at a trial. Provan made his debut for the Dragons in 1952.

The second-rower was pivotal in leading St George to their record run of premiership wins and played 18 Tests for Australia.

He featured in 256 games for St George between 1951 to 1965, and was viewed as one of the greatest players to lace a boot.

He played in 10 of the Red V’s 11 successive grand-final victories, the last four as captain-coach.

The legend’s appearance in ten grand finals is an Australian rugby league record.

Proven was inducted in the Sport Australia Hall off Fame in 2015, and three years later was named an Immortal.

He was awarded the game’s highest honour alongside Dave Brown, Frank Burge, Mal Meninga and Dally Messenger.

Provan’s feats were further immortalised by the NRL, with the icon and Arthur Summons captured in a famous photo dubbed “The Gladiators” that adorns the premiership trophy.

The iconic photo of a mud soaked Provan alongside Summons was taken at the SCG after the 1963 grand final.

In an interview earlier this year, master coach Wayne Bennett, who serves on the panel of judges for Immortal selection, said Provan’s achievements are unparalleled.

“I don’t know anybody in the game who did more than Norm Provan,” Bennett said.

“He was part of 10 premierships … we all fight hard to win one and he won 10.

“Our NRL premiership (the Provan-Summons trophy) is named after him.

“He played for Australia and went on to coach and he is an outstanding man. He was a superstar of his era. He epitomises what the game is about.”

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