Rugby league Immortal Norm Provan dies aged 88

Rugby league’s 13th Immortal, Norm Provan, has died aged 88.

The second-rower known as Sticks played 256 matches for the then-St George Dragons and was a key part of the side who won an astonishing 11 straight premierships between 1956 and 1966.

The famous photo of Norm Provan (left) and Arthur Summons taken after the 1963 NSWRL grand final.Credit:John O’Gready

It was one of those grand finals, in 1963 against Western Suburbs, that provided the most lasting image of Dragons captain Provan and his Magpies counterpart Arthur Summons.

Taken by Herald photographer John O’Gready, the image known as The Gladiators became synonymous with rugby league and has adorned the NRL’s premiership trophy for decades. Summons died in May last year aged 84.

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

Born in Urana in the Riverina in 1932, Provan also played 14 Tests for Australia and represented NSW on 16 occasions.

Provan stands all among St George fans after the 1965 grand final win at the Sydney Cricket Ground.Credit:Fairfax Media

He was bestowed the game’s highest honour in 2018 when he was named an Immortal alongside Dave Brown, Frank Burge, Mal Meninga and Dally Messenger.

Bob Fulton, one of the original 1981 class of four which included former Provan teammates Reg Gasnier and Johnny Raper, died in May aged 74.

More to come

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