Image Courtesy: @NRL/Twitter
Bob Fulton, one of the most celebrated players in the Australian rugby league and a former captain, coach, and selector of the Kangaroos passed away at the age of 73 on Sunday after a battle with cancer.
Fulton’s death was announced Sunday by his close friend, broadcaster Ray Hadley, on the Sydney radio station 2GB.
The late rugby league footballer coached Australia to World Cup wins in 1992 and 1995 and is the only man to have won a premiership and Ashes series, against England, as a player, captain, and coach.
Bob Fulton was born in England but moved to Australia when he was four years old and became a towering figure in the Australian rugby league. He was named as one of the first four “Immortals” of the sport — along with Clive Churchill, Reg Gasnier, and Johnny Raper — when the concept was launched as a sort of Hall of Fame in 1981.
He represented Australia in 35 tests from 1968 to 1978 and went on to captain in seven of them. The England-born Rugby legend also went on to represent New South Wales in 16 games from 1967-78.
Fulton also won three premierships in the National Rugby League in 1972, 1973, and 1976 while playing for Manly-Warringah — his last as captain. He appeared in 219 total matches with the team.
'Bozo' is survived by his wife Anne, sons Scott, Brett, and daughter Kristie.
Even the passionate fans of the game came forward and offered their last respects to the versatile rugby player and coach. Here are some of the reactions.
Yes. Another one. RIP Bozo 🏈— AndyOges (@andyoges) May 23, 2021
😢— Tara (@Tigerised) May 23, 2021
Vale Bob Fulton. Absolutely shocked and devastated for his family, friends and all of us fans. He will be truly missed and never forgotten. #ValeBobFulton #ManlyForever #RIP #Immortal #FlyHighBobby 🦅😔😪🥺😭💔— Jayne Eggins (@jayne_eggins) May 23, 2021
Vale Bob Fulton. Condolences to the family. Sad news— Anna (@spannaforce) May 23, 2021
I was a lucky one to watch Bob Fulton play many times - RIP and thank you Bozo. Greatest I ever saw— Richard (@ozetwit) May 23, 2021
His long-time mate and radio colleague Ray Hadley announced Fulton's passing on 2GB on Sunday.
"It is with great regret and sadness that I report Bob Fulton has passed away just a short time ago after a battle with cancer that was kept very private. He was surrounded by Anne and his children and dear friend Royce Ayliffe when he went. He was first diagnosed some time ago and obviously, those close to him knew of it and myself and Peter Peters were advised by Bob at the time. Sometime during that later part of last year he was given weeks to live", said Ray Hadley as quoted by NRL.com
"He fought and fought and fought. One of the things he promised me he'd do he came to my wedding on the 27th of March even though he was not in the best of health. I received a message from Anne four days ago that things were not looking too good and that he'd be in contact with me shortly. That never occurred because he's passed away this morning in hospital", he added.
"He was the first of those Immortals and I always thought he would be immortal, I just thought he'd live forever", said Hadley as he offered his final respects to his good friend and colleague.
(With Inputs from the Associated Press)