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The New South Wales Rugby League is shocked and saddened by the death of legendary former player and our first Series-winning Origin coach, Terry Fearnley.

A front-rower and captain of the Roosters, Fearnley played 144 games for Eastern Suburbs between 1954 and 1964 during his career, with one representative appearance for New South Wales in 1960.

Fearnley's greatest glory, though, was his 1985 State of Origin triumph, the Blues' first Series victory - a moment forever immortalised in the iconic photo of Steve Mortimer atop his teammates' shoulders.

Fearnley began his coaching career with Parramatta when he succeeded Norm Provan as head coach coach in 1976. Fearnley also coached the Western Suburbs Magpies to the 1982 semifinals, the Cronulla Sharks from 1983 to 1984 and the Illawarra Steelers in 1988.

At a representative level, Fearnley coached both New South Wales and Australia in 1977 and 1985, becoming the first New South Wales coach to win a State of Origin series in 1985.

Fearnley actively followed rugby league following his retirement, and is remembered as an absolute gentleman, both in his time as a player and as a coach and off the field too.

The thoughts of NSWRL players and staff are with Fearnley’s family.

Rest in peace, mate.



Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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