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The NSW Rugby League sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of former Penrith Panthers Chief Executive Officer, Roger Cowan OAM, who sadly passed away yesterday.

Cowan served as CEO of the Panthers from 1965-2005, the longest leader in the club's history. The Penrith identity transformed the Panthers from a suburban football team to one of the most iconic club’s in Rugby League.

"His entrepreneurial spirit and vision grew Panthers into the business it is today,” Panthers Chairman Dave O'Neill said.

"His leadership was energetic and hands-on, and he gave great importance to the club's employees' interests, wellbeing and goals.

"His emphatic belief that the growth and success of the club could only be attributed to his colleagues and members made him one of a kind.”

Cowan is regarded as a club icon, putting the Panthers on the map during his 40-year tenure.