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'Ornament to the game' celebrates 90th birthday

The NSWRL has paid homage to True Blue Bruce Olive, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday.

Olive was a former Indigenous prop who represented NSW on eight occasions from 1958-62 and played an integral role in helping NSW Country upset NSW City in 1961-62.

Originally from Casino, Olive transferred to play for Western Suburbs Red Devils in the Illawarra competition where he helped them to their inaugural premiership in 1957.

He went on to play 69 games for Newtown Jets in the NSWRL Premiership from 1964-67 and was named in the Illawarra Team of the Century in 2011 alongside some of the game’s greatest ever players including Immortals Graeme Langlands and Bob Fulton.

“He played it hard, he played it tough but he played it very clean,” NSWRL President Bob Millward said.

“He won three premierships in the Illawarra competition, including two at Wests and one at Dapto. He was a crowd hero and was very popular with the crowd who frequented the hill at Sydney Cricket Ground for City vs Country and NSW vs Queensland.

“He held his own with the best of them but more importantly was a through gentleman and still is today. He’s an ornament to the game.”