The NSWRL is saddened to hear of the passing of Laurie Fagan, NSW Blue No. 560.
Laurie was graded to Balmain in 1958 as a teenager, from the Drummoyne club, and went on to play nine seasons with the Tigers including a Reserve Grade Premiership in 1965.
A stellar year in 1962 saw Fagan achieve selection for NSW as well as winning the prestigious Sydney Morning Herald Player of the Year award.
After more than 100 matches for the Tigers and as the Sydney Premiership expanded in 1967, Fagan was one of several Balmain players who transferred to the fledgling Penrith club and he played for the Panthers for a further four seasons.
Laurie was a foundation player of the Panthers and captained the club. He played in the match that officially unveiled Penrith Park in 1967 when the Panthers beat the mighty St George defending premiers by 24-12.
Fagan retired from Penrith at the end of 1970 season and went on to coach the Ryde-Eastwood Hawks in the Sydney second division, including the club’s first premiership in 1972.
During Rugby League’s Centenary year in 2008, he was inducted into the Balmain Tigers Hall of Fame.
“Laurie was one of the great players of his era,” NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said.
“His talents were recognised as a New South Wales representative and as the winner of one of the initial Sydney First Grade Player of the Year awards.
“He was a member of the Balmain Tigers Hall of Fame. Moreover, he was one of the great characters of the game and he will be sorely missed.”
He is survived by wife Dot, son David and several grandchildren. The NSWRL extends its sincere condolences to his family and friends.