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The New South Wales Rugby League offers condolences to the family of former Balmain and NSW lock John Spencer, who passed away on 18 February 2021.

A product of the strong Codocks club, John inherited a rich pedigree - his father Jack had helped the Tigers to a series of premierships in the 1940s and also represented the state.

John, or “Spook” to his mates, made his first grade debut as a centre in 1966 under coach Harry Bath but missed the Grand Final through injury. After getting a taste of representative football in 1967, injury again disrupted his hopes, this time of a place on the Kangaroo tour.

1969 proved a stellar season for him. He won NSW selection and was a member of the young Tigers side that upset South Sydney to claim Balmain’s last premiership.

After a decade with his beloved Tigers he built a fine reputation in country football with Campbelltown City, Waratah-Mayfield and then The Entrance, who he coached to a premiership in 1989.

A popular figure wherever he played and with all those he played with, John will be sorely missed.