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Simmons awarded  'Citizen of the Year'

True Blue Royce Simmons was last night awarded Citizen of the Year at Penrith City Council’s Local Celebration Awards. 

Simmons was recognised by Penrith City for his dedicated contribution to raising awareness for dementia along with the millions he has raised for dementia research through his ‘Royce’s Big Walk’ fundraising. 

The Local Celebration Awards recognise outstanding contributions made by the people in the Penrith community. 

Simmons said he was grateful to the community for the support they had shown him for many years. 

“To win it is very special,” Simmons told 

“This is a city of really good people, who when one of their own falls on some hard times, everyone is there to support you and make sure you get looked after.” 

When the Panthers legend was diagnosed with dementia in 2021 at the age of 61, his attention turned to how he can help not only those affected by this disease but their families. 

In the last two years, ‘Royce’s Big Walk’ has raised over $1.5 million for Dementia Australia with all the funds raised going towards researching the disease that is currently affecting more than 400,000 people in Australia.

Westpac NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler along with True Blues Terry Lamb, Paul Sironen, Paul Langmack, Garry Jack and many others have all participated in ‘Royce’s Big Walk’ over the last two years to help raise awareness.

“We have paid for three programs already with the money we have raised,” Simmons said. “In the next few months, we will pay for a fourth research program. 

“I will continue to keep the foundation pumping along and continue to help grow the research so we can hopefully one day find a cure.”

“It’s good to be helping where we can.”

Simmons played ten games for the Blues – being an integral part of the 1986 series win – along with 237 games for the Penrith Panthers, scoring two tries in their 1991 premiership win.

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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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