Former Australian rugby league captain Arthur Summons dies

SYDNEY (AP) — Former Australian rugby league captain Arthur Summons, who is immortalized on the National Rugby League championship trophy, has died. He was 84.

The Australian Rugby League Commission said Sunday that Summons, who had undergone cancer surgery in 2018, died at his home Saturday night.

Summons was photographed with Norm Provan after the 1963 New South Wales Rugby League grand final at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It is one of Australian sport's most iconic photographs.

The NRL trophy, which is a three-dimensional cast of the same photo showing Summons embracing the much taller Provan and both covered in mud, was renamed the Provan-Summons Trophy on the 50th anniversary of the match in 2013.

Provan played for St. George, which beat Summons' Western Suburbs 8-3 in the final.

Summons led Australia in five unbeaten test matches, played five seasons for Wests and was in the first Australian side to tour Britain, making nine appearances for the Kangaroos between 1961-63.

He was also a former rugby union player who played 10 tests for the Wallabies. He is listed as one of the best 100 rugby league players of the last century.

“Arthur epitomized everything that rugby league stands for — he was a talented player, a fierce competitor, a wonderful character and extremely popular with everyone,” said ARLC chairman Peter V’landys. “Arthur’s memory and legacy will live on in bronze for all of us to celebrate.”

Wests Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe said Summons was a “true giant of rugby league.”

“Arthur was a wonderful man and player in his time and helped us all celebrate our great game for what makes it the best," Pascoe said. “He epitomizes the importance of what our game expects on and off the field and he will be remembered for that.”

In retirement, Summons ran a local rugby leagues club with wife Pam in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales state, where they raised their children, David, Gillian, Janine and Kellie.

A private service for Summons will be held in Wagga Wagga.


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