The St George Illawarra Dragons and the NRL held a Tribute ceremony for local junior and Dragons Immortal Reg Gasnier at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Saturday.
The service took place prior to the fixture between the Dragons and North Queensland Cowboys.
The special ceremony hosted by the ‘Voice of Rugby League’ Ray Warren provided the opportunity for rugby league fans to celebrate the life and career of Reg Gasnier at his home ground.
This is first home game at Jubilee Oval since Gasnier sadly passed away on May 11, one day shy of his 75th birthday.
A guard of honour was formed with players from Gasnier’s junior club Renown United and former Premiership winning team-mates including Grahame Bowen, Brian Graham, Dave Brown, Brian Messiter, John Riley, Billy Smith, Geoff Weekes, Kevin Ryan, Eddie Lumsden and Johnny King.
Special guests on stage for the ceremony were ARL Chairman John Grant, St George District Rugby League Football Club Chairman Peter Black, St George Illawarra Dragons Chairman Warren Lockwood, Renown United Secretary Bev Armstrong and New South Wales Rugby League Director Bob Millward.
Rugby League Immortals John Raper, Graeme Langlands, Wally Lewis and Andrew Johns were also involved in the ceremony along with Joyce Churchill, wife of Immortal Clive Churchill, and Mark Beetson, son of Immortal Arthur Beetson.
The Immortals presented Gasnier’s wife Maureen, son Peter and daughter Kellie with commemorative Premiership medals for each of the six of the Premierships that he won with St George between 1960 and 1965.
Former team-mates Langland and Raper additionally unveiled a plaque that outlines Gasnier’s playing career which will forever live in the ground at Jubilee Oval.
A Ballard penned by Robert Raftery entitled “Puff the Magic Dragon and the Greatest Game of All” was created into a moving video tribute that was voiced by Warren.
The Dragons retired the number three jersey for the fixture against the Cowboys in honour of Gasnier signed by both the Immortals and former team-mates who were in attendance.
This was presented by Dragons Chairman Lockwood to Gasnier’s son Peter.
Peter Gasnier announced details of a scholarship in honour of his father’s name that will be presented to a player, referee or rugby league administrator from the St George District each year to assist with professional development in their chosen rugby league endeavor.
Furthermore, the crowd at Jubilee Oval saw video tributes that reminded all of just how talented Gasnier was and why he was known as the “Prince of Centres”.
Videos from this Ceremony will be available on www.dragons.com.au in the coming days.