Crushing moment Greg Alexander hears of Bob Fulton's death on live TV

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Greg Alexander, pictured here reacting to the news of Bob Fulton's death.
Greg Alexander was shocked to learn of Bob Fulton's death. Image: Fox League

There was shock and sadness around the rugby league world on Sunday over the tragic news that 'Immortal' Bob Fulton had died.

But for fellow rugby league great Greg Alexander, that shock and sadness was broadcast on live TV.

Sitting on the Fox League panel before Penrith's clash with South Sydney on Sunday, Alexander heard about Fulton's death for the first time when it was read out by colleague Hannah Hollis.

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Alexander's reaction was equal parts heartbreaking and confronting.

“My God,” Alexander said as he stared blankly. 

“I was only talking to 'Bozo' a couple of weeks ago.

“I live in the northern beaches and ... yeah ... I pulled up at Woollies and was chatting with Bozo for about half-an-hour.

“That’s devastating news. Gee-whiz.”

Rugby league world pays tribute to Bob Fulton

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans fought back tears as he spoke of the legacy of one of the game's greatest ever players on Sunday.

As a Kangaroos captain, coach and selector, Fulton's influence over rugby league was immense, but his sway at Manly as a premiership-winning coach and captain is impossible to measure.

The news of his passing after a long illness rocked rugby league, including Sea Eagles players and officials who were told of his death when they were travelling on the bus on the way to Sunday's clash with Parramatta.

Following a gutsy 28-6 victory over their fierce rivals at Bankwest Stadium, Cherry-Evans said the reality of Fulton's passing earlier in the day had started to hit him.

Geoff Toovey, Steve Menzies and Bob Fulton, pictured here after the 1996 ARL grand final.
Geoff Toovey, Steve Menzies and Bob Fulton celebrate after the 1996 ARL grand final. (Photo by Getty Images)

"Rugby league can be such a cruel game sometimes, it gives you some of the lowest points but it gives you the highest points," he said.

"The best thing I and the team could have done today was perform well out of respect to the news.

"It's not until after the game that it's all hit and it's really saddening.

"He is someone who has made such a massive mark on the game, these moments are never easy to swallow but I hope in some small degree we've made his family proud on what will be a difficult day for them."

Des Hasler was brought to the Sea Eagles by Fulton in 1984, with the two spending almost all of Hasler's first-class career together as player and coach.

"Bozo is an absolute legend of the game and to many of us he was a friend, a mentor and his legend that he brought to the game will never be forgotten," Hasler said.

"He was a winner, there was no doubt about that, there was always a way, and if not you have to find that way."

Bob Fulton, pictured here with fellow Immortals Clive Churchill, Reg Gasnier and Johhny Raper in 1981.
Bob Fulton (second from right) with fellow Immortals Clive Churchill, Reg Gasnier and Johhny Raper in 1981. (Photo by Pearce/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).

Fulton made his debut with Manly in 1966 and was a part of the club's first three premierships, also playing 35 Tests for Australia and 16 matches for NSW.

Fulton's career was ended prematurely at 269 games when he was cruelled by a knee injury in 1979.

Such was his influence as a player, he was inducted as one of the sport's first four 'Immortals' alongside Johnny Raper, Reg Gasnier and Clive Churchill in 1981.

He later coached Manly to two titles in separate stints at the club in 1987 and 1996, while also spearheaded the Australia side for seven years, winning World Cups in 1992 and 1995 along with victories in 32 of his 39 games in charge.

with AAP

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