Rugby league in mourning over death of Manly premiership legend

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Fred Jones, pictured here with Manly players Brad Parker and Curtis Sironen.
Fred Jones poses for a photo with Manly players Brad Parker and Curtis Sironen. (AAP Image/Supplied by Manly Media)

Manly wore black armbands and held a minute's silence on Saturday night after the death of premiership captain Fred Jones.

The 79-year-old had a long career with the Sea Eagles, playing 241 games with the club and captaining them to the club's first premiership in 1972.

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Jones was also skipper when Manly went back-to-back in 1973.

The hooker represented Australia at the 1968 World Cup, including the final win over France, and played in losing grand finals in 1968 and 1970.

"Fred has been such an integral part of this club particularly in its formation and its early days," Manly coach Des Hasler said.

"He was a great competitor and great for the community when the side first originated.

"Our thoughts and our prayers and our best wishes go out to all his family. He certainly won't be forgotten."

Jones scored a try in the 1972 grand final and remains the club's sixth-most capped player after becoming their first life member.

Rugby league world mourns loss of Fred Jones

A minute's silence was held on Saturday before Manly's 26-12 loss to South Sydney at Brookvale Oval, while the players also wore black armbands.

"Fred Jones was not only a wonderful hooker, but a true gentleman,'' Manly chief executive Stephen Humphreys said.

"He made a wonderful contribution to the Sea Eagles.

Fred Jones and John Raper, pictured here in 1969.
Fred Jones and John Raper in 1969. (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

"He will always be cherished as our first premiership-winning captain and he backed up that accomplishment to again lead the club to victory the following year.

"On behalf of everyone at the club, I offer our sincere condolences to Fred's family. He has certainly left a wonderful legacy."

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys also paid tribute to the hooker on Saturday.

"I had the great pleasure of meeting Fred a couple of years ago at a function and realised why he was so popular as he possessed a charismatic personality which made you feel good about the world," V'Landys said.

"He was the player and person that made rugby league special and unique.

"On behalf of the game, I offer my sincerest condolences to Fred's family and friends, as well as the Sea Eagles."

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with AAP

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