The Sharks join the rugby league community in mourning the passing of Norm Provan, a legendary figure in the game and a man celebrated with his likeness featuring on the NRL premiership trophy.
Rugby league’s 13th Immortal, Provan died on Wednesday night, aged 89.
A multiple premiership winner as a player at the Dragons, Provan was involved in 10 of St George’s 11 consecutive Grand Final victories in the 1950’s and ‘60’s, before turning his hand to coaching, joining the Sharks for the 1978 season.
In that first year in charge Provan would steer a Steve Rogers-led Sharks side into the premiership-decider against Manly.
In a fierce contest the teams would finish in an 11-all draw, forcing a replay, with an injury and suspension depleted Sharks side ultimately going down 16-0 to the Sea Eagles in the midweek rematch.
Provan coached the Sharks for two seasons, his 31 wins and two draws in 50 games resulting in an impressive 62 per cent win percentage.
In 2016 Provan also played his part in an historical moment for the Cronulla club in handing skipper Paul Gallen the Provan-Summons trophy following the Sharks first NRL premiership triumph.
The famous photo of Provan (left) and Arthur Summons, later turned into the NRL premiership trophy, was taken after the 1963 NSWRL Grand Final.
Affectionately known as “Sticks”, Provan played 256 matches for the St George Dragons and was a key part of the side that won an astonishing 11 straight premierships between 1956 and 1966. He was captain-coach for his final four years at the Club.
Born in Urana in the Riverina in 1932, Provan also played 14 Tests for Australia and represented NSW on 16 occasions.
Provan was bestowed the game’s highest honour in 2018 when he was named an Immortal alongside Dave Brown, Frank Burge, Mal Meninga and Dally Messenger, after previously having been inducted into the Australian Rugby League and International Rugby League Hall of Fame's in 2004. He was also named in the ARL Team of the Century in 2008.
Provan is survived by a devoted family residing across Queensland and NSW, including wife Lynne, daughter Suzanne, sons Noel, Douglas and Nathan, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
The Cronulla Club offers their deepest condolences to the Provan family.