AUSTRALIAN and St George rugby league great Reg Gasnier has died in Sydney nursing home after a long illness.
"The St George Illawarra Dragons are deeply saddened at the passing of Dragons Immortal and International Reg Gasnier, on Sunday evening,'' the club said in a statement on its website.
The six-time Premiership winner passed away peacefully with his family by his side after a long battle with illness, just one day short of his 75th birthday.
"The 'Prince of Centres' was born and raised in the St George area and began his rugby league career with local club Renown United before beginning his career as a Dragon in 1959 where he went on to score 127 tries in 125 games during his nine-year career.
"After just five first grade games Gasnier was selected to represent New South Wales, something he did on 16 occasions between 1959-67 scoring 15 tries.
"National honours, including the captaincy quickly followed, with 39 games and 26 tries across the same time period before a broken leg in a European Tour match against a French Provincial Team prematurely ended his career at just 28 years of age.
"In 1985, he was chosen as one of Australia's initial four post-war "Immortals" of Rugby League alongside Clive Churchill, John Raper and Bob Fulton. Later that year, he was inducted into the Australian Sporting Hall of Fame.
"In 1989, Gasnier was honoured Order of Australia (AM) and in 2002, he was inducted into the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame.
"During Australian Rugby League's Centenary Celebrations in 2008, Gasnier was named in Australian and NSW Teams of The Century."
Reg Gasnier is survived by his wife Maureen, son Peter and daughter in-law Angelique; daughter Kellie and son in-law Peter and Grandchildren Sheri, Jack, Bryce, Erin and Mitchell.
Funeral details are yet to be determined. The club says it will provide an update once details are known.