Dragons legend and NRL giant’s “number one achievement” at 82 years old

AS THE NRL Premiership trophy is thrust into the air tonight, the iconic image of a mud-covered Norm Provan and Arthur Summons will once again be etched in fans’ minds.

Provan, now 82, remains a young footballer at the peak of his career to fans across the country, thanks to photographer John O’Gready’s famous image from the 1963 NSWRL grand final.

Image: John O'Gready

Image: John O’Gready


The St. George colossus stands arm in arm with the much shorter Western Suburbs captain, and long-time friend, Summons, in what’s known as ‘The Gladiators’.

This fleeting moment in rugby league history is now perpetuated as the NRL premiership trophy, and ensures the man who claimed 10 consecutive premierships from 1956 to 1966 is invariably linked to his sport’s ultimate success year after year.

It’s today been confirmed, Provan will be inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame later this month in what he’s described as his greatest victory of all.

“It is my number one achievement,” the Dragons legend, known as “Sticks” says.

A second-row forward, Provan began his career at St. George in 1951 and wore the iconic white and red for a club record 256 first grade games, in which he scored 63 tries.

Of his 10 successive grand final wins, Provan was at the helm as captain-coach for four of them.

“I enjoyed training and reaching peak physical condition myself, and as captain-coach, I expected the same of my players.”

He represented New South Wales on 19 occasions and Australia in 14 tests and two world cup matches.

He has also been inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame, and was named one of Australia’s greatest 100 players.