Harry Bath dies on grand final eve - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harry Bath dies on grand final eve

05/10/2008 07:11:36 AM Comments (0)

Legendary rugby league player Harry Bath has died on the eve of Sunday's NRL grand final at the age of 83 following a long battle with illness.

Considered one of the nation's greatest players never to have represented Australia, Bath was a brilliant second-rower who revolutionised forward play in Australia and England.

NRL chief executive David Gallop said there would be a tribute to him during grand final day with Melbourne and Manly playing off in the premiership decider.

"He made an enormous contribution to the game," Gallop said.

"Champions are masters of timing and for a man who played in as many premierships as Harry Bath, the deciding day of the Centenary Premiership seems an appropriate time to say farewell."

His first premiership came in 1945 playing for Brisbane Souths before title wins in Sydney with Balmain in 1946 and 1947.

A knee injury put him out of contention for the 1946 Australian team and, with no Tests in 47, selectors missed their chance as Bath headed to the big money of England.

With Warrington he won Challenge Cup Finals in 1950 and 1954.

At the age of 32 he headed back to Australia and to St George for the 1957 season.

Despite a chronic knee problem Bath played a key role in the second, third and fourth premierships of the Dragons' historic 11-year run.

He coached the Tigers from 1961-66, reaching grand finals against St George in 1964 and 1966, Newtown from 1969-72 and Australia in 1962 and from 1968-1972.

Then in 1977 Bath guided the Dragons to victory over Parramatta in the first grand final replay before downing the Bulldogs in the title decider two years later.

His death comes as St George were due to honour the 1958 premiership winning team at their grand final day function on Sunday.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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