THEY'RE part of one of Australian sport's most iconic photos and forever etched in bronze on the premiership trophy but Arthur Summons says his mate Norm Provan has been done a disservice.
THEY'RE part of one of Australian sport's most iconic photos and forever etched in bronze on the premiership trophy but Arthur Summons says his mate Norm Provan has been done a disservice. PAUL MILLER

'A disgrace that Provan isn't an Immortal': Summons

THEY'RE part of one of Australian sport's most iconic photos and forever etched in bronze on the NRL premiership trophy but Arthur Summons says his mate Norm Provan has been done a disservice.

The NRL released a 10-man shortlist for the ninth Immortal race featuring Caloundra's Provan.

But Summons believes his mate should have been named along with the original contingent.

Pre-World War II greats Dally Messenger, Frank Burge and Dave Brown also feature on the list along with Darren Lockyer, Ken Irvine, Brian Bevan, Duncan Hall, Ron Coote and Mal Meninga.

In August the NRL will induct up to two new Immortals to join Clive Churchill, Bob Fulton, Reg Gasnier, Graeme Langlands, Johnny Raper, Wally Lewis, Arthur Beetson and Andrew Johns.

When speaking about the 10-time premiership winner with St George, Summons said it was a "disgrace" he hadn't already been immortalised.

"I'm not saying some of the guys already chosen are not worthy, but Norm should have been included before them," Summons said from his Wagga Wagga home.

"His record speaks for himself. Being part of the trophy is great but this is more significant.

"I'm honoured to be on the trophy with him. I just rode on the back of a real Immortal."

 

Former rugby league players Norm Provan (left) and Arthur Summons recreate their iconic Gladiators image that was taken 50 years ago, at the SCG in Sydney, Wednesday, August 21, 2013. The premiership trophy, formally known as the Telstra Premiership Trophy, has been renamed the Provan Summons Trophy in their honour. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)
Former rugby league players Norm Provan (left) and Arthur Summons recreate their iconic Gladiators image that was taken 50 years ago, at the SCG in Sydney, Wednesday, August 21, 2013. The premiership trophy, formally known as the Telstra Premiership Trophy, has been renamed the Provan Summons Trophy in their honour. (AAP Image/Paul Miller) PAUL MILLER

Summons was just a "young pup" when he first sighted Provan in 1960.

For the three seasons that followed, his Western Suburbs Magpies lost three grand finals to Provan's mighty Red V.

"He was this tall, rangy, awkward, big-boned man. His running was fairly quick and his handling ability was second to none," the former test captain said.

"He set up so many tries for the great St George side. And 11-straight premierships will never be broken. You have to admire that.

"On the field he definitely belted me a few times but off it he was a gentleman. Everyone who knows him holds him in the highest regard."

Norm Provan's career

  • St George Dragons: 254 games, 64 tries
  • New South Wales: 19 games
  • Australia: 14 games
  • An Australian record 11 grand final appearances
  • Second row for the Team of the Century

Provan, who has been a long time Coast resident and Falcons patron, is sadly battling health problems.

Coast league identity Ashley Robinson has had a bit to do with the league legend in recent years and said it was a shame that he didn't receive the Immortal title sooner.

"He was just a wonderful human being, you wouldn't ever meet someone who didn't like Norm," Robinson said.

"When he was invited down for the Team of the Century dinner, he thought he was just there to make up the numbers.

"He didn't consider himself up there with the likes of Ron Coote and John Raper. He was amazed to be chosen.

"It says a lot about how humble he was."



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