Tears flow at footy legend’s funeral

Some of rugby league’s most prominent figures have farewelled Manly legend Bob Fulton at Friday’s state funeral at St Mary’s Cathedral.

Fulton, one of the sport’s original four Immortals, died last month aged 74 following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Several past and present rugby league stars attended the ceremony in Sydney, along with a number of TV and radio personalities.

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Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart, ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys, broadcaster Alan Jones, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo and Manly coach Des Hasler were among the gathering.

New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian was unable to attend, with deputy premier John Barilaro paying his respects in her absence.

Meanwhile, a guard of honour was formed by the New South Wales State of Origin squad and the entire Manly playing squad.

Newcastle legend Andrew Johns. Picture: Sam RuttynSource:News Corp Australia

Former NSW winger John Hopoate.Source:Getty Images

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro.Source:Getty Images

Former NSW Premier Mike Baird.Source:AAP

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo.Source:Getty Images

ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys.Source:AAP

“It is a very sad day, certainly a very sad day for the family foremost, and our hearts go out to them,” V’landys told 2GB.

“But it will be a funny day, because Bozo was a joker, that’s how he got his name. What an inspiration he is to everybody, he was a migrant from England, lived in a fibro home in Unanderra, rose to play for Australia and become a legend.

“Bob was an Immortal, but more-so he was also inducted into the National Sport Hall of Fame, a very rare situation for a rugby league player. That’s the esteem he was held in, that’s the great player that he was, and a coach, and then later on he was a funny addition to the Continuous Call Team.”

NSW and Manly League teams Guard of Honour outside the State Funeral for Bob Fulton AM @7NewsSydneypic.twitter.com/6McbLQvaXs

The flag atop the SCG Members Pavilion flies at half-mast in tribute to Bob Fulton AM – an Immortal and life member of our ground. pic.twitter.com/xBClu4cqqI

Radio broadcaster Ray Hadley and former teammate Peter Peters delivered an emotional eulogy.

“In recent months, we spoke to many times to Bob about what he was facing and confronting,” Hadley said.

“He faced it as he faced life — bravely with his wife and his children by his side.

“He even managed to laugh about things when it was dire and serious

“He told us both late last year what he confronted. I aked him if he could make my wedding on the 27th of March. and he said, ‘I’ll be there’.

“He was in a lot of pain and a lot of strife but he turned up and it was probably the most important thing he ever did for me. He honoured me with his presence.

“Our lives will never be the same without Bozo.”

As reported by The Daily Telegraph, Fulton’s daughter Kristie laid a handwritten note on the casket alongside a Manly cap.

“You were always by my side, from a little girl to now, I could always count on you to be there, encourage me and love me for me,” Kristie wrote.

“A Rugby League Immortal is defined as being the ‘greatest ever’. Dad, you’re an Immortal not just in the sporting world but in the eyes of your family, your friends and those you supported and inspired for over 50 years.

“Your legacy will proudly live on in all of us and the game of rugby league for generations to come.”

Darryl Brohman and Ray Hadley embrace.Source:Getty Images

Canberra legend Laurie Daley. Picture: Sam Ruttyn.Source:News Corp Australia

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart. Picture: Sam Ruttyn.Source:News Corp Australia

James Tedesco, Brad Fittler and Greg Alexander. Picture: Sam RuttynSource:News Corp Australia

Tom Trbojevic watches the casket leave. Picture: Sam RuttynSource:News Corp Australia

Fulton truly was one of the greats

Fulton was surrounded by family and close friends when he passed away in late May. He is survived by wife Anne, daughter Kirsty and his sons Brett and Scott.

Fulton was an outstanding player, recognised for his on-field achievements by being named an Immortal. He played 35 Tests for Australia and coached the Kangaroos from 1989-1998.

The man known as “Bozo” played more than 200 games for Manly and was synonymous with the club, coaching it for more than 300 games across two lengthy stints in the 1980s and 1990s.

In a total of 428 first-grade games, he won three premierships with Manly and two with Eastern Suburbs when he made the move across in the late 1970s.

Fulton also played 17 times for NSW.

One of the godfathers of rugby league, Fulton became a trusted advisor and confidante to many within the game. He was a vital sounding board at Manly and also helped out the Blues during State of Origin campaigns.

Fulton boasts the rare honour of having won premierships as a player, captain and coach.

Former rugby league great Bob Fulton.Source:Getty Images

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