NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg has labelled the late Don Furner snr a "rare gift" to rugby league having left a legacy so many could only dream of.
The Canberra Raiders icon died aged 88 on Monday following a battle with illness.
"Don was one of those rare gifts to the game which allowed him to excel as a player, as a coach and a fine administrator," Greenberg said.
"Very few have been able to do that in rugby league.
"Don will be missed but he will always have a place in the game as one of the founding figures of the Raiders, along with other significant achievements.
"On behalf of the game I offer my sincerest condolences to Don's family and friends, particularly his sons David and Don who have also made significant contributions to the sport."
Furner snr represented Queensland on eight occasions and was a Kangaroo tourist in 1956-57.
His playing career was ended by injury before he moved into coaching, piloting Eastern Suburbs to a grand final in 1972 before leading the Queanbeyan Blues to 10 titles in 13 years.
He then played a key role in Canberra's rise as the club coach from 1982-87.
"Don Furner snr was a fundamental piece of the architecture in putting our club together," Raiders chairman Allan Hawke said.
"He distinguished himself as a player, an exemplary coach and then as an administrator. "Very few people would have the gift to excel in all the facets of rugby league, but Don Furner snr did."