John McIntyre has paid his respects to the great Norm Provan following his death.
The former Canberra Raiders chief executive was full of admiration for Provan, but it was his partner Arthur Summons who McIntyre had the most to do with.
Provan was immortalised, not only as an NRL Immortal, but on the NRL premiership trophy - the Provan-Summons Trophy.
It's an iconic representation of "The Gladiators" photograph of the pair embracing after the 1963 grand final - caked in mud after Provan's St George had beaten Summons' Western Suburbs.
It was used as the design for the Winfield Cup, which the Green Machine infamously dropped and broke following their 1989 premiership win.
Provan won 10 (straight) premierships of his own, including four as captain-coach, and he also represented Australia and NSW.
"I only met him a few times, but he was a fellow you had to admire," McIntyre said.
"We had quite a lot to do with his partner Arthur Summons, being based over in Wagga.
"We talked to Arthur on a regular basis and he was a marvellous fellow, as indeed was Norm Provan."
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Provan and Summons were inadvertently part of Raiders folklore thanks to their presence on the premiership trophy.
McIntyre had a bit to do with Summons, who worked at the Wagga Wagga Leagues Club.
And McIntyre also had a bit to do in fixing the Winfield Cup when Raiders great Laurie Daley accidentally dropped it out the back of a ute during the Queanbeyan street parade.
Well, had a bit to do with finding someone to fix it - just in time for the Raiders' reception with then prime minister Bob Hawke at The Lodge.
"It was organised by a very capable fellow at the Canberra School of Arts and he did a magnificent job," McIntyre said.
"He fixed it up. We had a reception at the prime minister's Lodge that night ... and it was delivered back to The Lodge on time for the reception of the winning grand final team."
McIntyre said while the NSW Rugby League hierarchy were shocked and horrored by the broken trophy, he said it was a different case from the sponsors - who were keen for any footage they could get of Daley's mishap. Along with re-enactments of the incident.
The former Raiders supremo remembers being grilled by the Sydney media at the time about why a 20-year-old Daley had been entrusted with the precious trophy.
"My response was, 'You obviously haven't watched the game very closely because he was the only bloke in the side who didn't drop the ball, did not drop the ball once during the grand final'," McIntyre said.
"Where we had the hierarchy of the NSW Rugby League publicly in shock-horror, on the other hand I've got people representing the sponsors saying, 'Have you got some footage? Can we get him to show how it happened'?"
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