Peter Mulholland, the schoolteacher turned first-grade coach and recruiter, has died after a lengthy battle with cancer at the age of 68.
Mulholland's death from a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was confirmed by the Canberra Raiders on Thursday.
Mulholland cut his teeth at St Gregory's College Campbelltown where the likes of Mick Potter, Trent Robinson and Jason Taylor were under his tutelage.
His prowess in junior football earned him a shot at the big time with the introduction of the Western Reds, where he lured Mark Geyer to the start-up franchise in 1995.
He also spent time with Super League side Paris Saint-Germain.
But it was in recruiting where the man affectionately known as 'Skull' earned the respect of his peers.
He helped shape Penrith's premiership-winning roster in 2003 and brought both Dale Finucane and Josh Jackson to Canterbury.
After time with Newcastle and St George Illawarra, he became Canberra's recruitment manager in 2016 and his intimate knowledge of the English market helped land John Bateman and drive the club towards their first grand final in 25 years in 2019.
"The game has lost one of its greatest characters," said Canberra chief executive Don Furner.
"Peter Mulholland was one of the most loved and respected people in rugby league and there will be many wonderful stories and memories shared about him over the coming weeks.
"He was instrumental in turning around our club's fortunes and helping us make the grand final with some of his astute and targeted recruitment."
Australian Associated Press
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