Rugby league legend Graeme Langlands has died overnight, aged 76.
Langlands played 45 games for Australia and 227 for the St George Dragons, and was part of the club’s golden age of the 1950s and ’60s.
He died after a long period of poor health following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and had lived in a Sydney nursing home for the past several years.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said Langlands was among the sport’s finest players.
“There are only eight immortals and Graeme is one of them… that says it all,” Mr Greenberg said.
The rugby league world has lost a giant today with the passing of Graeme Langlands. Our condolences to all of his family & friends. RIP Changa
— Todd Greenberg (@Todd_Greenberg) January 21, 2018
Mr Greenberg said Langlands had been inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame.
He was also named among Australia’s 100 Greatest Rugby League players.
“Although Graeme suffered ill health in recent years, he was always a key part of the Rugby League community and will be missed,” Mr Greenberg said.
Langlands’ death comes a month after he failed to appear before a Brisbane court to face child sex offences dating back to the 1980s. He was reportedly unable to travel from his nursing home due to ill health.
In October, the former fullback was charged by Queensland Police’s Child Abuse and Sexual Crimes Group with six counts of indecent treatment of a girl under 16.
The offending is alleged to have occurred on the Gold Coast.
Langlands was represented in court by his lawyer Jessica Burke, who signalled her client’s family’s wishes to pursue the matter through the Mental Health Court