Laurie Fagan, Panther No. 4, passes away

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Laurie Fagan.

Laurie Fagan, a member of Penrith’s inaugural first grade team in 1967, has passed away.

Fagan, a tenacious halfback, scored the Panthers’ first premiership try against Canterbury at Belmore Sportsground.

He started his career at the Balmain Tigers in 1958, playing 98 games with the club before shifting to Penrith for their debut season in 1967. He went on to play 79 first grade games for the Panthers, scoring 10 tries.

Fagan was a highly respected playmaker and his signing to the Panthers in 1967 was considered a major coup. He’d suffered a serious leg injury in the years prior and was looking for a fresh start after struggling to get game time at the Tigers.

Officially credited as being Panther No. 4, he was named captain for the 1967 season.

“Penrith wanted to give me a chance,” Fagan recalled in the Panthers: Men In Black book.

“The money was a lot better than I had been offered at Balmain and I guess this was a chance to be a part of history.”

The original 1967 team, featuring Laurie Fagan (front row, third from right).

Fagan retired in 1970.

He is a member of the Balmain Tigers Hall of Fame and played for New South Wales in 1962.

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