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.”
Fagan retired in 1970.
He is a member of the Balmain Tigers Hall of Fame and played for New South Wales in 1962.
Laurie Fagan, one of our ’67 originals, has sadly passed away. He played 79 games for Panthers from 1967-1970 and scored the club’s first premiership try. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.#Vale pic.twitter.com/LYxbXPnR5W
— Penrith Panthers (@PenrithPanthers) September 29, 2020
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.