From the Grandstand by Col Hennessy


I saw a lot of Norm Provan when I was growing up in Sydney. I lived at Kogarah only a stone throw from Jubilee Oval. You could run onto the oval after the game and simply touch them or pat them on the back.

Safe to say he was a real hero of mine.

I can say he was a giant of a man in every sense of the word. He was almost 2 metres high and to a thirteen-year-old that was huge. I can still remember getting his autograph and was amazed at the size of his hands. His long legs earned him the nickname of ‘sticks’ for obvious reasons.

I am glad he reached ‘immortal’ status some years ago along with Mal Meninga. They both had massive frames and new how to use it. By way of comparison, he was regarded as a gentle giant and was rarely penalised for foul play. He was well respected by his opponents and that is captured in that marvellous ‘gladiators’ photo which is the basis for the NRL premiership trophy. I have a framed copy of that photo in my den suitably autographed.