Remembering the great Arthur Summons

25 May 20, 9:51AM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Getty Images

On the 16th of May 2020, Rugby League legend Arthur Summons passed away at 84-years-old and leaves with us the memory of a gear Rugby Union and League career that goes well beyond his playing days.

Arthur James Summons was born on the 13th of December 1935 in Paddington New South Wales and would grow up to become a Rugby Union player.

In 1954 Summons would make his debut for Gordon Rugby Football Club, and just two years later make his debut for Australia.

Just six years later the halfback would jump codes to Rugby League and debuted for the Western Suburbs Magpies in 1960.

One year later he also made his New South Wales and Australian debut, making Summons a duel International.

Arthur Summons Australia

The nickname “Gladiator” would be bestowed upon Summons and adversary Norm Provan after the 1963 NSWRL Grand Final, where the two players who were covered head to toe in mud embraced in a moment captured on camera.

This image would later become the design for the Winfield Cup and eventually the Provan-Simmons trophy.

After retiring from first grade Rugby League at the end of 1964, Summons would end his career at the Wagga Magpies.

In 2008, the “Gladiator” was inducted into the National Rugby League’s Hall of Fame.

Since their image was immortalised on the Winfield Cup, both Arthur Simmons and Norm Provan made almost yearly public appearances at the NRL Grand Final and Dally M Awards night to present the Provan Summons Medal.

Unfortunately, these events will no longer quite feel the same without the legend that was Arthur Summons.

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