'Master Coach' Jack Gibson passes away

Rugby league legend Jack Gibson has passed away following a long battle with illness, aged 79.

Recently named Australian rugby league's coach of the century, Gibson was being treated at a Sydney nursing home for Alzheimer's Disease and dementia since 2006.

As a player, Gibson began his career in the St George lower grades before moving to Eastern Suburbs. A rugged forward, Gibson represented New South Wales in 1954 as well as playing first grade for Easts (1953-61), Newtown (1962) and Wests (1963-64). Gibson captained Easts to their 1960 grand final appearance and appeared in a second grand final with Wests in 1963.

Following his retirement as a player, Gibson took over the last-placed Easts side that failed to win a game in 1966, and steered them to the semi-finals in 1967. In 1971, Gibson coached St George to the grand final and then guided Newtown to their only club championship in 1973.

'Master Coach' Jack Gibson guided Easts to consecutive grand final wins in 1974-75. His next success was with Parramatta, winning three premierships between 1981-83.

Gibson's five premierships as coach equaled Ken Kearney's then record.

Gibson was also a tireless worker in raising money for charity as well as running the Easts football club until his retirement 1993.

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