Bobby Banks: Footy legend dead aged 94 as tributes pour in for one of the all-time greats of the game

  • Bobby Banks has died aged 94 
  • Footy legend seen as great of the game 
  • He represented Australia on 15 occasions 

The footy world is in mourning following the death of Bobby Marjoribanks, one of the all-time greats of the game.

Marjoribanks, who was referred to as Bobby Banks by commentators and fans, died on Wednesday night aged 94, according to the Newcastle Herald.

The kid from Central Newcastle had been the oldest surviving Kangaroos player before his death. 

Marjoribanks, a former five-eighth and centre, played for the Butcher Boys in his early years, where he developed his renowned evasive skills by sidestepping telegraph poles on his journey home from training at Learmonth Park in Hamilton.

He helped Central win the Newcastle Rugby League premiership in 1949, as a teenager, and then spent the following year playing for Eastern Suburbs in Sydney, scoring five tries in 18 games.

His career took flight the next season after he moved to Queensland club Charters Towers and wore the maroon jersey on 31 occasions between 1952 and 1962.

Despite largely failing to defeat the all-conquering NSW, Marjoribanks made a huge impression and was given his first Kangaroos cap in 1953. 

He then played for Australia at the first rugby league World Cup of 1954, which took place in France, and toured France and England in 1956-57, featuring in all six Tests. 

Marjoribanks played his 15th and final Test match against Great Britain in 1962, representing his country at the age of 32. 

In the twilight of his playing career, he returned to his hometown and captain-coached Waratah-Mayfield.

He was named in the Newcastle Rugby League team of the century in 2008, listed as five-eighth alongside Immortal Andrew Johns. 

A multi-talented athlete, Marjoribanks boxed professionally and was a good cricketer, dismissing Richie Benaud in a junior-representative match. He also once won frames against snooker champion Eddie Charlton. 

He leaves behind his son John, daughter Karen, five grandchildren plus five great grandchildren and his funeral will be held at Pettigrew’s, Mayfield, on Thursday July 18.

Attendees have been asked to wear their favourite footy colours.  

More to follow. 

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