MANLY Sea Eagles legend and NRL Immortal Bob Fulton has been remembered as a great mate and player by his lifelong friend Peter Peters.
Fulton, 74, died on Sunday morning following a long battle with cancer and his family has now been offered a state funeral by the NSW Government.
Peters and Fulton were Manly teammates and had known each other for a lifetime. Speaking on the Higher Ground podcast just hours after Fulton's death, an emotional Peters said he'd been left shattered.
"I lost a mate that I've had since I was eight years of age, it's shattering but we've got to celebrate his life - what a man, what a person, what a great player, a great friend, a great father, a great grandfather and a wonderfly loyal person, the best bloke you'd meet in a day's march," he said.
Fulton passed away at St Vincent's Hospital with his wife Anne and children Kristie, Brett and Scott at his bedside. "I was talking to his wife Anne about an hour ago and she said that the thing that he was enjoying most now was being able to go and watch his grandchildren play footy, he just absolutely loved it and finally had the time to do it," Peters said.
In his early days of playing, Fulton was a real estate agent in Brookvale and later a travel agent before going professional with his rugby league, Peters said. "He was always first at training, last to leave and he introduced professionalism into rugby league. Bob Fulton's the greatest coach and player that we've had at Manly and what a privilege," he said. "He had a wonderful big heart, he helped a lot of people, you had to know him to know the real man and I'm privileged to have called him a mate for so, so long. We would talk probably four or five times a week and I'm going to miss that."
Peters said while he's in mourning right now, he will celebrate his great mate. "I've got a bottle of the Immortals port locked away and it's probably going to taste like olive oil at the moment, but I'm going to crack it," he said.
On Tuesday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian ignored advice and offered Fulton's family a state funeral. "Given groundswell community support, I have overruled the official advice I received and make this offer in recognition of Mr Fulton's remarkable contribution to rugby league," she said.
- - Inside Back column: Remembering Bozo
We would talk probably four or five times a week and I'm going to miss that.Peter Peters, former Manly teammate and lifelong friend of Bob Fulton