Rugby mourns Rogers League all-rounder
SYDNEY ? The rugby league fraternity was in mourning yesterday after Sharks and Australian great, Steve Rogers, was found dead at his Cronulla home. Police were not treating his death as suspicious but a cause of death was not immediately known. Early indications suggested Rogers had suffered a heart attack.
The 51-year-old was found shortly after 9am on the landing of his unit by his brotherin-law after he'd failed to make it to a breakfast get-together.
Rogers was widely regarded as one of the best players of the 1970s, a skillful footballer who was equally at home in the centres, five-eighth or lock.
He played 21 Tests for Australia, went on three Kangaroo tours and also represented NSW 20 times in a senior rugby league career that spanned from 1973 to 1986.
In 1975, Rogers received the game's highest individual honour when he was awarded the Rothmans Medal. A veteran of 231 premiership games, including 202 for the Sharks, Rogers went on to become a successful administrator and was the general manager of the Cronulla side until he died. Rogers played grand finals for Cronulla against Manly in 1973 and 1978 and strove to take the Sharks to a premiership title ? something the club had not done since entering the national competition in 1967.
"I'm a firm believer it will make people even stronger for him, I can't say much more,'' an emotional Cronulla chairman Barry Pierce said today.
Former St George and Australian teammate, Rod Reddy, believed Rogers was without peer as a player when at the peak of his powers.
"I probably rated Steve Rogers in the era that I played in as the most complete player there was,'' Reddy said.