Athlete


Date Inducted: 10 Dec 1985
Sport: Rugby League
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Bob Fulton AM - Rugby League

Spoken of in awed tones as one of the 'Immortals' of the modern rugby league era, Bob Fulton played 22 Tests for Australia.

Born in Warrington, England, Fulton was four when his parents migrated to Australia. He joined Sydney club Manly from Illawarra as an 18 year-old prodigy at the beginning of 1966.

A brilliant five-eighth or centre, he played 263 first grade matches - 213 for Manly, and 50 for Eastern Suburbs - and held the distinction of never having played reserve grade. In all, Fulton scored 129 tries for Manly - a club record - before leaving to join Easts (the Roosters) in 1977. He captain-coached Easts in 1979. Retiring as a player the same year because of a shoulder injury, he nonetheless stayed on as coach until 1982.

Fulton made two Kangaroos tours, in 1973 and 1978. He captained Australia in 1978, participated in four World Cups - in 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1975 - and played in three Manly premiership winning teams, in 1972, 1973 and 1976.

In the ultimate homecoming, Fulton returned to coach Manly in 1983. He led the side to premierships in 1987 and 1996, and coached successfully at international level, leading the Kangaroos to success in Great Britain, France and New Zealand in the late 1980s and well into the 1990s.

Made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to rugby league football in 1994, Fulton was also coach of the Australian team in its successes at Wembley in 1992 and 1995. Renowned for his love of a challenge and his ability to rise to the big occasion, Fulton is still actively involved in the game as a selector for New South Wales and Australia, and as a radio commentator.

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.