Tommy Raudonikis Sadly Passes Away After Long Battle With Cancer
Rugby league legend and Aussie icon Tommy Raudonikis has sadly passed away after losing his long battle with cancer.
He was 70 years of age.
It's understood the NRL Hall of Famer was suffering from testicular cancer following multiple heart surgeries.
He was later diagnosed with throat cancer too.
Raudonikis is revered by rugby league fans and widely regarded as a pioneer of the sport in this country.
The talented halfback played a whopping 238 first grade games during his decorated rugby league career, representing the Western Suburbs Magpies between 1969 and 1979 before joining the Newtown Jets in 1980.
He also donned the iconic New South Wales Blues jersey 24 times for State of Origin and also represented Australia at Test level on 29 occasions.
What makes this feat even more impressive was the fact he was the first ever New South Wales captain in 1980.
I mean, that alone is stuff of legend.
And despite hanging up the boots in 1982, Raudonikis' time in rugby league was far from done.
He went on to coach his former side Western Suburbs as well as the Ipswich Jets and local Brisbane sides Brothers and Norths.
The popular figure also coached New South Wales for two series during the late '90s.
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Oh, and who could forget the legendary "cattle dog" call during the 1997 State of Origin series?
Touching tributes came flooding in after news of Raudonikis' death with fans, players and other members of the NRL community taking to social media to pay their respects.
What a legend Tommy Raudonikis is. The nicest tough guy ever. I'm sure him and Big Artie are having a schooner together somewhere.- Chris Garry (@ChrisGarry7) April 6, 2021
Rest easy Tommy Raudonikis. A true legend of the game :raised_hands: pic.twitter.com/md4cu1f463- The Big Sports Breakfast (@BigSportsBrekky) April 6, 2021
Many hard men are shedding a tear now for Tommy Raudonikis. He was genuinely one of a kind - tough, brilliant, funny, outrageous, clever & universally popular. No matter the situation Tommy always made you feel good. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him & many who didn't.- Brad Walter (@BradWalterSport) April 6, 2021
What a sad day! Rugby League legend Tommy Raudonikis has passed away. Great Bloke. Wonderful footballer and a true Aussie knockabout who could just about get away with anything. Thoughts with Trish and Family. RIP Legend- Darryl Brohman OAM (@therealbigmarn) April 6, 2021
Rugby League legend Tom Raudonikis has lost his long term battle with illness - a champion on the field with @westsmagpies @newtownrlfc and @NSWBlues and a champion every day off the field in life #respect- Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) April 7, 2021
Australian rugby league great Tom Raudonikis has died. His loss will shatter our great game. Story shortly at https://t.co/V1FNRWXoKO- Dean Ritchie (@BulldogRitchie) April 6, 2021
The Newtown Jets are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of former grand final captain Tommy Raudonikis.- Newtown Jets (@newtownrlfc) April 6, 2021
Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/YO0f49JbdN
VALE Tommy Raudonikis :flag_black::flag_white: Magpie #655@westsmagpies are saddened to learn of the passing of much loved Magpie Tommy Raudonikis- Wests Magpies (@westsmagpies) April 6, 2021
As both player & coach, Tommy has been at the heart & Soul of the Magpies and their supporters for 50 years.
Our thoughts are with Tommy's family. pic.twitter.com/dpuRlbnzC3
Featured Image Credit: NRL
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