Tommy Raudonikis was hailed as a ‘one of a kind’ and the public will get to say farewell to the rugby league legend at the SCG on Monday.
Tommy Raudonikis was hailed as a ‘one of a kind’ and the public will get to say farewell to the rugby league legend at the SCG on Monday.

Public memorial set for league’s ‘people’s champion’

Rugby league legend Tommy Raudonikis will get a public farewell at the SCG next week after his family accepted the offer of a memorial service.

Raudonikis, a NSW and Australian player, a Blues State of Origin coach and all-round great servant to the game at all levels, passed away last week, aged 70, after a battle with cancer.

The public memorial will be staged after the NSW Government emphatically ruled out a state funeral.

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NRL chairman Peter V'landys AM said the memorial service would be a fitting way to honour the "people's champion".

"Tommy was one of a kind. He was the people's champion who reached the pinnacle of our game, it's fitting the rugby league community will come together on Monday to pay tribute to one of the most popular players in the game's history,'' he said.

"We have worked with Tommy's family to ensure a memorial that fittingly celebrates a legend of our game."

Raudonikis represented NSW on 24 occasions as a player, the last time in the first-ever State of Origin match in 1980, before going on to coach the Blues six times.

One-on-one with Tommy Raudonikis: NRL: Yvonne Sampson sits with Rugby League great Tommy Raudonikis in a 2019 Fox League Special.

He also represented Australia in 29 Tests and World Cup matches.

His funeral will be held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church at Clear Island Waters on the Gold Coast on Friday at 11am.

The memorial service will be held between 11am and noon on Monday at the SCG and open to all members of the public.

Tickets are not required.

Originally published as Public memorial set for league's 'people's champion'