Frank 'Sticks' Lawrence dies, aged 68

The Illawarra and South Coast rugby league community is mourning the death of one of its most loyal supporters.

Frank Lawrence passed away last week aged 68.

He was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2014 and succumbed last Tuesday, surrounded by family at his home.

Frank was born in Sydney on April 27, 1946, and lived there until 1984 when he moved to Nowra to take up the position as owner of a GIO insurance office.

Frank played rugby league in Sydney for Wests Magpies and captained the club's President's Cup team in 1965, before moving south with Don Parish to join the Western Suburbs Red Devils. He played with the Red Devils for three seasons before switching to Thirroul Butchers, where he stayed from 1971 until his retirement from the sport in 1973.

Nicknamed "Sticks", Frank played representative football for Illawarra in 1969, 1970 and 1971, and won the Eric Nicholson Memorial Shield for best winger in the division.

He won two premierships with the Red Devils and played in two successive grand finals with the Butchers.

Frank was known for his unique running style.

Big League magazine, official publication of the then NSW Rugby League, said in 1972: "Frank Lawrence is one winger not too many Illawarra players like to meet head on".

Frank Lawrence is survived by his wife, Pauline Lawrence, his children, Shane, Renae and Melanie, and their partners, Ceinwen, Carl and Jarrod, and his grandchildren, Aidan, Huw, Beth, Stuart and Lauren.

The funeral will be held at St Michael's Church, 20 North Street in Nowra on Wednesday at 1pm.


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