The rugby league community is mourning the death of former St George Dragons great and immortal Graeme “Changa” Langlands at the age of 76.
His death comes after a long battle with dementia and Alzheimer disease, passing away at his nursing home in Sydney’s south on Sunday.
Langlands career started in 1963 in a team considered to be the greatest ever, with the Red V winning eleven consecutive premierships between 1956 and 1966. In his rookie season he played alongside some of the Dragons greats including Johnny Raper, Billy Smith, Reg Gasnier and Norm Provan.
Playing from fullback, he appeared in 227 club matches and still holds the record for the most number of points at the Dragons with 1,554 points. Langlands also represented the Kangaroos 45 times, 15 times as captain. Only Mal Meninga (46) and Darren Lockyer (59) have appeared in more internationals for Australia.
Later on in his career, he would become captain-coach of the Dragons. The 1975 loss to Eastern Suburbs 38-0 would be remembered as much for the demolition of his side, as it was for the white boots and playing injured.
Langlands also captain-coached Australia between 1973 and 1975.
In 1999 Langlands, along with Wally Lewis became the fifth and sixth Immortals of rugby league. Former team-mate Gasnier and Raper were part of the original Immortal inductees in 1981.
Post career the accolades continued as he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1986 and Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2002. In the game’s centenary in 2008 he was listed in the 100 Greatest Players and Team of the Century. He was awarded an MBE for his contributions to rugby league.
Recently he was charged with some historical offences which were in front of a Brisbane court at the time of his passing.
Rugby League has lost a legend of the game.
VALE Graeme Langlands
St George Dragons (1963-1976) 227 games, 86 tries, 648 goals, 1554 points
New South Wales (1962-1975) 35 games, 19 tries, 46 goals, 149 points
Australia Kangaroos (1963-1975) 45 games, 20 tries, 73 goals, 206 points
St George Dragons (1972-1976) 119 games, 59% win-loss record
Australia Kangaroos (1973-1975) 17 games, 77% win-loss record