Rugby league legend Steve Folkes has died suddenly at the age of 59.
Folkes was synonymous with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, with whom he won four premierships as a player and one as a coach.
He passed away after having a heart attack while cycling, The Daily Telegraph reported.
He made 269 appearances for the club in a career that also took in stints with New South Wales and Australia, before retiring in 1991.
And he coached the club from 1998 to 2008, with his time in charge highlighted by a 2004 grand final win over the Sydney Roosters.
“The club is shocked and saddened at the news of the passing of Bulldogs legend Steve Folkes,” Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill said.
“Steve played such a major part in the history of the Bulldogs, both as a player and coach, and was without doubt one of the giants of the club.
“Steve symbolised everything that the Bulldogs stand for and was respected throughout the game of his toughness and determination.
“He never took a backward step and was loved by the fans for his courage and commitment to the club.
“His legacy as a Bulldogs and what he did for the club will never be forgotten and our hearts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.
“The club asks that everyone respect the privacy of the family during this time.”
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg – a former employee at the Bulldogs – added his condolences.
“I’ve known him for a long time and it wasn’t that long ago that I saw him,” Greenberg said.
“He’ll be remembered as one of Canterbury’s greats. But more importantly known as a really great man.
“A family man who has done a lot of good things for rugby league in the community. I send my thoughts and condolences to his family and to his friends.
Folkes also spent time as coach of Australia’s women’s rugby league team, the Jillaroos, while he had been named the head coach for New South Wales club side Moss Vale in 2018.