Australian Rugby icon dies aged 52

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An Australian Rugby League legend has died at the age of 52.

An icon of Australian Rugby League, Terry Hill, has unexpectedly died at the age of 52 after suffering a heart attack while in The Philippines.

Hill had reportedly told friends earlier in the day that he was ‘not feeling well’ and said he was going to bed. Upon falling asleep, Hill ‘never woke up’. A popular figure in Australian Rugby League, Hill was described as a ‘colourful’ character - he also made many appearances on The Footy Show.

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Hill featured for several Australian Rugby clubs over the course of his career - at club level, he never played outside of his country of birth. He turned out for teams such as South Sydney, the Wests Tigers and the Manly Sea Eagles.

He also represented his country on nine occasions, scoring eight tries and winning 32 points for the Kangaroos. Upon his retirement in 2005, he coached multiple teams in the New South Wales Country Rugby League.

In the wake of Hill’s death, former teammate David Gillespie said [via the Daily Mail]: “I was with Terry only last week. He was his usual self, the life of the party.

“Terry was fine and had everyone in stitches at the fundraiser [for an orphanage]. His death is sudden, unexpected and incredibly sad. He was a very generous person. As a player, Terry was relentless, tough and uncompromising. He would give it and take it.”

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Manly Sea Eagles chief executive Tony Mestrov issued a statement on Hill’s passing, saying [via the Sydney Morning Herald]: “Terry was a much loved and respected figure at not only the Sea Eagles, but across rugby league, where he played for several clubs.

“On behalf of everyone at the Sea Eagles, we offer our deepest and sincere condolences to Terry’s family and friends during this difficult time. Terry will always be fondly remembered at Manly.”