Collegians Rugby League Football Club members and supporters are mourning the loss of long-term administrator and former player Terry Gillen.
Gillen, 70, died at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney on Saturday.
Affectionately known as "TG", he was a Collies life member, long-term former football chairman and served on the board of the licensed club for 20 years.
A goalkicking halfback and centre, Gillen played more than 100 grade games for Collies. He also captain-coached in the country rugby league.
Gillen grew up in Port Kembla and played for that famous old club.
However, it was as a Collegians stalwart that Gillen made his mark on the development of rugby league in the Illawarra.
In more recent times he was a member of the Illawarra Centenary of Rugby League Committee that organised such a successful year of celebrations in 2011.
Gillen also had much to do with Collies juniors and the inter-school sports visits between St John Vianney's and Bombala schools.
During his time as football chairman at Collies, Gillen formed a successful administrative partnership with secretary Bruce Prior and they worked together for more than 20 years, and as football chairman and secretary for at least 12 years.
"Terry was a very close friend not only to me but to a lot of people. Our families are close friends," Prior said yesterday.
"He was a very, very astute administrator. He was a larrikin too. We used to go to Steelers games together. We had season tickets.
"Terry was a good bloke. He had a lot of friends in the game, which you do make in rugby league.
"I'm sure a lot of people will be very saddened by his passing.
"The Collegians club and the success we enjoy today - and even when Terry stood down as chairman we won competitions with Jason Ferris and later with Gavin Clinch - that was due in no small part to what Terry put in place in previous years."
In later years, "TG" became a keen lawn bowler at Fairy Meadow Bowling Club.
Gillen is survived by his wife Diane, five sons John, Tony, Chris, Stephen and Greg and families.
His funeral will be at St John Vianney's Catholic Church tomorrow at 2pm.