A who's who of ex-St George players gathered in Sydney on Friday night for a reunion to celebrate the 1959 to 1979 Dragons' teams.
One of their greatest, legendary winger Eddie Lumsden, wasn't among them.
It was left to his good mate and wing partner all those years ago, Johnny King, to tell those among the 600-strong crowd that he didn't expect an ailing Lumsden to survive the weekend.
Lumsden suffered a heart attack three months ago and was in North Shore Private hospital in Sydney. King visited him on Friday before he passed away at 6.00 am on Sunday, aged 84.
"He'd was operated on for more than eight hours after the heart attack and was put in an induced coma but when he came out of it, everything was okay except for his kidneys," King said.
"He wasn't eating or drinking and the dialysis machine was the only thing that's been keeping him going. I told the boys on Friday night I didn't think he would see out the weekend. It's a real sad day for anyone who knew him."
A Kurri junior, Lumsden played four games for Manly in 1955 before joining the Dragons in 1957 where he played 158 matches and scored 136 tries. He won nine grandfinals, scoring hattricks in '59 and '61 before retiring in 1966 after the Dragons 11th straight premiership win. He played 15 Tests for Australia including the 1959-60 Kangaroo tour to England and France and featured on 19 occasions for NSW. After retiring, he became a Country, NSW and Australian selector.
In 2008, he was named on the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players and not surprisingly features in the Kurri and Newcastle RL teams of the century.
"I knew Eddie from 1960 when I first went to St George and we have been mates ever since," King said. "Since giving up coaching, I started going to the Men's Shed at East Maitland and I'd see Eddie every day."
King said they often joked about their playing days.
"Before games, we used to make bets about who would score the most tries," he said. "The loser had to shout and it was always backwards and forwards on a weekly basis.
"It's tough but that's life isn't it. Time catches up with us all, sadly."