'Complete player' Rogers dies of suspected heart attack

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The Independent Online

Steve Rogers, one of the game's great players of the 1970s and 1980s, has died suddenly from a suspected heart attack at the age of 51.

Rogers was a fixture in Australian sides for almost a decade and toured with the Kangaroos three times, in 1973, 1978 and with The Invincibles of 1982.

His centre partner for much of that time, Mick Cronin, yesterday called Rogers "the complete footballer. There wasn't anything in the game he couldn't do," he said.

Rogers spent most of his career with his local club, Cronulla, although he had spells with St George and in England with Widnes. After a broken leg in his first game for the latter finished his playing career, he went into administration, becoming general manager of Cronulla.

"He was a champion player of the game, who became a talented and dedicated official," said the National Rugby League's chief executive, David Gallop, after hearing that Rogers had apparently collapsed at his Sydney home after an early-morning run. "Steve Rogers was one of the all-time great players. He loved the game and loved his club."

Rogers' son, Mat, followed him by playing for Cronulla and Australia at league before switching codes to play rugby union and become a dual international.

Salford have agreed an extended contract with Luke Robinson, the scrum-half, which will keep him at the club until at least 2008.

Paul Deacon has returned to training with Bradford, two months after suffering career-threatening injuries in the Tri-Nations match against New Zealand.

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