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Murray Wenzel

Gold Coast league 'godfather' remembered

Inaugural Gold Coast Titans chairman Paul Broughton (r) has died at the age of 91. (PR HANDOUT IMAGE PHOTO) (AAP)

Rugby league trailblazer and Gold Coast Titans founding father Paul Broughton has been remembered as one of the sport's most intelligent and passionate men.

The inaugural Titans chairman, whose name is attached to the club's annual best and fairest medal, has died aged 91.

Broughton was a player, coach and administrator, widely viewed as 'the godfather of Gold Coast rugby league' and a major player in the creation of the Titans.

He made eight first-grade appearances for St George and Balmain in the 1950s and coached Balmain and Newtown in the 1970s.

Broughton's contribution to the code was recognised with an Order Of Australia Medal.

"So sad to hear of the passing of my dear old friend," Phil Gould tweeted.

"The most intelligent and passionate rugby league man I have ever known.

"He was 90 and messaged me every day with ideas and support for the great game. So very sad. I miss him already. RIP Coach."

Broughton revolutionised coaching with his annual camps alongside Peter Corcoran and employed the first Indigenous NSW Rugby League development officer.

"It is often said that the legacy of the great educators is that they affect an eternity, in that they influence the next generation who then go on themselves to affect future generations and so on," NSWRL chief executive David Trodden said.

"There were not many coaches or players of that era who did not have the benefit of advice from Paul and Peter.

"His impact on the game in our state has been acknowledged by the naming of the educational centre at NSW Rugby League headquarters after Paul.

"His thinking was always way ahead of its time, not only in Rugby League ways but in socially progressive ways. He was a big supporter of our First Nations people."

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys described Broughton as a "legendary" rugby league figure.

"His passion for rugby league was clear to all who knew him," he said.

"He wanted desperately for the game to prosper and he worked tirelessly in order to make it happen.

"His efforts particularly to further the sport on the Gold Coast were tireless and nothing short of extraordinary.

"He will be remembered as an enormously influential figure for rugby league on the Gold Coast, but his impact went so far beyond that.

"He was a leader and a gentleman. He dared to take the game to places many couldn't imagine and for that we will owe a huge debt."

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