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Graeme Langlands dead at 76

Rugby league Immortal Graeme Langlands has died at the age of 76 after a long period of poor health.

Langlands played 45 games for Australia and 227 for St George, and was part of the Dragons’ golden age of the 1950s and 1960s.

He had lived in a Sydney nursing home suffering Alzheimer’s disease for the last several years.

The Langlands family released a statement saying he died peacefully.

“Graeme was in very poor health and suffering from a number of chronic diseases,” the statement said.

“His family are relieved by the nurse’s advice that his passing was peaceful and painless.”

Langlands was back in the news recently after allegations were made that he had sexually assaulted a teenage girl in the 1980s.

He was charged in November by Queensland Police’s Child Safety and Sexual Crime Group with six counts of indecent dealing with a girl under 16.

It is alleged the offences occurred on the Gold Coast in the early 1980s.

But in their statement on Sunday, Langlands’ family defended him and hit out at police for what they called an “egregious prosecution.”

“The family maintains its position that this was an improper prosecution and that the allegations are refutable on the evidence in their possession. The family reserve making further comment to a later time.”

The St George Illawarra club also released a statement passing on its condolences, while NRL chgief executive Todd Greenberg said Langlands was one of the finest players ever to take to a rugby league field.

“There are only eight Immortals and Graeme is one of them… that says it all,” Greenberg said.

“He was such a dominant player in his era … so many fans would remember growing up watching “Changa” at his best.

“It is a sad loss for the Rugby League community and especially for those closest to him.”

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