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John Bateman pays tribute to former coach after he loses battle with cancer

John Bateman, along with a great cohort of people, has paid tribute to Canberra Raiders Recruitment and High-Performance Director Peter Mulholland after a long battle with illness.

Mulholland joined the Raiders in 2015 and has been an instrumental part of the club’s recruitment and retention of players, throughout the club’s pathway programs through to NRL level.

Not only has he been a huge part of bringing players to the Raiders, his involvement with the game of rugby league has spanned over 50 years, as a player, coach, mentor, role model and friend to so many people across the game.

Following his time as a player, Mulholland moved into coaching and was at the helm of the famous rugby league program at St Gregory’s Campbelltown for 14 seasons from 1979-1993, before he was given the opportunity to become the first head coach of new franchise the Western Reds in 1995. After two seasons with the Reds, he commenced as Coach of Paris Saint-Germain in France for one season in 1997 before returning to Australia.

Raiders CEO Don Furner said the club was indebted to the work and commitment Mulholland had provided to the Raiders during his tenure, and despite his health battles, he always applied the same enthusiasm, drive, and passion towards what he loved doing, working in rugby league.

“The game has lost one of its greatest characters and we send our deepest sympathies to his Wife Mel, his sons Heath and Ned and the entire Mulholland family at this very sad time,” Furner said. “Peter Mulholland was one of the most loved and respected people in rugby league and there will be many wonderful stories and memories shared about him over the coming weeks. He was instrumental in turning around our clubs’ fortunes and helping us make the Grand Final with some of his astute and targeted recruitment.”

“Pete’s love of rugby league and his passion for what he did is what made him such a unique and respected person in our game, and I know we will all be poorer for his passing.”

“His time at the Raiders only makes up a very small portion of his rugby league career, but we will be forever indebted to what he brought to our club and what he was able to help us achieve during this time.”

“On behalf of all Raiders staff, players, coaches, families, members and fans we once again pass on our condolences to the Mulholland family and let them know he will never be forgotten by the Canberra Raiders.”

Bateman was equally as emotive on his social media page, declaring: “Rest easy big fella. Thanks for the opportunities you gave me.”

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