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In early February former rugby league player and coach Royce Simmons revealed he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Royce is one of Penrith’s favourite sons, having represented the Panthers in more than 400 games as a player, and later a coach. His long list of accolades includes an NRL Premiership, 10 appearances for the New South Wales team State of Origin games, as well as 10 tests for the Australian national rugby league team, the Kangaroos. He was also inducted into the Panthers Hall of Fame in 2016.
Following the news of his diagnosis, Royce announced his plans to walk the 300 kilometres from his hometown of Gooloogong, which he began on Monday 16 May, to Penrith, where he will arrive at Penrith’s Bluebet Stadium the night the Panthers take on North Queensland Cowboys on Friday 27 May.
Along the way he will be joined by some of Australia’s biggest sporting names, including:
· Wally Lewis – former Australian national captain and The King of State of Origin
· Trevor Gillmeister – former Bronco, Panther and NRL coach.
· Brad Fittler – former Australia captain
· Allan Langer – four-time Premiership winner, and Queensland and Broncos legend
· Gene Miles – former Australian, Queensland and Broncos centre
· Tim Sheens – former Panthers player and four-time Premiership winning coach
Royce will also be joined at Bathurst by Bill Ashurst who represented both Great Britain and Penrith Panthers.
The aim of Royce’s Big Walk is to raise $500,000 for dementia research and awareness, to support those living with dementia, their families and carers. He has already raised a massive $75,000 . Find out more about Royce’s Big Walk here: https://roycesbigwalk.com.au/