Manly Warringah Sea Eagles are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Barbara Arthurson.
Barbara passed away at Gold Coast Hospital in the early hours of Wednesday, August 3, after a long illness.
The adored wife of Manly’s legendary ‘Godfather’, Ken Arthurson, Barbara was much loved by all who knew her.
Ken Arthurson’s close friends and family rallied around the 92-year-old when news of Barbara’s passing was announced.
Former NSW Rugby League CEO, close friend and work colleague, John Quayle, has kept in close contact with Ken and Barbara Arthurson.
“They were the perfect couple. Barbara was his rock and their love for each other shone through every time you met them. She will be sorely missed by everyone. They were a team,” Quayle said.
Another of the Arthurson’s close friends, former premiership winning forward, Peter Peters, said Barbara Arthurson played a significant role in Ken’s magnificent administrative career in Rugby League.
Barbara was a calming influence on Ken - his voice of reasonPeter Peters
"She was by his side in all of the challenges, all the high and lows that Ken has packed into his life.
“Ken refused to watch a Manly game unless they won and it was Barbara who had to give the good or bad news to her husband.
“Barbara laughed when she showed visitors to their Gold Coast apartment the worn out carpet in front of Ken’s chair where he watched replays of Sea Eagles games.
“Watching a game with Ken was an experience she said."
Manly Chairman Scott Penn said Barbara will be deeply missed.
“Barbara was a phenomenal woman and a constant sounding board for Ken. They were the original Rugby League power couple. She will be greatly missed by us all,” Penn said.
“The Club and the game owe a significant debt of gratitude to Barbara for supporting Ken and all his achievements in the game.
"The Sea Eagles family will now wrap our arms around Ken and give him all the support he needs”.
Sea Eagles CEO Tony Mestrov said it was a sad day for the Club.
"We all know of the wonderful legacy Ken has left on the Sea Eagles, but as the proverb says, 'Behind Every Great Man There Is A Great Woman' and Barbara was certainly that,'' Mestrov said.
“One behalf of the Club, I extend our deepest condolences to Ken and the family. Everyone at the Sea Eagles is thinking of them during this difficult time."
Manly Coach Des Hasler said Barbara was an incredible woman.
"Barbara was a rock to Ken...a soulmate. She will be dearly missed,'' Hasler said.
Kerry Sibraa, Manly Co-Patron and Bard member, and Julie Sibraa, Sea Eagles Board Member, said the Arthursons were a wonderful couple.
"Barbara and Ken were as close as two people could be. Each were a rock of support to the other,'' Kerry said.
"We found Barbara to be a gentle, quiet person with a sly, dry wit and great sense of humour.
"She was always great company and was Manly through and through."
Julie Sibraa added Barbara was known for her elegance.
"Barbara was the most elegant and stylish person in the room,'' Julie said.
"We send our thoughts and condolences to Ken and their family on this saddest of days."