The Marist Saints Rugby League Club and the Canterbury Rugby League community are mourning the loss of one of their greatest servants, following the passing of Paul Costigan last Friday after a short illness, aged 71.

Costigan devoted a lifetime to the Marist club as a player, coach and administrator. A strapping winger in his playing days, he featured in a star-studded Marist-Western Suburbs backline in the early-1970s that included Kiwis Mocky Brereton, Mike O’Donnell and Bob Irvine.

Renowned rugby league journalist, author and historian John Coffey, who played alongside Costigan in Marist-Western Suburbs’ loss to Linwood in the 1970 grand final, recalls a larger-than-life character who always had a smile on his face.

A local real estate agent, Paul had a keen interest in horse racing and playing cards, as Coffey recalls.

Costigan’s lasting legacy to rugby league, though, is as a tireless, long-serving administrator for the Saints. He served as Club President for decades and still held the post at the time of his death.

Most regard Costigan as the backbone of Marist, steering the club through a challenging period since the Saints last fielded a premier team in 1996 and helping ensure they retained a strong presence on the Canterbury Rugby League landscape.

Only last year, Paul spoke to CRL about the pride and passion inherent to Marist Saints, and his desire to see the club grow and thrive.

Canterbury Rugby League passes on its sincere condolences to Paul’s family and many friends, as well as the Marist Saints Rugby League Club.

A funeral service and celebration of Paul’s life will be held in the John Rhind Chapel, entry from London and Whitmore Streets, Richmond, on Thursday, 11 July, at 10.00am.

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