News, Culture & Society

ABC slammed over ‘tasteless tweet’ while Fox Sports hosts can’t hide shock over Bob Fulton’s death

An ABC television personality has been slammed for a ‘tasteless tweet’ in response to the death of Rugby League Immortal Bob Fulton, as legends of the game broke down on live TV after hearing the news.

Fulton died aged 73 on Sunday morning after a long battle with cancer and was said to have his close friends and family by his side in his final moments.

ABC’s election analyst Antony Green took to social media following the Manly icon’s passing to highlight the headlines surrounding Fulton’s death.

‘A fulsome apology for raising this, but the headline ‘Rugby League Immortal Bob Fulton has died’ does contain a significant level of conflict with dictionary meaning,’ he said in the since-deleted tweet. 

‘Pretty poor taste. Unfollow coming up. What is the purpose of this little English lesson? Tasteless,’ an angry user replied.

Meanwhile, Penrith Panthers legend Greg Alexander become emotional on Fox League after hearing the breaking news, saying he’d only spoken to Fulton a few weeks ago.

‘That’s devastating news,’ he said.   

NRL legend Bob Fulton (pictured) has died after a battle with cancer at the age of 73

ABC personality Antony Green has been slammed for a 'tasteless tweet' he made after the death of Fulton - a post he has since deleted

 ABC personality Antony Green has been slammed for a ‘tasteless tweet’ he made after the death of Fulton – a post he has since deleted

Penrith Panthers legend Greg Alexander broke down live on Fox League after hearing the breaking news, saying he'd only spoken to him a few weeks ago

Penrith Panthers legend Greg Alexander broke down live on Fox League after hearing the breaking news, saying he’d only spoken to him a few weeks ago

Fulton debuted as an 18-year-old for Manly-Warringah in 1966 and quickly established himself as one of the best players in the game

Fulton debuted as an 18-year-old for Manly-Warringah in 1966 and quickly established himself as one of the best players in the game

Green’s ‘tasteless’ post was met with widespread criticism with many people suggesting he delete it before he eventually did. 

‘Hardly the time, hardly the place, and just hardly altogether. Delete,’ one person replied.

‘You’d have been better advised not to send that tweet at this time,’ another said.

The response on Fox League was vastly different, with the panel visibly shocked as they hosted the pre-game show before the Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs game.

Alexander, who played under Fulton for Australia, was brought to tears when first hearing the news live on Fox Sports.

‘I was only talking to Bozo a couple of weeks ago. I live on the Northern Beaches and I pulled up at Woolies and was chatting with Bozo for about half an hour,’ he said.

Veteran broadcaster and friend Ray Hadley told his thousands of listeners on 2GB it was the 'saddest' news he had delivered on air

Veteran broadcaster and friend Ray Hadley told his thousands of listeners on 2GB it was the ‘saddest’ news he had delivered on air

His expertise on the field later landed him a broadcaster role at 2GB where he worked until his death

His expertise on the field later landed him a broadcaster role at 2GB where he worked until his death

Fulton was awarded an Australian Sports Medal in 2000 before he was inducted into the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2002. 

His expertise on the field later landed him a broadcaster role at 2GB where he worked until his death. 

He leaves behind his wife Anne, daughter Kirsty and his sons Brett and Scott. 

The sad news of his passing has sent shockwaves throughout the radio station and sporting community. 

Veteran broadcaster and friend Ray Hadley told his thousands of listeners on 2GB it was the ‘saddest’ news he had delivered on air.

‘It’s a very sad day for the Fulton family and rugby league generally,’ Hadley said. 

‘I’ve announced some sad things on radio but this could be the saddest.

‘I’m going to miss him, he was a great man… the most loyal friend I’ve ever had. He’ll be sadly missed.’

Over an illustrious decade with the club, Fulton won three premierships and scored 129 tries, the club's record until Steve Menzies broke it in 2006

Over an illustrious decade with the club, Fulton won three premierships and scored 129 tries, the club’s record until Steve Menzies broke it in 2006

Broadcaster and NRL expert John Gibbs spoke to ABC Radio and said the news was ‘very difficult to take in’. 

‘It is very sad,’ he said. 

‘I played and worked with Bob, and he also coached me. Condolences to his family.’

Fulton was affectionately known as ‘Bozo’ among his friends and colleagues.   

‘One of the all time greats,’ journalist Steve Heart said of his late friend.

‘RIP Bozo and condolences to family and friends. Sad day.’ 

Fulton debuted as an 18-year-old for Manly-Warringah in 1966 and quickly established himself as one of the best players in the game.

He was picked for representative honours the following year, and led Manly to the premiership in 1968, becoming the youngest ever captain to lift the trophy at just 20.

Over an illustrious decade with the club, Fulton won three premierships and scored 129 tries, the club’s record until Steve Menzies broke it in 2006.

He caused controversy when he left Manly and signed a three-year deal with the Roosters in 1976. 

The Sea Eagles made him a life member of the club while he was playing for their rivals.

Rugby League's Immortals - from left to right: Graeme Langlands, Bob Fulton, Andrew Johns, Johnny Raper, Ron Coote and Norm Provan

Rugby League’s Immortals – from left to right: Graeme Langlands, Bob Fulton, Andrew Johns, Johnny Raper, Ron Coote and Norm Provan

Fulton led led Manly to the premiership in 1968, becoming the youngest ever captain to lift the trophy at just 20

Fulton led led Manly to the premiership in 1968, becoming the youngest ever captain to lift the trophy at just 20

In 1979 Fulton was appointed captain-coach of the Eastern Suburbs side but lasted only eight games into the season before retiring with chronic knee issues. 

Fulton had played for the Kangaroos in 35 Test Matches, seven of which were played as captain.

In 1981 he was named as one of the first four Immortals – recognising the greatest players to ever play the game. Other members include Andrew Johns and Norm Provan. 

He continued coaching the Roosters and famously was one of the most vocal opposers to the introduction of State of Origin, calling it the ‘non-event of the century’. 

Fulton returned to Manly as coach in 1983 and guided the team with captain Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin to the premiership in 1987.

In 1989 he took charge of the national team, a job he held for nine years, winning the World Cup in 1992 and 1995. 

The Manly legend returned to his beloved Sea Eagles for the last time in 1993, coaching them to the 1996 premiership – his second as a coach and fifth overall.

He was a selector of the New South Wales and Australian sides from 1999 until his death. 

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