Rugby League lost a great friend and long-time servant of the game, when Dr Hugh Hazard passed away, aged 77. Hugh had been the Canterbury Bulldogs doctor since 1975 until 2008 and was close to everyone involved with the club during his 34 years or so. He was also the Chief Medical Officer of the National Rugby League from 1998 to 2010. During his time with the NRL, he was the Australian Kangaroos doctor and also worked with Australian teams in the World 7s and 9s, as well as with NSW State of Origin and NSW Country Origin teams.
While with the Bulldogs, he saw the club win six Premiership, while there were also numerous changes to football-related medical procedures. He was awarded Life Membership of the Bulldogs in 1995 and in 2015 Queens Birthday Honours list, he was awarded an AM for his service to sports medicine as a physician, through contributions to professional medical groups and to rugby league. In the 1980s, Hugh and the Cronulla club doctor, Peter Malouf, established the Rugby League Doctors’ Association, with Hugh the first secretary and Peter, the first President.
Hugh graduated from Sydney University in 1967 and completed his residency years at the Lewisham Hospital and the Repatriation General Hospital at Concord. He gained a Fellowship of the Australasian Medical Acupuncture Society in 1980, a graduate Diploma of Sports Science in 1986 and became a Fellow of the Australian College of Sports Physicians in 1992. He has been a member of the American College of Sports Medicine since 1982 and had a long administrative role at both state and national levels in the Australian Sports Medicine Federation. During the 1980s he also worked as the medical officer for the Sydney Olympic Soccer team. For many years, he regularly lectured to sports trainers, the Red Cross, physiotherapy and medical groups. He also served as a Board Member of the Rugby League Players’ Association and as a member of the Australian Sports Doping Medical Advisory Committee from 1999 to 2012. Hugh was proud to be the author of the initial rugby league anti-doping policy under the auspices of the NSWRL, which was the first professional sport in the world to introduce such a drug testing regime.
The Men of League send their sincere condolences to Hugh’s wife Ann, his family and his many friends.