It is with a great deal of sadness that Penrith Panthers can confirm the passing of former club chairman and life member Leo Armstrong.
Mr Armstrong was born in the small Queensland town of Gayndah on November 4, 1922.
After finishing high school in Brisbane, and taking a job with the Commonwealth Bank, the commencement of World War Two saw him enlist in the Royal Australian Air Force. He trained as a navigator and joined RAAF Bomber Command in February 1944, eventually completing 32 operations in a Lancaster bomber, before seeing out the war working with Transport Command in India.
Upon his return to Australia, Mr Armstrong re-joined the Commonwealth Bank and became manager of the Penrith branch in 1969 – a position he held until his retirement in January 1984.
Mr Armstrong was first elected to the Panthers board of directors in 1980 and served as club chairman for 16 years, from 1984 to 1999. In that time he oversaw the growth of the both the licensed club, which moved to its Mulgoa Rd site in his first year as chairman, and the football club, which won its first premiership in 1991 under his chairmanship.
He was honoured with Panthers life membership in 1991 and continued to serve as a club director until 2003.
Mr Armstrong passed away on Monday, aged 92.
Panthers chairman Don Feltis OAM paid tribute to the significant contribution Mr Armstrong made to the growth and success of the Panthers Group.
"Under Leo’s astute and respected leadership over many years, the Panthers Group was able to implement numerous innovative and productive initiatives," Mr Feltis said.
"On behalf of the Board of Directors and senior management of Panthers, I convey our deepest sympathy and respect to his wife Joan, and the rest of Leo’s family."