The Panthers Group is proud to announce that club icon John Farragher has been honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on the Australia Day 2016 Honours List.

The esteemed honour is formal recognition of Mr Farragher's significant service to rugby league and to the community of Penrith over the last four decades.

Born in Gilgandra, NSW, Mr Farragher was playing prop for Penrith in 1978 when a scrum collapsed at Henson Park. At 21 years of age and only seven games into his first grade career, Mr Farragher had suffered a severe spinal injury and was left a quadriplegic.

After extensive rehabilitation Mr Farragher returned to work at Panthers Leagues Club in 1982, taking on a role in public relations to greet and assist the club’s members and guests.

He has now held that role for 34 years, with his charm, warmth, and unwavering passion for the Panthers making him a most popular and recognisable character among the club’s patrons.

"There is no person more deserving of this honour than John Farragher," Panthers chairman Brian Fletcher said.

"He has dedicated his life to rugby league, to the Panthers and despite his injury he has never stopped promoting the club and the game.

"John knows more about this club than anyone else and his passion continues to inspire all of us.

"He’s a great icon of Penrith and we are truly honoured to have him working with us at the Panthers."

Mr Farragher is the most recent member of the Panthers family to be honoured with one of the country’s highest distinctions, following the formal recognition of chief executive Warren Wilson AM, executive general manager Phil Gould AM, and community and public relations executive Diane Langmack OAM.