Former coach Royce Simmons reveals Alzheimer’s diagnosis

Steven Hughes
Royce Simmons

Former St Helens, Hull FC and Penrith coach Royce Simmons has revealed he is battling Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 61.

Simmons spent all of his playing career with Penrith, before moving into coaching with Hull FC in 1992.  He stayed there for two years before returning to Penrith as Head Coach.

He was then an assistant for Tim Sheens at Wests for seven years, which included an NRL title win in 2005. Simmons then went to St Helens.

Whilst there, he helped Saints reach the 2011 Super League Grand Final, but could not stop them losing against Leeds. A poor start to the 2012 season saw him sacked two months in. Later that year, he returned to Wests as an assistant.

Simmons to take on big walk for charity

Simmons will be taking part in a 300-km walk from his hometown in Goolagong to the BlueBet Stadium, home of the Penrith club where still works in the Commercial team.

It is due to start on 17th May, and end 10 days later. On that day, Penrith are due to take on North Queensland in round 12 of the NRL.

He will be supported by other Penrith legends. As well as that, Simmons will also be taking part in events to support the junior game.

Speaking to the Penrith club website, Simmons said: “It’s that sort of condition; you have all the stats about people who suffer from dementia or die from it but you’ve got to multiply that by 10 or 20 people who suffer as well alongside them.

“I want to help raise money for research as a mark of respect for the medical people who have worked so hard find a cure or a successful treatment and all those people who suffer watching a loved one go down the path of losing who they once were.”

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