Former Parrmatta Eels, Penrith Panthers, New South Wales and Australian champion forward Ron Lynch has passed away after a long battle with illness, aged 84.

The lock and second-rower played 238 games during his top flight career, most well-known for his time at the Parramatta Eels.

Playing 194 games for the blue and gold between 1961 and 1971, Lynch was a hard-nosed forward who also captained-coached the side during 1970.

Following the end of his time at the Eels, Lynch made the move to the Penrith Panthers, where he played another 44 games to the end of his career in 1973, serving as captain at the foot of the mountains during that time.

The forward also played 17 Interstate Challenge matches for New South Wales during the 1960s, and also had 12 Tests for Australia between 1961 and 1970, including playing two Ashes Test matches against Great Britain during the 1967-68 Kangaroos tour.

“Ron was renowned as one of Parramatta's greatest players,” Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V'Landys said in a statement advising of Lynch's passing.

“He played 238 games during the 1960s and 1970s, holding his own amongst some of the finest players the game has produced. He was also highly respected and regarded by those who came across him.

“On behalf of the Commission, I extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Ron's family, and all those who knew him.”

Lynch is a memeber of Parramatta's hall of fame, having been inducted in 2003, while he was also awarded with an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.