Former NSW premier John Fahey – who bravely took on a gunman trying to attack Prince Charles and who played a key role in Sydney’s bid for the 2000 Olympics – dies aged 75

  • Fahey was premier from 1992 – 1995 and his death was confirmed on Saturday 
  • He helped wrestle take down a gunman who fired two blanks at Prince Charles
  • Prince Charles had been visiting Australia in 1994 when shots were fired 
  • Gladys Berejiklian said he was a ‘wonderful role model to generations of liberals’ 

Former NSW premier John Fahey has died aged 75

Former NSW premier John Fahey has died aged 75

Former NSW premier John Fahey has died aged 75. 

Gladys Berejiklian confirmed Mr Fahey’s death on Saturday morning and said he was ‘a wonderful role model to generations of Liberals’. 

‘His contribution to the state and nation will leave a lasting legacy,’ she added. 

Mr Fahey was premier from 1992 to 1995 and played a crucial role in Sydney’s winning bid for the 2000 Olympics. 

He also helped take down a gunman who fired two blanks at Prince Charles during a royal tour of Australia in 1994.

David Kang was wrestled to ground by Mr Fahey and Australian of the Year Ian Kiernan while the British heir to the throne was shielded by a bodyguard.

Mr Fahey initially thought the shots were just part of the event.

He said his wife alerted him to the fact that a man was running towards them with a gun, but he fired before they could stop him.

The politician was later praised for his bravery.  

Mr Fahey (pictured with wife Colleen in 2019) was premier from 1992 to 1995 and played a crucial role in Sydney's winning bid for the 2000 Olympics

Mr Fahey (pictured with wife Colleen in 2019) was premier from 1992 to 1995 and played a crucial role in Sydney’s winning bid for the 2000 Olympics

Mr Fahey shielded Prince Charles after David Kang fired two blanks during  Royal visit in 1994

Mr Fahey shielded Prince Charles after David Kang fired two blanks during  Royal visit in 1994

David Kang was wrestled to ground by Mr Fahey and Australian of the Year Ian Kiernan while the British heir to the throne was shielded by a bodyguard in 1994

David Kang was wrestled to ground by Mr Fahey and Australian of the Year Ian Kiernan while the British heir to the throne was shielded by a bodyguard in 1994

Mr Fahey was elected state member for Camden in 1984.

He then worked as the finance minister in John Howard’s government before retiring from politics in 2001. 

The NSW Government will hold a state memorial service for the beloved premier.

Ms Berejiklian recalled the moment it was announced Sydney would be hosting the Olympic Games.

‘Many of us would remember the celebrations that immediately swept the nation after Sydney was announced as the winner — and the image of Mr Fahey jumping for joy at the news,’ Ms Berejiklian said.  

‘Personally, I am grateful for John’s support and encouragement.’

Mr Fahey had been in Monte Carlo in 1993 when it was announced Sydney would host the games.

In a moment that captivated Australia, Mr Fahey leapt out of his chair and hugged bid chief Rod McGeoch. 

Mr Fahey leapt out of his chair and hugged bid chief Rod McGeoch in 1993 after it was announced Sydney would host the Olympic Games

Mr Fahey leapt out of his chair and hugged bid chief Rod McGeoch in 1993 after it was announced Sydney would host the Olympic Games 

Mr Fahey (pictured in 2018) worked as the finance minister in John Howard's government before retiring from politics in 2001

Mr Fahey (pictured in 2018) worked as the finance minister in John Howard’s government before retiring from politics in 2001

As state premier, Mr Fahey (pictured in 2001) introduced the disability services act, the seniors card and appointed the first minister for the status of women

As state premier, Mr Fahey (pictured in 2001) introduced the disability services act, the seniors card and appointed the first minister for the status of women

After leaving politics, Mr Fahey took on a new role as the president for the World Anti-Doping Agency.

He was also later appointed as chancellor of the Australian Catholic University.  

As state premier, Mr Fahey introduced the disability services act, the seniors card and appointed the first minister for the status of women.

Mr Fahey is survived by wife Colleen, his children and grandchildren. 

Tributes poured in from other Australian politicians and the sad news broke across the country.

Kristina Kenneally offered her ‘heartfelt condolences’ to Mr Fahey’s family.

‘John led a life of generous public service,’ the Labor senator and former NSW premier tweeted.

More to come. 

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